Exponential decay is a prototypical functional behaviour for many physical phenomena, and therefore it deserves great attention in physics courses at an academic level. The absorption of the electromagnetic radiation that propagates in a dissipative medium provides an example of the decay of light intensity, as stated by the law of Lambert-Beer-Bourguer. We devised a very simple experiment to check this law. The experimental setup, its realization, and the data analysis of the experiment are definitely simple. Our main goal was to create an experiment that is accessible to all students, including those in their first year of academic courses and those with poorly equipped laboratories. As illustrated in this paper, our proposal allowed us to develop a deep discussion about some general mathematical and numerical features of exponential decay. Furthermore, the special setup of the absorbing medium (sliced in finite thickness slabs) and the experimental outcomes allow students to understand the transition from the discrete to the continuum approach in experimental physics.

Di Capua, R., Offi, F., Fontana, F. (2014). Check the Lambert-Beer-Bouguer law: a simple trick to boost the confidence of students toward both exponential laws and the discrete approach to experimental physics. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICS, 35(4), 045025 [10.1088/0143-0807/35/4/045025].

Check the Lambert-Beer-Bouguer law: a simple trick to boost the confidence of students toward both exponential laws and the discrete approach to experimental physics

OFFI, FRANCESCO;
2014-01-01

Abstract

Exponential decay is a prototypical functional behaviour for many physical phenomena, and therefore it deserves great attention in physics courses at an academic level. The absorption of the electromagnetic radiation that propagates in a dissipative medium provides an example of the decay of light intensity, as stated by the law of Lambert-Beer-Bourguer. We devised a very simple experiment to check this law. The experimental setup, its realization, and the data analysis of the experiment are definitely simple. Our main goal was to create an experiment that is accessible to all students, including those in their first year of academic courses and those with poorly equipped laboratories. As illustrated in this paper, our proposal allowed us to develop a deep discussion about some general mathematical and numerical features of exponential decay. Furthermore, the special setup of the absorbing medium (sliced in finite thickness slabs) and the experimental outcomes allow students to understand the transition from the discrete to the continuum approach in experimental physics.
Di Capua, R., Offi, F., Fontana, F. (2014). Check the Lambert-Beer-Bouguer law: a simple trick to boost the confidence of students toward both exponential laws and the discrete approach to experimental physics. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICS, 35(4), 045025 [10.1088/0143-0807/35/4/045025].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/134936
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