Have you ever looked at an object in the bottom of your pool and wonder why they aren’t where they appear to be when you jump in to find them? This week we are sharing a super simple and fun experiment that will explain and demonstrate how it all works.
What you will need:
Glass or Clear Cup
What to do:
- First, fill the glass 3/4 full of water.
- Then put the pencil in the glass. Hold the pencil straight up and down.
- Look through the side of the glass. Draw a picture of what you see in your science journal.
- Let the pencil lean against the side of the glass on a slant.
- Look through the side of the glass again. Draw a picture of what you see in your science journal/
Does the pencil look different from before?
How does it work?
Light moves more slowly through water than it does through air. This causes light to “bend” when it moves from air into water. This is called refraction. When you hold the pencil straight up and down, you may notice that the pencil looks a tiny bit crooked or bent at the top edge of the water due to refraction. The difference may be so small you don’t even notice it. When you let the pencil stand on an angle against the side of the glass, the angle makes refraction more dramatic, now the pencil looks as if it is almost cut in half at the top edge of the water.
Check it out in Action!
Let us know!
We would love to see you doing the experiments!