Review Light-2

While this spoon appears to have a broken handle, it is just the result of how the water affects the light. This is an example of:

  1. Refraction

    Yes! Refraction bends light as it moves from one substance to another. As the light passes from the water to the air, its path is changed, making it appear that the spoon is broken.
  2. Reflection

    No. While some light is reflected from the glass, it is not responsible for the bending of the light.
  3. Absorption

    No. The water and glass are both clear, telling us that very little of the light is being absorbed. Absorption does not bend the light.
  4. Diffusion

    No. Diffusion is the scattering of light as it is reflected in many different directions. Diffusion would make the image cloudy and blurry.

Click to see which state standards this question tests, and which of my videos, experiments, and other resources support that topic.


SC.3.P.10.3 Demonstrate that light travels in a straight line until it strikes an object or travels from one medium to another.

SC.3.P.10.4 Demonstrate that light can be reflected, refracted, and absorbed.

SC.7.P.10.2 Observe and explain that light can be reflected, refracted, and/or absorbed.


UT.8.IV.1.b Compare the transfer of energy (i.e., sound, light, earthquake waves, heat) through various mediums.


1-PS4-3 Plan and conduct an investigation to determine the effect of placing objects made with different materials in the path of a beam of light.

MS-PS4-2 Develop and use a model to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials.