Claire Fryer Smith Air Lenses by lanyuehua


									                                   Distorting Shapes with Water

This photo contains two examples of physics, Refraction and the Superposition Principle. Refraction occurs when
there is a change in the speed of light when it goes through materials such as glass, diamond, plastic or water, which
causes its wavelength to change. The change in speed that occurs when light passes from one medium to another is
responsible for the bending of light, which is refraction. When looking into a sink at the plughole, if there was no
water, it would appear perfectly round, but because the still water refracts light, it has caused it to look larger than
usual. Finally, the air bubble above the plughole acts as a diverging lens because the index of refraction (number of
times faster light travels through a vacuum than the object) of air is less that of the water, so the object behind it
would always be upright and smaller than it really was. A diverging lens is created when the water surrounding the
bubble of air that is thicker at the edges than the middle point, so that the parallel light that enters is diverged away
from a point, causing the image to appear smaller through the bubble. The Superposition principle applies to the
ripples on the water’s surface. When two separate waves meet with each other and interact, they add together and
form a combined wave that refracts light and causes the water to act like a lens that concentrates the light so
brighter regions are formed. In the photo, two bubbled have surfaced and created these ripples, and the brighter
spots are visible between them.

To take the photo, I used my bathroom sink. I filled it up half way, and then ran the water. I held the camera button
half way down to focus it, then as I took the photo, I turned the tap off at the same time to try to capture an image
that showed a clear demonstration of refraction in the water that is not covered with too many bubbles at the
surface. I managed to get a picture that showed two bubbles that were about to surface in front of the sinkhole that
distorted the shape, as well as two that had just surfaced and burst, creating a rippled effect between them.

                     1. Entrant: Claire Helen Fryer-Smith

                     2. Melbourne Girls’ College, Yarra Boulevard Richmond 3121,

                     Year 10 student,

                     Teacher: Chris Jurgens,

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