What is the vital piece of equipment you must not forget if you are on vacation or having a birthday party? Your camera! To most people, a camera is simply a device for taking snapshots of their favorite people and places. In fact, modern cameras are sophisticated light-recording machines that make use of the very latest breakthroughs in technology and computer science.
Cameras work in a similar way to your eyes, but they make a permanent record of a scene on film, or digitally by collecting light from that scene and turning it into a picture. Although light appears to be white, it is actually made up of light of many colors like a rainbow. The first experiment shows you how to break the light spectrum into its component parts by shining light through water.
Cameras have three basic parts. The camera body holds the film. The shutter opens to allow light to come through to the lens. The lens bends rays of light and directs them onto the film to make a picture. In the second experiment, you can collect light from a scene to make a picture, in the same way that a camera works.
YOU WILL NEED
- Split light into a rainbow:
- Mirror, dish,
- reusable adhesive,
- white card.
- Make your own viewer:
- Small cardboard box, scissors, ruler, thin card, sharp pencil, tape, tracing paper.
SPLIT LIGHT INTO A RAINBOW
Carefully lean the mirror against the inner side of the dish. Use two pieces of reusable adhesive to stick both sides of the mirror to the dish at an angle as shown.
Pour water into the dish until it is about 1 ½in in depth. Notice that as you fill the dish, a wedge-shaped volume of water is created alongside the mirror.
Switch on the flashlight. Shine the beam from the flashlight onto the surface of the water in front of the mirror. This should produce a spectrum or "rainbow."
In dim light, hold up the piece of white card above the dish to look at your rainbow. You may need to alter the positions of the card and flashlight before you can see it properly.
MAKE YOUR OWN VIEWER
Use a pair of sharp scissors to cut a small square hole, approximately ¾ x ¾in, in one end of the cardboard box. You need an adult’s help to do this.
Now cut a much larger square hole in the other end of your cardboard box. Cut out most of the end of the box, as shown in the picture.
Cut a square of thin card board about 1 ½ x 1 ½in. find the center of the card using a ruler. Use a sharp pencil to pierce a tiny hole in the center of the card.
Place the piece of thin card over the outside of the smaller hole on the box. Make sure that the pencil hole is centered over the square hole. Now tape it into place.
Cut a square of tracing paper slightly bigger than the larger hole at the other end of the box. Stick it securely over that hole. Your viewer is now ready to use.
Look out of a window, through the screen of tracing paper. Try tracing the image you see onto the paper.
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