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Wave Reflection, Absorption & Transmittance Activity for Kids

Disappearing Beaker DIY

  • Duration: 15-20 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: $0 to $10

Learn how to make a version of a ghost crystal by making glass disappear in vegetable oil!

Material List

  • 1Beaker Made of Borosilicate Glass
  • 1Clear Glass Container
  • 1Liter of Vegetable Oil

Instructions

  • 1Put the borosilicate glass beaker into the larger glass container.
  • 2Fill the beaker and then the container with the oil about 2/3 of the way to the top.
  • 3Watch the beaker disappear!

How It Works

The borosilicate glass beaker disappeared! This is possible because the oil and glass have very similar optical properties. Light waves transmit through both materials without much reflection, absorption, or refraction. Normally, we see objects when light reflects off of them and into our eyes. Because of the similar properties of these two materials, light passes from one into the other without reflecting into our eyes, so we cannot see the beaker!

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