The purpose of this experiment is to study the physical law of reflection from a plane surface by locating the virtual image of a triangular object "behind" a mirror. Strategy The method of ray sighting will be used to locate the image of each vertex. Procedure Carefully fold a clean sheet of unlined paper down its center and place a piece of mirror along the fold. On the paper, draw and shade in a large scalene triangle in such a manner that no two vertices coincide along any given perpendicular to the interface and no vertex is closer to the interface than 2 cm. Label the vertices A, B, and C.
Set a push pin or a sharpened pencil at vertex A. Take a ruler and "sight" the image of vertex A in the mirror. When the edge of the ruler is perfectly aligned with the image of A, draw a line on the paper marking this edge and label it A_{1}. Then move the ruler and "sight" the image of vertex A again in the mirror. Once more, mark the edge of the ruler when the image of A is perfectly aligned and label it A_{2}. These lines will later be used to triangulate A' (the virtual image of A). Move the push pin or sharpened pencil to vertices B and C and repeat the procedure with these vertices. Mark these sighing lines B_{1}, B_{2}, C_{1}, and C_{2}. After your have made all of your sightings, remove the mirror.
Extend the sighting lines B_{1} and B_{2} to triangulate B'. At the positions where these lines "cross" the interface, draw in two new "solid" lines back to the original vertex B. Place arrows on the solid lines to show that they are actually the incident and reflected rays from B. At each point of contact on the interface, carefully construct a normal and measure both the incident and reflected angles for B_{1} and then those for B_{2}. Place your answers in a table called Data Table I. Calculate a percentage difference for each set of angles.
Data Table I |