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Ch 11: Physics Lab Experiments: Matter & Light

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons and learn about the different aspects of how light works and how matter changes. The quizzes that follow each lesson can help you gauge your comprehension of the materials.

Physics Lab Experiments: Matter & Light - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Our ability to see objects around us is largely due to how light reflects off of and passes through those objects. In fact, with an advanced understanding of how light moves and works, we can use light and shadows to make accurate measurements of distant objects. Of course, to understand the properties of light, you also need to know about matter in all of its forms, including solids, liquids, and gases. This chapter is designed to teach you:

  • The basic properties of light
  • The buoyancy and density factors of solids
  • How temperature affects matter
  • How light moves through a lens

Video Objective
Ernest Rutherford's Gold Foil Experiment: Physics Lab Measure the shape and size of objects through indirect means, and then replicate Ernest Rutherford's gold foil experiment.
Elasticity of Solids: Physics Lab Determine the elasticity levels of solids by examining their density and crystal structure.
Density & Buoyancy of Objects: Physics Lab Identify factors that contribute to the likelihood of an object floating or sinking in liquids.
Pressure Change & Volume of a Gas: Physics Lab Experiment with gas-filled balloons and determine how changes in pressure increase or decrease the balloon's volume.
Specific Heat of Water & Metals: Physics Lab Define the concept of specific heats, discover the specific heats of common metals and water, and show the similarities between common metals and water based on these findings.
Water Phase Changes: Physics Lab Explore the changes of water from solid ice to liquid water and finally to vapor.
Investigating Light Properties: Physics Lab Analyze how opaque and transparent objects affect beams of light, and study how light reflects off of mirrors at various angles.
Light Color: Physics Lab Use filters to view the light spectrum, identify how receptors in the human eye see light, investigate how color blindness affects how the eyes see light, and dissect white light through the use of prisms.
Reflection & Refraction of Light: Physics Lab Test how the reflection of light differs on a flat mirror compared to a curved one, and then look through a lens to explore light refraction.
Ray Diagrams & Lenses: Physics Lab Utilize ray diagrams to show how light travels through the lens of an eyeball, discuss how light and sight work to form images, and go over the two most common types of eyeglasses.
Diffraction & Interference: Physics Lab Review double slit interference and single slit diffraction patterns.

11 Lessons in Chapter 11: Physics Lab Experiments: Matter & Light
Ernest Rutherford's Gold Foil Experiment: Physics Lab

1. Ernest Rutherford's Gold Foil Experiment: Physics Lab

This lesson explains how the Rutherford gold foil experiment was carried out and what it told us about the atom. You can take a short quiz after the lesson to test what you've learned.

Elasticity of Solids: Physics Lab

2. Elasticity of Solids: Physics Lab

After completing this lab, you will be able to explain what elasticity is, and complete an investigation to determine the spring constant of a material. A short quiz will follow.

Density & Buoyancy of Objects: Physics Lab

3. Density & Buoyancy of Objects: Physics Lab

After completing this lab, you will be able to explain what buoyancy is, how to determine the size of the buoyant force, and use the principles of buoyancy to calculate the density of an object. A short quiz is available to test your knowledge after the lab.

Pressure Change & Volume of a Gas: Physics Lab

4. Pressure Change & Volume of a Gas: Physics Lab

After completing this lab, you will be able to explain what pressure and volume are and how pressure, volume, and temperature change in response to each other - with the aid of marshmallows! A short quiz will follow.

Specific Heat of Water & Metals: Physics Lab

5. Specific Heat of Water & Metals: Physics Lab

This lab will help you to be able to explain what specific heat is and find the specific heat of a metal using household objects. After completing the lab and analyzing the data, you can complete a short quiz to test your knowledge.

Water Phase Changes: Physics Lab

6. Water Phase Changes: Physics Lab

After completing this lab, you will be able to explain what a phase change is, name the different types of phase changes, and complete demonstrations showing what happens to water when it undergoes phase changes. A short quiz will follow.

Investigating Light Properties: Physics Lab

7. Investigating Light Properties: Physics Lab

After completing this lab, you will be able to list the properties of light and complete investigations that show some of these properties. A short quiz will follow.

Light Color: Physics Lab

8. Light Color: Physics Lab

After completing this lab, you will be able to explain what gives light its color and demonstrate that white light contains a variety of colors using filters. A short quiz will follow.

Reflection & Refraction of Light: Physics Lab

9. Reflection & Refraction of Light: Physics Lab

This lesson examines what reflection and refraction are and demonstrates how they work using experimentation. You'll be provided with step-by-step instructions on how to complete the experiments, as well as have the ability to complete a short quiz.

Ray Diagrams & Lenses: Physics Lab

10. Ray Diagrams & Lenses: Physics Lab

After completing this lab, you will be able to explain how lenses work, explain the difference between convex and concave lenses, draw ray diagrams to analyze the image produced by a lens, and apply that understanding to eyeglasses.

Diffraction & Interference: Physics Lab

11. Diffraction & Interference: Physics Lab

After completing this lab, you will be able to explain what diffraction and interference are, and use everyday objects to demonstrate the effect for light. A short quiz will follow.

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