Laser laws

“How can we test the law of reflection and the Pythagorean theorem?”


When we started this project I had so many questions! Even though I’ve learnt the answers to all of them, finishing this project has brought up even more questions.

We started by learning about what the Pythagorean theorem actually even is. The definition of the Pythagorean is “a theorem attributed to Pythagoras that the square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides.” 

We did work books to understand how to use the Pythagorean theorem (A*2+B*2=C*2) on right angle triangles and we learnt about how Pythagoras discovered the formula and we learnt about how the law of reflection works.

For our first milestone we create the same thing we would do in our final group project, on our own and in a simulator to see how it would work and to see how to do it physically. We create right angle triangles, measured the beam and used the Pythagorean theorem to test to see if it was a correct right angle triangle. This also taught us about the law of reflection and how the beams would bounce off the mirrors depending on the angle and type of mirror.

Then we got into our groups and began planning out our physical “laser triangle”. We were supposed to bounce the beam of a laser off the mirrors we placed to make a right angle triangle. We used the ray beam simulator to measure out how our mirrors needed to be set up to have the laser reflect where we wanted and by doing this we both tested the Pythagorean theorem and the law of reflection. 

By using the ray beam simulator, and the mirrors to test the law of reflection and by using the Pythagorean theorem to test if are trained are correct we can prove that you can test the law of reflection and the Pythagorean theorem at the same time.

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