How do Concave and Convex Objects Refract Light Differently?

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Updated on Sep 25, 2013

Grade Level: 1st - 3rd; Type: Physical Science

Objective:

This simple experiment will teach kids about convex/concave objects and how they reflect light. They will also learn the difference between concave and convex.

Research Questions:

  • What is the difference between concave and convex objects?
  • What are some applications of concave and convex parts?

There are many concave and convex objects around us. In fact, we eat with one everyday. That's right, a spoon is a great example. In fact, all concave objects can be convex and all convex objects can also be concave because everything has at least two sides; it doesn't matter if it is visible or not.

Materials:

  • Flashlight
  • Spoon
  • A dark room

Experimental Procedure

  1. In a dark room, hold a spoon with the bulged-curved side directly facing a flashlight about three inches away. Turn the flashlight on. What do you see?
  2. Now flip the spoon over to the curved-inwards side and shine a flashlight at it as you did in step 1. Now what do you see?
  3. Compare the difference in light reflection.

Terms/Concepts: convex; concave; light

References:

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