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Refraction Contraption

No, you aren’t going crazy and you haven’t found yourself with Alice in Wonderland staring at arrows pointing in opposite directions.  In fact, you have just demonstrated a physics concept called refraction, the bending of light.

When the arrow is moved to a particular distance behind the glass, it looks like it reversed itself. When light passes from one material to another, it can bend or refract. In the experiment that you just completed, light traveled from the air, through the glass, through the water, through the back of the glass, and then back through the air, before hitting the arrow. Anytime that light passes from one medium, or material, into another, it refracts.

Just because light bends when it travels through different materials, doesn’t explain why the arrow reverses itself.  To explain this, you must think about the glass of water as if it is a magnifying glass. When light goes through a magnifying glass the light bends toward the center. Where the light all comes together is called the focal point, but beyond the focal point the image appears to reverse because the light rays that were bent pass each other and the light that was on the right side is now on the left and the left on the right, which makes the arrow appear to be reversed. The diagram explains this better.

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convex lens tree

(Source: ForGIFs.com)

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Figure 1: Images of figurines and their geographic origins. Images are shown in the same (random) order and numbered, as they were for the questionnaire study.

(1) Willendorf’s Venus (Rhine/Danube)

(2) Lespugue Venus (Pyrenees/Aquitaine)

(3) Laussel Venus (Pyrenees/Aquitaine)

(4) Dolní Věstonice Venus (Rhine/Danube)

(5) Gagarino no. 4 Venus (Russia)

(6) Moravany Venus (Rhine/Danube)

(7) Kostenki 1. Statuette no. 3 (Russia)

(8) Grimaldi nVenus (Italy)

(9) Chiozza di Scandiano Venus (Italy)

(10) Petrkovice Venus (Rhine/Danube)

(11) Modern sculpture (N. America)

(12) Eleesivitchi Venus (Russia)

(13) Savignano Venus (Italy)

(14) The so-called “Brassempouy Venus” (Pyrenees/Aquitaine)

(15) Hohle Fels Venus (SW Germany)

via > hindawi.com

coolsciencegifs:

Refraction Contraption

No, you aren’t going crazy and you haven’t found yourself with Alice in Wonderland staring at arrows pointing in opposite directions.  In fact, you have just demonstrated a physics concept called refraction, the bending of light.

When the arrow is moved to a particular distance behind the glass, it looks like it reversed itself. When light passes from one material to another, it can bend or refract. In the experiment that you just completed, light traveled from the air, through the glass, through the water, through the back of the glass, and then back through the air, before hitting the arrow. Anytime that light passes from one medium, or material, into another, it refracts.

Just because light bends when it travels through different materials, doesn’t explain why the arrow reverses itself.  To explain this, you must think about the glass of water as if it is a magnifying glass. When light goes through a magnifying glass the light bends toward the center. Where the light all comes together is called the focal point, but beyond the focal point the image appears to reverse because the light rays that were bent pass each other and the light that was on the right side is now on the left and the left on the right, which makes the arrow appear to be reversed. The diagram explains this better.

source

convex lens tree

(Source: ForGIFs.com)

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