ERICH SCHREMPP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ERICH SCHREMPP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Refraction. The image of the straw is split into three different parts due to the refraction of the light reflected from the straw. This light passes through three different materials: air, glass, and water. At each boundary between the materials, the light rays are refracted (bent), a property that also causes lensing (increased and reduced image sizes) in transparent materials. The upper part of the straw is seen in air. For the middle part, the glass changes the angle of the image and reduces the size. For the lower part, the water magnifies the image and reduces the previous angle change. The relative refractive indices of these materials are: air (1), water (1.33) and glass (1.5).
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