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Refracted sunlight

“White light entering a prism is bent, or refracted. This separates the light into its constituent wavelengths. Each wavelength of light has a different color based on the angle at which it bends. The colors of white light always emerge through a prism in the same order —- red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.” (source) That’s such a dry explanation for what happens when sunlight passes through my faceted glass sphere and splashes onto a wall.

Let there be light! Becky’s back with a new month of squares, and the theme is light.

An experiment in refraction

Pink flamingo swizzle stick refraction

One well  known effect of the refraction of light as it passes from air to water is that a stick partially submerged in  water will appear to bend where it enters the water. Water is boring, and I don’t have any sticks, but in the interests of science I experimented to discover how much a pink flamingo swizzle stick will appear to bend when partially submerged in sparkling wine compared to in a martini. The results are quite different, which makes me wonder if the shape of the glass has anything to do with the effect?

The stick does appear to bend slightly as it enters the bubbly, but the effect is not dramatic. Interestingly, you can also see how the black line that swirls around the glass appears to 'jump' where it passes behind the wine-air boundary.

The stick does appear to bend slightly as it enters the bubbly, but the effect is not pronounced. Interestingly, you can also see how the black line that swirls around the glass appears to ‘jump’ where it passes behind the wine-air boundary on the right-hand side.

pink flamingo swizzle stick in martini

Now, here we have a dramatic bending effect! Look at that sharp zig zag shape in the stem of the swizzle stick. Also some very cool reflections happening inside the glass.

 

Oh, the things I do in the name of science!