Lesson 06 – Experiment: Refracted Light

Read The Experiment to Learn About Refracted Light

Refracted Light

Light slows down when it travels from air into a liquid. If light travels from air straight into water, it slows down but keeps moving in a straight line. If light enters water at an angle, it slows down and changes direction. This change in direction is called refraction. After light changes direction, it keeps moving in a straight line. The same thing happens when light travels through solid material such as glass. Try the experiment below to see refraction for yourself.

What You Need
What You Do
What You Need

  • A clear glass half-filled with water
  • A pencil

What You Do

  1. Put the pencil in the water so it leans against one side of the glass.
  2. Look at the pencil from above. Look at the pencil from the side.

Now Show What You Know!

Complete some questions about the reading selection by clicking “Begin Questions” below.