Things You Will Need
- 5-inch by 5-inch square of waxed paper
- Medicine dropper or plastic straw
- Place the 5-inch square of waxed paper on a newspaper article.
- Using the medicine dropper or plastic straw, place a small drop of water onto the waxed paper.
- Look through the drop of water at the newsprint.
- Enlarge the drop slightly by adding more water.
- Observe what happens to the size of the newsprint with different sizes of water drops.
What Should Have Happened
The drop of water on the waxed paper should have magnified because the drop had a curved upper surface and the flat bottom was transparent. This shape bends the light reflected from the object under it in much the same manner as a glass magnifying lens with the shape shape. The smaller the drop of water, the greater the curvature of the upper surface and the greater magnification of the object underneath. The larger drops did not magnify as much because there was not as much of a curve in the larger drops. Although the smaller drops magnified more, there was less area that could be seen.
Webdate: June 11, 2002
Updated: July 2004
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