2009 Advanced Laboratories Conference Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Measuring the Molecular Polarizability of Air
Abstract: We present an update of the "refractive index of air" experiment commonly used in optics and undergraduate advanced labs. The refractive index of air is based on the average molecular polarizability, which we measured from the period of the phase shift in a Michelson interferometer as a function of pressure. Our value of the average molecular polarizability of air is 2.133±0.032×10^(-29) m^3 (95% CI) and from this we find the refractive index of air at atmospheric pressure to be n = 1.0002651(66), which is in agreement with the accepted value of n = 1.000271375(6).
Abstract Type: Poster
Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster
Session: Session IX - Effective Experiments Poster Session

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Martin Madsen
Wabash College
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
D.R. Brown, S.R. Krutz, M.J. Milliman
(all three at Wabash College)