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Sources of Error for Converging Lens Experiment in O Level Physics Practical

As the Sec 4 cohort is involved more in Physics practical during this period, here are some pointers of sources of error for lens experiment in O Level Physics.

Converging Lens experiment is a common practical in O Level Physics that involves studying the properties of lenses. The experiment involves the use of a light source, a screen, and a lens to determine the focal length of the lens. However, there are various sources of error that can affect the accuracy of the results. In this article, we will explore some possible sources of error for the lens experiment in O Level Physics.

  1. Parallax error: Parallax error can occur while measuring the distance between the lens and the screen. It is essential to ensure that the measurement is taken perpendicular to the screen, and the experimenter's eye is directly above the measurement point to avoid any parallax error. This is a common source of error but usually not acceptable when answering sources of error questions unless the question asks for sources of error in measurement of a particular instrument.

  2. Inaccurate measurements: Inaccurate measurements can result in significant errors in the experiment. The ruler or meter stick used to measure the distance between the lens and the screen must be precise and should have clear markings.

  3. Ambient light: Ambient light can cause unwanted interference in the experiment. To avoid this, the experiment should be conducted in a dark room or covered to block any external light sources.

  4. Variation in light source: Variation in the intensity or angle of the light source can cause errors in the results. It is essential to ensure that the light source is stable, and its intensity is consistent throughout the experiment.

  5. Optical distortions: Optical distortions can occur due to imperfections in the lens, such as scratches or air bubbles. Such distortions can cause light rays to deviate from their path, leading to inaccurate results. Making sure the lens are clean before the start of the experiment would be helpful.

  6. Human error: Human errors can occur during the setup and measurement of the experiment. The experimenter must ensure that the lens is placed correctly and that the measurements are taken accurately. Ensure that the screen where the image is projected upon is at the correct orientation. A slight deviation could result in error from measuring the image height.

  7. Focusing errors: Focusing errors can occur if the lens is not positioned correctly or if the screen is not positioned perpendicular to the light rays. This can cause the image to appear blurred, leading to inaccurate measurements.A pair of half-meter rules would help to make sure that the lens is placed vertically.

In conclusion, the lens experiment is an important practical in O Level Physics that helps students understand the properties of lenses. However, it is essential to be aware of the possible sources of error that can affect the accuracy of the results. By taking precautions such as ensuring accurate measurements, using a stable light source, and avoiding parallax error, students can obtain reliable results and gain a better understanding of the practical applications of lenses.


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