Bending Pencil Using Water Experiment

Bending Pencil Experiment

Bending Pencil Experiment: Can you bend your ordinary pencil using your hands? I am sure that it is impossible to bend. If you put too much of pressure, the pencil is going to break. Let us bend a pencil with a glass of water. This is a very simple science experiment that needs almost no safety measures.

Try it yourself

You need:

You just need a glass tumbler, water, and a pencil to do this experiment.

  1. Glass tumbler – 1
  2. Water – 2/3 portion of the glass tumbler
  3. Pencil – 1

What next?

Step 1: Fill the glass tumbler to its 2/3 with water.

Step 2: Place the pencil in the water within the glass tumbler. The pencil must be placed in such a way that it is tipped to one side.

Step 3: Look through the front of the glass tumbler. Note your observation. Now look at the pencil from different angles and note your observations.


When you look through the front of the glass tumbler, you will notice that the pencil is bent. The logic is simple; When light passes through water, it bends. This is because the density of water and air are different – water is more dense than air. The bending of light (as in our experiment) as it passes from a particular medium to a different medium is known as refraction. As the light rays bend, when it falls into our eyes, it gives an illusion to us that the pencil is bend too. This means that the water is incapable of bending the pencil in reality but can create an illusion.

If enjoyed the bending pencil experiment, try our related experiments on refraction here

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