Life in a Drop of Water

Warning:  Be careful with the laser light.  Don’t look at it.  Be careful.  Use some common sense.  😀

Project came from Hackaday and has a better video.

We can use a syringe and a green laser light to observe specimens in a drop of pond water.  As the laser shines through the drop of water, the light slows down and refract causing the image to look larger on the wall.  Check out Drop Magnifier to learn more on how this really works.

I was excited to show this to my class again this year.    This video was taken at home.  We don’t have a large screen, so we taped two sheets of white paper on the wall.  It works best on a large white board.

To help keep the laser steady and hold the dropper, I had my daughter build a Lego Tower.  She did a fine job.

building stand

The large syringe was donated to us by a co-op member, who is a nurse.   🙂  Nurses are happy to supply sterile q-tips, surgical masks, syringes, and barf bags in the name of science.   So give a nurse a hug and ask her for a syringe for this project.

This is a 60 CC syringe. It gave a pretty good size drop at the tip, which is what I wanted to make it easier to shine the laser through.

2014-09-08 012

The tower held the syringe very well, but I had to adjust the angle of the laser to get the beam just right through the drop of water.  It is kind of tricky to get the laser just right. It would be easier to tape down the switch to keep the light on, without having to hold it down with a finger.

Students enjoyed this and they got to see life in a drop of water.


2 responses to “Life in a Drop of Water

  1. I just totally pinned that. Will it work with a red laser, or does it have to be green?

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