6A42.45-Stick in Water

6a4245stick in water

Description: This demonstration shows the refraction of light from water to air.
When viewed at different angles, it looks like the top part of the stick is detached from the bottom.


  • Tall glass container
  • Ruler or wooden pole
  • Water

Setup Procedure:

  1. Fill the container up 2/3 with water.

Demonstration Procedure:

  1. Insert the ruler or pole. Angle it slightly.
  2. Note that it looks like the rule is discontinuous.
  3. This is because of the refraction from the water-air surface.