Learning Outcomes for Refraction and Lenses

The list below displays sample learning objectives for the unit on Work and Energy. The various activities from the Lesson Plans have been organized by objective. This format of organizing The Physics Classroom's activities may be more useful to some teachers than the Lesson Plan format. It is worth noting that the activities identified below only include those activities included on the Lesson Plans and in the Pre-Built Task Tracker courses. Additional activities are referenced on the Teacher Notes page.

1. Nature of Refraction

Define refraction and explain when it occurs and why it occurs; identify the incident and refracted rays, the normal line, and the angles of incidence and refraction in a refraction diagram.

Video:

Labs:
Lab 1 - Refraction Action

Think Sheets:

Minds On Physics:
Mission RL1 on Meaning and Cause of Refraction

2. Direction of Refraction

Relate the direction that a light ray bends at the boundary to the relative value of the light speed, optical density, or index of refraction of the two media on opposite sides of the boundary.

Video:

Labs:
Lab 2 - Direction of Bending

Think Sheets:

Concept Builders:

Minds On Physics:
Mission RL2 on Light Speed and Refraction

Mission RL3 on Optical Density, n, and Refraction

3. Snell's Law of Refraction

Use Snell's law of refraction to predict the angle of refraction or to determine the index of refraction for any given boundary if sufficient information is known.

Video:

Labs:
Lab 3 - How Much?

Lab 4 - The Unknown n

Think Sheets:

Minds On Physics:
Mission RL4 on Snell's Law

4. Total Internal Reflection and the Critical Angle

Describe the effect of the angle of incidence upon the intensity of the reflected and refracted rays and state the conditions under which total internal reflection occurs; calculate the critical angle and discuss its meaning.

Video:

Labs:
Lab 5 - A Critical Lab

Think Sheets:

Physics Interactives with Concept Checkers:

Concept Builders:

Minds On Physics:
Mission RL5 on Total Internal Reflection

Mission RL6 on TIR and Critical Angle

5. Refraction by Lenses and Image Formation

Understand the distinction between converging and diverging lenses based on their shape and relate this to how the light refracts as it passes through each type of lens; know basic patterns of refraction for both types of lenses.

Video:

Labs:
Lab 6 - Exploring Lenses Lab

Think Sheets:

Minds On Physics:
Mission RL7 on Converging vs. Diverging Lenses

6. Ray Diagrams for Converging Lenses

Apply rules of refraction for lenses to construct an accurate ray diagram showing the image location, size, and orientation for various locations along the principal axis of a converging lens.

Video:

Think Sheets:

Physics Interactives with Concept Checkers:

Minds On Physics:
Mission RL8 on Converging Lenses - Ray Tracing

7. Image Characteristics for Converging Lenses

Describe the characteristics of the images (location, orientation, size, and type) that are formed for various object locations along the principal axis of a converging lens.

Video:

Labs:
Lab 7 - The L•O•S•T Art of Image Description

Think Sheets:

Physics Interactives with Concept Checkers:

Concept Builders:

Minds On Physics:
Mission RL9 on Image Characteristics for Converging Lenses

8. Ray Diagrams and Image Characteristics for Diverging Lenses

Apply rules of refraction for lenses to construct an accurate ray diagram showing the image location, size, and orientation for various locations along the principal axis of a converging lens.

Video:

Think Sheets:

Minds On Physics:
Mission RL10 on Diverging Lenses - Ray Tracing

Mission RL11 on Image Characteristics for Diverging Lenses

9. The Mathematics of Lenses

Use the lens equation and magnification ratio to predict the location, size, and orientation of an image formed by a converging or diverging lens for any given object location and size.

Video:

Think Sheets:

Also Available ...

Physics teachers may find the following for-sale tools to be useful supplements to our Lesson Plan and Pacing Guide section:

1. Task Tracker Subscription (annual purchase)
A subscription allows teachers to set up classes, add students, customize online assignments, view student progress/scores, and export student scores. Task Tracker accounts allow your students to begin assignments in class or at school and to finish them at home. View our Seat and Cost Calculator for pricing details.

2. The Solutions Guide
We publish a free curriculum with >200 ready-to-use Think Sheets for developing physics concepts. The Solutions Guide is a download containing the source documents, PDFs of source documents, and answers/solutions in MS Word and PDF format. An expanded license agreement is included with the purchase. (Cost: \$25 download)

3. Teacher Presentation Pack
This is a large collection of downloadable content packed with nearly 190 Microsoft PowerPoint slide decks, the corresponding Lesson Notes (as PDF and fully-modifiable MS Word format), about 170 animations (in .gif, .png, and .mp4 file formats), a countless number of ready-to-use images (including the original source documents that would allow for easy modification of those images), and a license that allows teachers to modify and use all the content with their classes on password-protected sites (such as course management systems).  (Cost: \$40 download)

4. Question Bank
We distribute a Question Bank that includes more than 9300 questions neatly organized according to topic. The Question Bank is the perfect tool for busy teachers or new teachers. Even if you don't use the website with your classes, the Question Bank will assist you in quickly putting together quizzes, tests and other documents with high-quality questions that target student's conceptions of physics principles. And if you do use The Physics Classroom website, the Question Bank is the perfect complement to the materials found at the website. (Cost: \$25 download)