Editor's note: Viewers can see a video of the construction details and demonstration of the apparatus at TPT Online, http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.4767503.1.
While preparing a demonstration on total internal reflection, I accidentally discovered that I could “squeeze” light, that is, compress a divergent beam of light simply by squeezing the water-filled bottle through which the light beam was passing. Read on to learn how you can replicate this mysterious phenomenon.
Unscrew the bottle and save the lid for step two. Fill the bottle with tap water up to about one centimeter below the top. Add light-scattering particles in the form of some milk drops. Close the hole with your palm and shake the bottle.
Use a 4.8-mm or a number 12 or 13 drill bit to drill a hole through the center of the lid. Screw the lid onto the bottle. Insert the LED into the hole. It should be...