Bending Light – Refraction

Doblando la luz Refracción

 

HOW DOES LIGHT BEND WHEN IT CHANGES SPEED? CAN YOU USE THE REFRACTION OF LIGHT TO DO “MAGIC” TRICKS? HOW CAN REFRACTION BE USEFUL TO PEOPLE?

 

This lesson has both qualitative and quantitative activities, each lasting about one hour.

MATERIALS (Details in Teacher Notes linked below)

Activity 1 – Can You Bend Light?

  1. Pen and paper

  2. Ruler

  3. Laser pointer

  4. Slab of stiff gelatin (or polished acrylic block if available)

  5. A non-serrated knife or a smooth, thin piece of plastic for cutting gelatin (We cut strips from plastic report covers

Activity 2 – Magic Coin!

  1. Cup

  2. Penny

  3. Water

Activity 3 – The Disappearing Beaker!

  1. A small Pyrex beaker or test tube (A Pyrex custard cup works if you have a larger container to hold it)

  2. A larger transparent glass or beaker to hold the small one

  3. Vegetable oil.

  4. Alternate: clear glass of water with a few gel beads (Sold in craft stores for arranging flowers)

Activity 4 – Lenses

  1. Stiff gelatin

  2. Round cookie cutter or flexible plastic strip for cutting

  3. Laser pointer

Activity 5 – Optical Fiber

  1. Stiff gelatin

  2. Knife or plastic strip for cutting

  3. Laser pointer

Activity 6 – Lighting Without Electricity (Depending on design)

  1. Carton

  2. Water bottle

  3. Flashlight

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: The Weird Lens. See teacher notes for details.

STUDENT INSTRUCTIONS AND TEACHER NOTES

PowerPoint slides with student instructions   Bending_Light-Refraction_Slides.pptx.zip


Presentaciones de PowerPoint con instrucciones para estudiantes  Doblando la luz Refracción.pptx.zip  

Teacher Background Notes Bending_Light-Refraction_Teacher_Notes.pdf

Handout for recording observations and data Refraction_Observations.pdf Refraction_Observations.pdf

Video showing the gelatin optics activitiesGelatin Optics 

Video showing the disappearing beakerThe Disappearing Beaker

Video showing the construction of the weird (magic) lensThe Magic Lens