Light Bending Magic

Microstructures
Microstructures

The girls used different liquids with various microstructures to observe how it affected the refraction of light.

Macrostructures
Macrostructures

By changing the type of bend in glass (different lenses), the students observed how different macrostructures affected the refraction of light through glass.

Reflection
Reflection

Reflection is light's change in direction when bouncing off a barrier.

Refraction
Refraction

Refraction is light's change in direction when passing through a medium.

Fiber Optics
Fiber Optics

Max, an ARO volunteer, explained how fiber optics and internal reflection are responsible for "lightning fast speeds" when transferring images and information. We use fiber optics everyday with internet, cable TV, and long distance phone calls.

Light Bending Magic

       This experiment played with glass and its unique ability to bend, redirect light, and transfer information. The young students discovered that both the macrostructure (different shaped glass) and the microstructure (molecular structure) of glass affect how light bends through it. 

      After this experiment, the students were able to identify the difference between refraction and reflection of light. By understanding refraction and applying it to the world around us, we are able to correct poor eyesight by varying glass lenses (glasses) that bend/refract light before it reaches our eyes.The girls also learned that total internal reflection is used in fiber optics to transfer light and data long distances in a short amount of time.