5 Baffling Optical Experiments

Appearances can be deceptive.
Our minds are constantly trying to make sense of the things we perceive but somewhere, the amazingly complex brain falls short and gets tricked into seeing something which doesn’t exist. Every illusion seems like magic until you decipher the science behind it. Try these 5 simple yet Baffling Optical Illusions that will surely leave you stumped.

  •  MANY SIGNS, ONE SUN

1

APPARATUS: Index card, pen, knife.

1) Take the index card and draw different symbols on it. Carefully cut out the symbols with the sharp knife.

2) Go outside in the sunlight and hold the card close to the ground. Examine the shadow cast by the card. Various signs are projected on the card.

3) Now, slowly raise the card towards the sun as high as possible. The different signs now become all the same.

4) They all become circles of light. As you go higher, the circles touch each other.

  •  FUN WITH WATER LENS

2

APPARATUS: Water, cylindrical glass, two arrows on a card.

1) Place the arrow card near the wall.

2) Place a glass in front of the card.

3) Fill water in the glass to cover the lower arrow.

4) Magically, the lower arrow will reverse its direction and appear larger.

  •  TRACING PATH OF LIGHT

3

APPARATUS: Duster, toy laser pointer, and mirror.

1) On shining a laser pointer, you will see a spot of light on the wall. But the actual path of light will remain invisible.

2) Now take a blackboard duster, laden with chalk dust. Tap the duster along the probable path of light. The light beam will suddenly shine amidst the particles of chalk.

3) Shine a laser beam on a mirror at an angle.

4) On dusting the chalk particles you will clearly see both the incident and the reflected rays.

  •  COLOUR SPINNING DISK

4

APPARATUS: Large index card, 8 feet string, scissors, tape, ballpoint pen, black marker, toothpick, and compass.

1) Draw a five-inch circle on the index card and cut it out.

2) Draw a black pattern on the circle as shown. With a ballpoint pen punch two holes, 2.5 cm apart from each other and each 1 cm from the circle.

3) Push part of the string through one hole, then through the other hole. Tie the ends of the string together.

4) Adjust the string so that the disk is at right angles to the string.

5) Tape a toothpick to the string and to one side of the string.

6) Grasp the ends of the string, with one loop in each hand.

7) Move both hands together in a circular motion, causing the disk to rotate. The string will wind up tightly.

8) Now, pull your hands apart quickly. The disk will spin rapidly, causing colours to appear.

  •  PINHOLE VISION-IMPROVER

5

APPARATUS: Index card, paper, thumbtack or pin.

1) With a thumbtack/pin, push a small hole in an index card or paper.

2) Look at the small letters in a book through the paper pinhole.

3) You will see both, near and far away objects more clearly through the pinhole than you do if you look at them without the aid of the pinhole.

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