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Simple Lenses

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Lab Activities

In this lab, the students gain familiarity with the imaging properties of simple lenses, alone and in combinations, by observing the relationship between the size and location of the object and image. All calculations can be done using the thin lens formula and the magnification formula.

Specific activities include experimentally measuring the focal length of a lense, predicting the type, location and size of the image produced by a single lens and a combination of lenses and experimentally measuring the effective total focal length of two lenses placed close together. Experimental results tend to be within 5% of the expected results.

Course Level

Introductory: P4, P14, P16

Student Handouts


Number of set-ups available:

Per lab station:

1 1 meter optical bench
1 meterstick/slider
1 ruler
1 flashlight
1 object lamp/bench support
3 lens holders/bench support
1 clipboard screen/large clip
1 roll of masking tape
1 lens set containing:
1 + 5 cm lens
2 +10 cm lens
1 +15 cm lens
2 +20 cm lens
1 +30 cm lens
1 -10 cm lens
1 -20 cm lens



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Site contact: largent@Dartmouth.EDU

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