To See or Not to See!

In science class, you have been investigating the properties of light. This activity will help you to better understand the effect different materials have on light.


A large jar half filled with a liquid.


Fill the glass container about halfway with the cooking oil. Place a clear object into the oil. What do you see? Stand back from the glass container and observe what you see. Try placing various clear objects into the container of oil. You should notice that some objects disappear in the oil more completely than others.


What does light travel through? What surfaces does it reflect off? What causes light to reflect and refract as it moves from one clear material to another? What happens if the materials that light is passing through are very similar? Why do you think some objects “disappeared” in this activity?