Here at Science Sparks we love science tricks and super simple science experiments. This disappearing coin trick is both!
The trick uses refraction of light to make it look like a coin under a glass disappears!
Impress your family and friends with this simple science magic trick and learn about light at the same time!
How to make a coin disappear
Glass cup or jar
Place a glass on top of a coin and ask a friend if they can still see the coin. Hopefully they will say yes!
Pour water into the glass and ask your friend if they can see the coin now. They should say that the coin has disappeared.
Why does the coin disappear?
Light (from the sun, or an artificial light) travels in a straight line, bounces off objects and into our eyes, allowing us to see things. Generally there is little or no refraction of light as it travels through air.
However, when you pour water into the glass or jar the light from the coin is refracted ( bends ) and doesn’t make it to your eyes which is why the coin seems to disappear.
Did you know that the retina at the back of your eye contains over 120 million rods and 8 million cones?? Rods detect light and dark and cones allow us to detect colour.
More light experiments and investigations
Try a light refraction experiment with arrows.
Split light into the colours of the rainbow with a prism!
Suitable for Key stage 2 Science
Light travels in straight lines
Last Updated on May 18, 2022 by Emma Vanstone