6A42.45 - Refraction - Broken Rod

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Refraction - Broken Rod
Refraction of Light Waves
Area of Study:
Large Beaker or Square Water Tank, and Plexiglas or PVC Rod.

Place the rod in the water filled beaker at a slight angle and observe the rod appears to be broken at the air/water interface. When doing this in the square tank the effect is most visible when looking into the side from an angle and not directly at 90 degrees.

  • Walter Trikosko, "Shooting Fish in a Barrel: A Demonstration of the Refraction of Light", TPT, Vol. 52, # 6, Sept. 2014, p. 367.
  • Bruce Illingworth, "Photo of the Month", TPT, Vol. 50, # 8, Nov. 2012, p. 501.
  • Hubert Biezeveld, Nienke Elsinga, Floor- Jolijn Harmsen, and Rose Koopman, "Analysis of Pictures Taken with an Underwater Camera", TPT, Vol. 43, # 3, Mar. 2005, p. 158 - 161.
  • Denise M. Welt, "Bear to the Left", TPT, Vol. 34, # 7, Oct. 1996, p. 456.
  • Haym Kruglak, "Erratum",  TPT, Vol. 26, # 6, Sept. 1988.
  • Haym Kruglak, "Swimming Pool Optics", TPT, Vol. 25, # 7, Oct. 1987, p. 440.
  • R. C. Nicklon, W. C. Connolly, "Rugged Refraction Demonstration", AJP, Vol. 43, # 1, Jan. 1975, p. 112.
  • Od-5:  Freier and Anderson,  A Demonstration Handbook for Physics.
  • O-210:  "Bent Ruler and Spoon in Glass",  DICK and RAE Physics Demo Notebook.
  • Robert Ehrlich, "10.2, Finding n Using a Pencil in a Glass of Water", Why Toast Lands Jelly-Side Down, p. 157.
  • Pat Murphy, Ellen Macaulay, and the staff of the Exploratorium, "Hey, Who Broke My Straw?"Exploratopia, p. 288.
  • Janice VanCleave, "36, Broken Pencil", Teaching the Fun of Physics, p. 58.
  • H.J. Press,  "Broken Pencil",  Giant Book of Science Experiments, p. 208.
  • T. D. Rossing, C. J. Chiaverina, "# 1, Bent Pencil", Light Science, Physics and Visual Arts, p. 101.
  • Julius Sumner Miller, Q20 & A20, Millergrams I – Some Enchanting Questions for Enquiring Minds, p. 24 & 83.

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