We’ve done this light refraction experiment many times before, but this time it’s Alice in Wonderland themed.
A reversing arrows science investigation is very easy and can be made as simple or creative as you wish.
If you don’t want to theme it like I have below, just draw arrows on a small piece of card or paper and place them behind a glass of water.
Card or paper
Felt tip pens
A tall glass of water
Create signs like I have in the image below.
Place a glass of water in front of the signs and watch what happens.
Try moving the glass closer to the sign and further away. You should find that if you move the glass closer to the sign the image is not reversed.
The science of light refraction
The light reaching your eye coming from the arrow is refracted ( bent ) through the glass of water. The glass of water acts like a convex lens (like you might have in a magnifying glass). Convex lenses bend light to a focal point. This is the point at which the light from an object crosses.
The light that was at the tip of the arrow is now on the right side and the light on the right side is now on the left as far as your eye is concerned (assuming you are further away from the glass than the focal point.
Move the arrow image closer to the glass than the focal point. It should now be the way around you expect it to be!
Experiment with different images and text on your signs.
More light refraction experiments
Make a coin disappear with this fun refraction magic trick!
This bending a pencil activity from Raising Lifelong Learners is great too!
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Last Updated on February 7, 2022 by Emma Vanstone