Broken

A straw is placed with a diagonal orientation within a half-filled beaker of water. At the surface of the water, the straw appears to be misaligned or broken; the portion of the straw above the water is shifted relative to the image viewed under the water. The bending of the path of light as it passes from the water to air causes the observed distortion of the image of the straw.

 

For more information about the physics of refraction, visit The Physics Classroom Tutorial - www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/refrn/index.cfm.

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Taken on October 30, 2010
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