Let’s do a simple experiment. To prepare I’ve cut two silverbeet leaves from the garden. (You might call this chard – it’s the same thing.) Each goes in a glass. One glass is filled with water and the other glass is dry.
Do you see that? See how the stalk in water doesn’t seem to connect to the stalk in the air? It’s called REFRACTION.
It looks bigger in water too.
We don’t always see things as they are!
When you see something the light has bounced off it and travelled all the way to your eye. Have you heard of a light year? That’s how far light goes in a year. It’s a very, very long way – light is very fast.
In the picture you can see through the water because the light could go through it.
Not only does light travel, but it can also change direction. Light can bend when it moves from air into water, or water into air. (Click here for a simple diagram that shows you how it works.)
You can do this for yourself, maybe with a spoon in a glass of water.
See how the bricks curve behind the glass. That’s also refraction. You can find out more about refraction if you’re interested. There are some links below.
Anyway – that’s not why I cut two leaves.
Why did I cut two?
Can you guess what I’m going to do with them?
Find out more next time.
OTHER NAMES FOR SILVERBEET
There are quite a few! They include chard, Swiss chard, silverbeet, perpetual spinach, spinach beet, crab beet, bright lights, seakale beet, mangold and spinach.
This list is from the wikipedia entry for chard: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chard.
MORE ABOUT REFRACTION AND LIGHT
Cross-posted to Bedtime Science on the SciFund Challenge network.