Refraction and The Invisible Beaker

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(votes cast: 18)
License: Creative Commons Attribution Refraction and The Invisible Beaker Dennis Harrison
Views: 1222
06 Jun, 2011


How to make a beaker disappear, using only vegetable oil and a little knowledge of refractive indices.

Director's Notes:

The short video explains explains refraction and then demonstrates how by using certain materials with similar refractive indices, (sounds expensive, but really its a pyrex beaker and some vegetable oil) it is possible to make the beaker invisible. After surprising people in my school, from students to physics teachers, I decided this would be an interesting topic for my video.

I was the only person involved in the making of the video — aside from my chemistry teacher letting me borrow the 2 beakers I used. I am 16 years old, I filmed the video with a tripod and my camera, planned and edited the entire video myself.

Winner: Best Demonstration, 2011

Nominee: IOP Best Physics Film (Secondary), 2011

SciCast Notes:

Ooh, lovely!

This is a really nicely-made film of a terrific experiment. You don’t see it done very often, partly because all the books say you should use unmarked beakers (which nobody has) and glycerine (which is quite expensive in the quantities you need). So full marks for not being discouraged, and for making a lovely film of the process.

Good clear close-ups, too. Regular viewers will know I keep banging on about close-ups.


— Jonathan

1 comment:

I really liked this - a great demo and pretty well explained and filmed. This effect is why I put gloops of oil on my microscope objectives before experiments, the idea of 'index matching'.