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Hi, I am conducting this experiement of measuring sugar content with a a laser pointer. I have done all the steps that the website says and am using sciencebuddies.org equipment as well. I have measured all index of refraction for all liquids with %10, %20, and %30 sugar concentration as shown in the table. However, I am stuck in the step that asks me to use the index of refraction to measure the sugar content. I don't know how to get from the index of refraction to the percentage of sugar concentration of an unknown liquid. Please help me as I have been trying to figure this out for a very long time and my project is due in less than a week.
Thank you, I really appreciate your help
Gustavo
gus1996

Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:35 pm
Project Question: I am conducting the project from your website "Measuring Sugar Content with a Laser." I know how to measure the index of refraction with the given amounts of sugar, but what I do not understand is how do I calculate the sugar concentration of an unknown liquid just based on the index of refraction. I have already done all experiments that the project asks me to do, but I am stuck in getting a real number for the sugar content of an unknown solution. Please Help
Project Due Date: Wednesday November 29, 2012
Project Status: I am conducting my experiment

The project is due in two days, any suggestions can help. Thanks
gus1996

Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:35 pm
Project Question: I am conducting the project from your website "Measuring Sugar Content with a Laser." I know how to measure the index of refraction with the given amounts of sugar, but what I do not understand is how do I calculate the sugar concentration of an unknown liquid just based on the index of refraction. I have already done all experiments that the project asks me to do, but I am stuck in getting a real number for the sugar content of an unknown solution. Please Help
Project Due Date: Wednesday November 29, 2012
Project Status: I am conducting my experiment

Hello gus1996,

I just reviewed the project at http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Phys_p028.shtml#summary.

I think you are expected to "interpolate" the sugar content from the results of your experiments on known-concentration solutions. You can do this using a very common technique called "linear interpolation." What that means is that you assume the index of refraction varies linearly (along a straight line) between your measured values.

Here's an example. Suppose you measure n(10%) = 1.3479 and n(20%) = 1.3639. Then you measure the index of refraction of an unknown solution and get n(unknown) = 1.3575.

1.3575 is at 60% of the distance between 1.3479 and 1.3639. The concentration of the unknown solution is then 60% of the distance between 10% sugar and 20% sugar, or 16% sugar.

Hope this helps, WW
wendellwiggins
Expert

Posts: 338
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 5:48 pm
Occupation: retired physicist
Project Question: n/a
Project Due Date: n/a
Project Status: Not applicable

Thank you so much, I found a formula on excel that interpolated the values for me. You really helped!
Thanks
gus1996

Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:35 pm
Project Question: I am conducting the project from your website "Measuring Sugar Content with a Laser." I know how to measure the index of refraction with the given amounts of sugar, but what I do not understand is how do I calculate the sugar concentration of an unknown liquid just based on the index of refraction. I have already done all experiments that the project asks me to do, but I am stuck in getting a real number for the sugar content of an unknown solution. Please Help
Project Due Date: Wednesday November 29, 2012
Project Status: I am conducting my experiment

i have already done this whole project, the trick is not to measure the length of diverted beam and use sin, but to measure length x and L and use tan.
when measuring the content of sugar you have to go 0g 5g 10g etc of sugar and then 100g 95g 90g with water. I used an electronic gram scale and just pored everything into a small container on the gram scale and normally you would subtract the weight of the container but mine had a feature that did it on it's own.

and yes when measuring unknown sources you would go by what info you already have, but a quicker way is:

since you already have the measurements on the wall across from the laser you can say, "ok, I know 5% is here and 10% is here, my beam is aproxiamatly inbetween the 2 and so I will make it 7.5%
AstroPie

Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:32 pm
Project Question: I would like to base my project on AstroPhysics, I have thought about looking at Cosmology/Cosmic Inflation, but I really have no idea where to go with it, especially since I live where there aren't any labratories, can you help come up with ideas?
Project Due Date: My Regional Science Fair will be sometime in March, but I am planning on attending National Science Fair for a second year which is in May; I have lots of time but lots to do.
Project Status: I am just starting

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