Grade Level: 3rd - 6th; Type: Physical Science
To investigate how optical distances change the apparent size of an object as seen through a magnifying lens.
- How does a magnifying lens make things look larger?
- Does the distance the lens is from the object affect the optical size of the object?
Things look larger when you look at them through a magnifying lens. Magnifying lens make it easier to see small things. Magnifying lens help people see things better. Magnifying lens are used in eyeglasses, telescopes, microscopes, binoculars, and magnifying glasses.
- large magnifying glass
- clear tape
- wax paper
- fine tip marker
- modeling clay
- word cut from a magazine
- Gather the necessary materials.
- Place a piece of clear tape about the same length as the diameter of the lens of the magnifying glass on the wax paper. Use the ruler to mark inches, half-inches, quarter-inches, and eighth-inches along the tape. Then place the tape across the diameter of the lens.
- Measure the length of the word cut from a magazine. Record the measurement.
- Use the modeling clay to stand the ruler upright on a table.
- Set the word cut from a magazine beside the standing ruler.
- Start by holding the magnifying glass 10 inches above the word. Record the measurement of the word at 10 inches. Then hold the magnifying glass 9 inches above the word. Again record the measurement. Continue moving the magnifying glass closer to the word in 1-inch increments, recording the size of the word. Record the measurements.
- Magnification is the size of the word as seen through the magnifying glass divided by the actual size of the word. Use a calculator to determine the magnification of the magnifying glass.
- Analyze the data and draw a conclusion.
Terms/Concepts: magnification: to appear larger power: the degree to which something appears larger lens: a piece of glass or plastic that is used to make something appear larger or more clear optical distance: the distance a lens is to the object being looked at optics: the study of how light travels through different things such as a magnifying lens; Magnifying lens make it easier to see small things and to see things more clearly.
“Magnification” http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/357522/magnification “Simple Magnification” at http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/scienceopticsu/microscopy/simplemagnification/index.html “How Does a Magnifying Glass Work?” at http://www.wisegeek.com/how-does-a-magnifying-glass-work.htm “How Does a Magnifying Lens Work? By Diana Doherty at http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4568247_magnifying-lens-work.html