This experiment shows one way to find the index of refraction of Jello. Jello is a common delectable treat enjoyed by many kids. It is also a translucent material which makes it a perfect candidate for an index of refraction experiment. Index of refraction is one of the most important concepts in optics and is an important basis for many interesting phenomenon. Through this experiment, kids can learn and become interested in science while having fun!
Step 1: Make Jello
Create a semicircle shaped piece of Jello using a semicircle petri dish. Follow instructions on jello box. Any color may be used. The semicircle shape will ensure accurate and easily detectable and measurable refraction from laser.
Step 2: Setup
Set up the experiment by first placing the slider rail on top of the books (or a suitable substitute) to elevate the jello. Place the protractor holder in the middle of the slider, and then put the protractor on the protractor holder. Place the semi-circle jello petri dish on the protractor. Place the laser at the end of the rail so it points directly at and over the protractor.
Step 3: Place Jello
Line the Jello up to the 90 degree line so that the laser is perpendicular to the flat jello surface.
Step 4: Collecting Data
Rotate the angle measuring platform 10 degrees more each time (10, 20, 30 etc) and record the angle that the laser exits the jello on the other side. Repeat this until the laser is hitting the jello at 90 degrees (completely parallel). Repeat this step 2 more times for a total of 3 trials.