Can You Bend Light Like This?

PBS_ItsOKToBeSmartPublished: April 12, 2018
Published: April 12, 2018

Does anyone really remember what we used to do when we were bored before we had these hi-tech devices to keep us occupied? In the old days, people just had to be more creative. Next time you feel that life is going too slow, why don’t you put those idle hands to use and play with the fastest thing in the universe. Here are tree experiments that will bend light itself by using nothing but your own two hands.

Try this: close one eye, look at something across the room, preferably something with a nice straight edge or interesting pattern; next, put your finger a few inches in front of your eye, focus on that object and let your eye relax until your finger and the background are slightly out of focus. Look what happens when you move your finger side to side: the light seems to bend around your finger. For some people, it may bend towards the finger, for some it may bend away, but in a few attempts, you should be able to do this quite easily.

What is going on here? Is your finger tugging at the fabric of the universe? Well, just a bit. Everything with mass wraps space by a bit, but your finger isn’t massive enough to be noticeable unless you have a black hole in your finger.

So, what happened to the light around the finger and what other light experiments are there for us? We wouldn’t want to spoil your fun by saying anything more! Grab yourselves a cup of coffee and enjoy the rest of the video!

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