Magnifying Glass Effect of a Water Drop

Magnifying Glass Effect of a Water Drop

Have you ever studied an everyday object through a magnifying glass-- and been surprised at what you could see? Or have you ever observed, for example in a swimming pool, that an item that is standing out of the water looks various just above and just below the surface? In this activity you will learn a little bit more about both of these observations. Prepare yourself to flex light, magnify letters and have fun with water drops-- all while getting a glimpse into how lenses work!

Lenses are the essential components in spectacles, contact lenses, binoculars, and telescopes-- simply among other gadgets. With this activity a homemade magnifying glass is just a drop away!


You see an object because light rays shown from the things shine into your eye, producing an image on the retina inside your eye. Signals to your brain allow it to re-create the picture of the things.

A light ray bouncing off an object typically travels in a straight line to your eye. Things change when a transparent material, such as glass or water, obstructs. When a light ray taking a trip through air gets in such a material, it alters instructions, developing a sort of kink. Another kink is introduced when the ray leaves the product. For that reason, the last picture of the object in your eye might be different due to the reversals of the light on its way to your eye. Your brain is uninformed of these kinks and expects an image developed by rays that traveled in a straight line. As a result, it might reconstruct a picture that is various from the preliminary object. Your eyes and brain may have been fooled!

Lenses use these kinks to make things look larger or smaller sized, more detailed or farther away. A convex lens bends light rays inward, which leads to the item being perceived as larger or closer. A concave lens flexes rays external; you get the perception that objects are smaller sized or farther away. There is no general flexing of light for a flat lens. You perceive the item as it is.

Now that you understand a little about light and lenses, are you prepared to let your eyes and brain be fooled?


A paper page
2 rulers with metric measurements on them, preferably with dark markings
One transparency film or clear sheet protector
Drinking glass with water
Medicine dropper (optional).
Mobile device with an electronic camera (optional).
Little transparent plastic cup or tiny tasting cup with a flat bottom (optional).

Discover a water-resistant work area.

Select a short article in the paper with a small font style. You can utilize your ruler to measure the height of the letters; they need to be a couple of millimeters high.

Location the transparency film on top of a newspaper page.
Develop a drop of water near the middle of the transparency movie. Utilize a water dropper or your finger to let two or three drops fall on the movie and merge into one larger drop.

Examine your water drop. Is the top of the drop surface area flat, curved inward or curved outward?
Shift your openness movie so the water drop lays on top of the small print letters.
Close or cover one eye and look from above with the other eye at the letters under the drop. Compare them with the letters next to but not covered by the drop. Do they look the same? Does one appear larger or smaller sized than the other?

Utilizing 2 hands, thoroughly lift and hold the transparency movie about half an inch above the paper, leaving the paper on your work surface. You might require aid in raising the transparency film if you like to cover one eye with a hand.

Also You can buy a Magnifying glass from Walmart.

Close or cover one eye and look carefully from above through the water drop at the letters on the newspaper. Do the letters appear different than when the transparency film rested on the newspaper? What happens when you move the openness film farther up?

Move the transparency film up and down a number of times looking from above through the water drop with one eye. How does your perception of the letters change as you move the transparency film farther up or back down? Why do you believe this takes place?

To determine the zoom factor of your water drop, put a ruler under your transparency movie on your work surface and another ruler beside the drop on top of the transparency movie, but make sure to prevent the ruler from touching the drop.

Raise the openness film with the top ruler and water drop about 1.3 centimeters up and do your finest to determine the length of a millimeter indication of the bottom ruler, as translucent the water drop.

(You may need assistance lifting the transparency film together with the ruler and the water drop.) How many millimeters does one-millimeter indicator measure? This number tells you by what element things appear larger when seen through your water drop. Are you surprised about the magnification aspect you acquired?

Procedure the magnification factor of your water drop when you raise the transparency movie higher up. Does the magnification element modification when you raise the openness greater? Could you discover ways to make the zoom aspect huge?

Repeat the activity, this time utilizing a larger water drop. What occurs to the curvature of the top surface of the water drop when you increase the size of the drop? Is it more, less, or similarly curved? Do bigger water drops yield a different zoom factor?

Extra: What do you think would be the maximum water drop size and its height above the paper to increase the readability of your picked newspaper line? Would you select the exact same conditions if you were investigating the information of a bug?

Additional: Go around your home or the garden taking a look at things through your brand-new zoom glass. What kind of unexpected information can you discover?

Extra: You simply utilized water to create a magnifying glass, making things appear bigger. What do you believe will occur if you check out a larger layer of water held in a cup?

To test this, find a small or small transparent plastic cup with a flat bottom. To validate that the cup itself does not act as a lens, place the empty cup over a straight line discovered in your newspaper, browse the cup and observe. Does the line appear straight? Does it appear to have the exact same thickness if you raise the cup?

If not, find another cup, since the bottom of this cup already serves as a lens. Why do you think it is very important that the cup utilized to test if a layer of water in a cup functions as a lens does not serve as a lens already?

Once you have a cup that does not act as a lens, fill it with a layer of water (about 1.3 centimeters high) and look from above through the water to the letters on your paper. How do the letters appear? Does their look change when you move the cup up and down?

You may want to move to a font style with larger letters. Can you calculate the magnification factor of this lens? Keep in mind that a magnification aspect smaller sized than 1 suggests the item appears smaller than it is.

As an example, a zoom factor of one half shows that the object seems half its size.
Additional: Optical instruments often utilize a mix of several lenses. If you made both the water-drop lens and the cup-with-water lens, observe what happens if you combine both.

You can put the transparency on top of your cup and look from above or ask an assistant to hold your openness film with the water drop as you hold the cup above it. What do you believe will occur?

Can you measure the magnification elements for both lenses individually (at the exact distance you are holding them when you combine both) and when combined?

If you do this for a couple of various distances, you might be able to establish a formula.
Additional: Would other liquids likewise develop magnification? Would one liquid work much better than another? Think of oil or vinegar or soy sauce. Which ones do you think might work, and why?

Observations and outcomes.

Did you see how things appear bigger when looked at through a water drop? The surface area of a water drop curves outside to make a dome. This external, or convex, curvature flexes light rays inward. The outcome is a bigger image on the retina of your eye. The things appear larger than it is. Read More

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