Science with Shields: Episode #47 – Disappearing Penny

Science with Shields

ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — In this episode of Science with Shields, Christy Shields shows you how to make a penny disappear.

What you need: 

  1. Penny
  2. Clear glass
  3. Plate
  4. Water

Instructions:

Place a penny underneath a glass. Look at it at eye level and notice how you can see the penny. Put the plate over the glass and you can also still see the penny. Now lift the plate and fill the glass up with water. Look at eye level and you will notice the penny has disappeared! Now take the plate off and look into the glass and you will see that the penny is still there.

Science

This happens due to refraction. Everything is seen through light rays. Typically, the rays are unobstructed, and we can see objects. Now when looking through water, the light rays are bending into a whole bunch of different directions and with this refraction, it makes it look like the penny has disappeared. Try this out with different objects and see how it goes.

Check out more Science with Shields episodes on WTAJ Plus.

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