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Bishop Creighton Academy

The Magic of Refraction!

More science this week as the Tigers learn about refraction.

Today, Mr. Dean showed us a magic trick! It's as simple as having a glass of water and a small sheet of paper.

Fill a glass (with straight sides - curved or patterened glass won't work!) with water.

Draw an arrow on a small piece of paper - small enough that you will be able to see it through the glass.

Hold the arrow behind the glass around 5cm away. Which way does the arrow face?

If you did it right, you'll notice that the arrow is now pointing the other way entirely! This is due to a property of light called refraction. When light passes through a transparent material, it sometimes changes it's speed. Light passes through water more slowly than it does through air, and because of this the light changes direction. The overall effect is that the images you see are not true images - they are distorted.

Try it at home! Another place you can see refraction are when you put a straw into a glass of water - the straw will appear to be bent where it touches the water!

On the subject of looking at things under water, the Tigers will begin their swimming lessons next term. Parents should recieve a letter soon about when we will be going swimming, and the cost for this activity. Please make sure to come to school on time on the correct dates with your swimming costume!