Exploring the Science of Light
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Advanced Activities

You are ready to take it to the next level. You have mastered all the other activities and need a challenge. Try your hand at these experiments, recommended for scientists 15 and above. You will gain a greater understanding of the Powers of Ten, total internal reflection and make your own magnifiers and lenses out of ice. Some of these activities require adult supervision.

An Ice Lens - Every optical instrument, from binoculars to cameras to eyeglasses, contains lenses that were made by opticians. You can discover basic lens-making techniques in this activity.

Diffraction Between Wax Blocks - Diffraction is the bending of a wave around an obstacle. Try this activity out to see what happens when we add wax blocks to a ripple tank.

Interference in a Ripple Tank - What happens when waves collide? Try out this activity to see how waves in a ripple tank behave when they cross paths.

Powers of Ten

Shimmering Lenses

Total Internal Reflection - When light hits an interface between two different media, it can behave in two different ways. Typically, the light partially refracts (bends) and partially reflects. There is a special phenomenon that occurs when light goes from a higher refractive index medium to a lower refractive index medium and above a certain incident angle. The refractive index of the material is what determines how fast light travels in a material. Learn about total internal reflection in this activity.

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