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Science: Science Week 2015

2015 International Year of Light



Optical Illusions

Optical Illusions - This website outlines what optical illusions are and gives examples of a range of optical illusions.

What is an Optical Illusion? - This website describes what an optical illusion is as well as providing examples.

Contrasting colours can even give you the illusion of motion, as in this trippy graphic by Paul Nasca.

The same principle is at work in this motion illusion by Cmglee, which is based on Akiyoshi Kitaoka's "Rotating Snakes." As you stare at the image, the circles will appear to turn.

Read the article 'Optical illusions show how colour can trick the eye.'


Canadian Painter Rob Gonsalves Optical Illusion Paintings

Tabletop Towers

The Phenom Floating

Read the article This artist makes mind-bending optical illusion paintings.




How Light Works - This website outlines the historical theories behind how light works. It also explains how light can travel as a rays, waves, and particles as well as being measured by frequency.



Colour is such an everyday phenomenon that we don't usually give it a lot of thought. But colours can produce surprising effects, for example, in the way they mix together. We can also use colour directly in science to learn about the universe.

The activities for this topic explore colour in two different ways.

  • Made from Dots. Many printed colour pictures are not solid color at all, but rather a sea of dots in three or four different colours. You will explore how the process works in this activity.
  • Stellar Spectra. Astronomers can look at starlight and tell what the star is made of. You will look at light, separated into a spectrum, and figure out the elements from the spectral lines you see.
  • Shining the light on a more sustainable globe How has the lighting we use in our homes changed? Compare light globes now with those used a few years ago. For one thing, their shape is different. How else are they different? Why do you think they have changed?

Mixing Primary Colours of Light

Links to other websites that have colour mixing games:

Mixing Primary Colours

Colour Mixing

Isaac Newton: Colour Spectrum Experiment

Newton and the Colour Spectrum - This website outlines Isaac Newton's colour spectrum experiment.

Newton and Light - This website outlines the reasons behind Newton's experiment and the methods undertaken in the experiment.

Newton and the Colour of Light - This website outlines Newton's Prism Experiment and his Reflecting Telescope.

Sunsets and Rainbows

What Determines Sky's Colors At Sunrise And Sunset? - This article explains scattering which determines the colour of the sky at sunset and sunrise as well as why the sky is blue during the day.

How Do Rainbows Form? - This article explains how rainbows form, in particular how different colours are created.


Refraction and Sight - This website describes the how light refracts when a pencil is placed in water.

Causes of Refraction - This website outlines the causes of refraction.




Parts of the Eye - This website has an interactive eye that you can click on each of the parts and read a brief description about how they function.

Parts of the Eye - This website describes what each part of the eye consists of.

Eye Diagram - This website is interactive as it allows you to click on the different parts of the eye and read about each parts function.

3D Eye - This website has a 3D eye which is interactive and can be rotated.