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This item is a research-based lesson plan on the topic of total internal reflection (TIR), designed for use in introductory physics classrooms.  It is aligned with the Interactive Lecture pedagogic approach.  The purpose of the lesson is to help students apply Snell's Law to discover circumstances under which the TIR phenomenon occurs.  This resource was peer reviewed by the SERC Pedagogic team (Science Education Resource Center).

**NOTE:  This lesson requires use of a refraction tank, available at science supply companies for $80-100.

This item is part of the SERC Pedagogic Library, a collaboration between SERC Pedagogic Service Project and ComPADRE.  SEE RELATED ITEMS on this page for a link to the full collection.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Practices
- Active Learning
= Interactive Lecture Demonstration
- Pedagogy
General Physics
- Curriculum
Optics
- Geometrical Optics
= Total Internal Reflection
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Best practice
= Curriculum
= Lesson/Lesson Plan
- Service
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Lesson Plan
- New teachers
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Intended Users:
Educator
Learner
Format:
text/html
Access Rights:
Free access
Restriction:
© 2008 SERC
Keywords:
SERC, Snell's Law, TIR, critical angle, interactive lecture demonstrations, interactive lectures, optics, pedagogic service, ray optics, total internal reflection
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created May 22, 2009 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
May 22, 2009 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
February 25, 2009

This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.


Topic: Nature and Behavior of Light
Unit Title: Ray Optics -- Reflection and Refraction of Light

Interactive Lecture/Demonstration                                              Grades 11-12
Total Internal Reflection, the principle behind fiber optics, is a phenomenon that occurs when a ray of light strikes a medium boundary at an angle larger than the critical angle.  This lesson plan helps students discover this phenomenon for themselves, with the use of a refraction tank.  The lesson is part of the SERC service, a collection of proven pedagogic methods for science education.  Allow one class period.

Link to Unit:
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Record Link
AIP Format
(Science Education Resource Center, Northfield, 2008), WWW Document, (http://serc.carleton.edu/sp/library/interactive/examples/19120.html).
AJP/PRST-PER
SERC Pedagogic Library: Total Internal Reflection (Science Education Resource Center, Northfield, 2008), <http://serc.carleton.edu/sp/library/interactive/examples/19120.html>.
APA Format
SERC Pedagogic Library: Total Internal Reflection. (2009, February 25). Retrieved July 30, 2014, from Science Education Resource Center: http://serc.carleton.edu/sp/library/interactive/examples/19120.html
Chicago Format
Science Education Resource Center. SERC Pedagogic Library: Total Internal Reflection. Northfield: Science Education Resource Center, February 25, 2009. http://serc.carleton.edu/sp/library/interactive/examples/19120.html (accessed 30 July 2014).
MLA Format
SERC Pedagogic Library: Total Internal Reflection. Northfield: Science Education Resource Center, 2008. 25 Feb. 2009. 30 July 2014 <http://serc.carleton.edu/sp/library/interactive/examples/19120.html>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {SERC Pedagogic Library: Total Internal Reflection}, Publisher = {Science Education Resource Center}, Volume = {2014}, Number = {30 July 2014}, Month = {February 25, 2009}, Year = {2008} }
Refer Export Format

%T SERC Pedagogic Library: Total Internal Reflection
%D February 25, 2009
%I Science Education Resource Center
%C Northfield
%U http://serc.carleton.edu/sp/library/interactive/examples/19120.html
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D February 25, 2009
%T SERC Pedagogic Library: Total Internal Reflection
%I Science Education Resource Center
%V 2014
%N 30 July 2014
%8 February 25, 2009
%9 text/html
%U http://serc.carleton.edu/sp/library/interactive/examples/19120.html


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Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

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Is Part Of ComPADRE-SERC Pedagogic Library

This is a link to the full SERC Pedagogic Library collection.

relation by Caroline Hall
Is a Teaching Guide For Physics Classroom: The Critical Angle

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