Editor selections by Topic and Unit

The Physics Front is a free service provided by the AAPT in partnership with the NSF/NSDL.

Report Detail Page

Item Picture
Jelly Science: Exploring Light with Water Pearls
written by Rebecca Vieyra
sub author: Caroline Hall
This AAPT lesson blends physics, geometric optics, and biology as students explore image formation by using "water pearls", a hydrating polymer product that expands in water and behaves as a convex lens. By observing objects through the water pearls, students will explore properties of light refraction and learn about focal length of a lens. The water pearls allow learners to visualize image inversion in a convex lens and relate this phenomenon to the vision process in the human lens. They will also observe that the water pearls are invisible when immersed in water because they have the same refractive index as water. The extension activity challenges students to ponder what would happen if our brains did not reorient inverted images so we see them "rightside up".
Editor's Note: Human and mammalian eyes are similar to water pearls in that they invert images. As light rays refract through the human cornea and again through the human crystalline lens, our vision produces an inverted (and backwards) image on the retina of our eyes. This inverted image gets sent through the optic nerve on a pathway to the occipital lobe of the brain, where it is reoriented to be "rightside up". It's an evolutionary marvel, and it happens instantaneously.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Optics
- Geometrical Optics
= Thin Lens
- The Eye
- High School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Instructor Guide/Manual
= Lesson/Lesson Plan
= Problem/Problem Set
= Student Guide
- Assessment Material
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Lesson Plan
- Activity
- Assessment
- New teachers
  • Currently 0.0/5

Want to rate this material?
Login here!


Intended User:
Educator
Format:
application/pdf
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Association of Physics Teachers
Keywords:
focal length, lens, magnification, real image
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created January 11, 2017 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
January 11, 2017 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
January 7, 2017

Next Generation Science Standards

Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer (MS-PS4)

Students who demonstrate understanding can: (6-8)
  • Develop and use a model to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials. (MS-PS4-2)

Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer (HS-PS4)

Students who demonstrate understanding can: (9-12)
  • Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning behind the idea that electromagnetic radiation can be described either by a wave model or a particle model, and that for some situations one model is more useful than the other. (HS-PS4-3)

Disciplinary Core Ideas (K-12)

Electromagnetic Radiation (PS4.B)
  • When light shines on an object, it is reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through the object, depending on the object's material and the frequency (color) of the light. (6-8)
  • The path that light travels can be traced as straight lines, except at surfaces between different transparent materials (e.g., air and water, air and glass) where the light path bends. (6-8)
  • A wave model of light is useful for explaining brightness, color, and the frequency-dependent bending of light at a surface between media. (6-8)

Crosscutting Concepts (K-12)

Cause and Effect (K-12)
  • Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural systems. (6-8)
Systems and System Models (K-12)
  • Models can be used to predict the behavior of a system, but these predictions have limited precision and reliability due to the assumptions and approximations inherent in models. (9-12)
Structure and Function (K-12)
  • The functions and properties of natural and designed objects and systems can be inferred from their overall structure, the way their components are shaped and used, and the molecular substructures of its various materials. (9-12)

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices (K-12)

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions (K-12)
  • Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 9–12 builds on K–8 experiences and progresses to explanations and designs that are supported by multiple and independent student-generated sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories. (9-12)
    • Apply scientific principles and evidence to provide an explanation of phenomena and solve design problems, taking into account possible unanticipated effects. (9-12)
Developing and Using Models (K-12)
  • Modeling in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to using, synthesizing, and developing models to predict and show relationships among variables between systems and their components in the natural and designed worlds. (9-12)
    • Use a model to predict the relationships between systems or between components of a system. (9-12)
    • Use a model to provide mechanistic accounts of phenomena. (9-12)
Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information (K-12)
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to evaluating the validity and reliability of the claims, methods, and designs. (9-12)
    • Communicate scientific information (e.g., about phenomena and/or the process of development and the design and performance of a proposed process or system) in multiple formats (including orally, graphically, textually, and mathematically). (9-12)
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
R. Vieyra, , 2016, WWW Document, (http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14299&DocID=4652).
AJP/PRST-PER
R. Vieyra, Jelly Science: Exploring Light with Water Pearls, , 2016, <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14299&DocID=4652>.
APA Format
Vieyra, R. (2016). Jelly Science: Exploring Light with Water Pearls. Retrieved May 26, 2017, from http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14299&DocID=4652
Chicago Format
Vieyra, Rebecca. "Jelly Science: Exploring Light with Water Pearls." 2017. http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14299&DocID=4652 (accessed 26 May 2017).
MLA Format
Vieyra, Rebecca. Jelly Science: Exploring Light with Water Pearls. 2016. 26 May 2017 <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14299&DocID=4652>.
BibTeX Export Format
@techreport{ Author = "Rebecca Vieyra", Title = {Jelly Science: Exploring Light with Water Pearls}, Month = {January}, Year = {2017} }
Refer Export Format

%A Rebecca Vieyra
%T Jelly Science: Exploring Light with Water Pearls
%D January 7, 2017
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14299&DocID=4652
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Report
%A Vieyra, Rebecca
%D January 7, 2017
%T Jelly Science: Exploring Light with Water Pearls
%8 January 7, 2017
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14299&DocID=4652


Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.

Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

Save to my folders

Supplements

Contribute

Similar Materials