Physics KS3/GCSE: Refraction of light

Science presenter Jon Chase explains the refraction of light.

He demonstrates how refraction can make the handle of a Pyrex jug seemingly disappear. He explains this is because when light travels through two substances with different refractive indexes, it changes direction at the boundary.

Teacher Notes

Your class could investigate refraction using ray boxes and blocks of Perspex or glass.

The demonstration in this short film could be repeated using vegetable oil and Pyrex, including laboratory glassware. It is most impressive when repeated using a very large beaker and a smaller beaker.

Curriculum Notes

This short film will be relevant for teaching physics and science in general at KS3 and KS4 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 4/5 in Scotland.

More from Physics Bites:

A demonstration of friction
Falling bodies
Newton's Third Law
Radioactive decay
Total internal reflection