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Physics lab lets students experiment with reflection

April 21, 2015

What happens when you reflect a laser beam off of a mirror? Can you alter that reflection by simply turning the mirror to a different angle?

That’s what students in Assistant Professor Carrie Whittle’s physics course were figuring out yesterday during a multi-part lab on lights.

Students were challenged to reflect laser beams off of mirrors and prisms, then measure and compare the angles of the reflections. The idea was to see how light bends and reflects based on distance, angles and other factors, Whittle said.

In one part of the lab, students explored how eyes work by using a special lens that makes images flip when held at a certain distance from the object.

In another room, students experimented with colored lights, seeing how colors change based on certain variables.

The lab gave students an up-close look at how everyday objects such as sunglasses, prescription glasses and camera shutters operate.

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