There’s really no magic at work in the Magic Wand. A lens in a projector produces a real image in space. Waving the wand provides a surface on which the image can reflect, so that light can penetrate the eye. Persistence of vision–the eye’s capacity to retain an image for a short period of time–lets visitors see the individual reflections from the stick as one whole picture. There are also other images in space found by waving the wand closer to or farther away from the projector, but only one image is actually in focus.
- Magic Wand
Build your own version of this exhibit at home
- Persistence of Vision
Your eye and brain hold on to a series of images to form a complete picture.
- Whirling Watcher
Build a device called a stroboscope and learn about persistence of vision.
- Bob Miller’s Light Walk
Simple activities for exploring light and images outside, brought to you by one of the Exploratorium’s most beloved light explorers
- Giant Lens
A lens can also create an image that hangs in midair.