Skip to main content

Reflection & Refraction

Boy looking through telescope at night

Optical Telescopes

Learn about the history of telescopes and the function of refracting and reflecting optical telescopes.

SIlhouette of a figure examining stars with a telescope

How could you build a refracting telescope using water as the lenses?

Build your own refracting telescope using glasses of water as the lenses.

Large diamond refracting light

Reflection and Refraction

Learn about reflection and refraction and meet Emily Altiere, a PhD student in physics who studies lasers.

Adult and children looking through telescope

The Optics of Telescopes

Learn about telescopes, how they work & why they're important to astronomers.

Why is everything so small down there?

Why is everything so small down there?

Explore how we see things far and near and from different angles. It's all about perspective!

Two faces each with one eye visible

Why do we need two eyes to see?

Ever wondered why we have two eyes (and not one, three or more)? Find how your two eyes work together in this hands-on activity.

A pot of gold at the end of a rainbow

What's in a Rainbow?

Rainbows are beautiful examples of optics in nature. We see them thanks to the reflection and refraction of visible light and water.

Circle of colours

What is white light?

Find out what happens if you spin the colours of the rainbow in this hands-on activity.

Water: A Natural Reflector


7 images of some objects that can reflect light such as mirrors, Mylar balloons and water

Is a green apple always green?

Is a green apple always green?

What does light have to do with colour? Observe some colourful fruit under different conditions to learn why we see the colours we see!

Colourful sunglasses

How Do We See Colour?

How does the human eye see visible light as colour? And why do some people see more colours than others?

How can you see underwater?

How can you see underwater?

Explore how we see things through water.