LSOP Live: Bouncing, Bending, and Twisting Light, February 19, 2021
Mirrors, lenses, and polarizers, oh my! In this episode we show you some amazing effects that you can recreate at home. We make objects seem to disappear, make transparent objects develop colors, turn people upside down, make a mirror out of transparent materials, and show you how to use a mirror to make what seems like an infinite series of reflections. Check out this light-hearted investigation of the properties of light.
The phantom lightbulb is an illusion with a concave mirror. The light bulb happens to be located at the focal point of the mirror, which causes the image you see to be right side up. In reality however, the real lightbulb is upside down.
This is a fun and easy experiment to do at home or in the classroom with kids that relates to the reflection of light. At a certain angle, the air in the container that separates the duck from the water makes the duck disappear. The duck doesn’t actually disappear however, it’s just the way the air reflects the light. When water is added and that barrier of air is gone, you can see the duck again!
Mirrors, depending on their shape, can have different effects on how light is reflected. The difference in reflections can cause people to seemingly swap places, look shorter, wider, and much more! See here what type of mirror does what.
Here is an example of a super easy physics experiment to try at home. Phone cameras can be turned into a macro lens by simply adding a drop of water onto the lens. The water allows you to zoom in on objects with extreme detail! Look at the difference between the eye before and after adding water!