How to Measure Magnification

If you ever try to see an object through a magnifying glass, it looks bigger than the actual size. This apparent size of the object when viewed through a magnifying glass keeps changing as an observer moves the magnifying glass away and close to the object regularly. Hence, the working of a magnifying glass makes the observer wonder how the size keeps changing and how the distance of the magnifying glass from the object affects the optical size. Are you a primary school student? Do you have to come with an idea for a science project? If the answer to these questions is yes then this article can provide you with one good idea for your project. It investigates the change in apparent size of an object due to change in the optical distance. If you wish to perform the experiment make sure you have the following available:

– Large magnifying glass
– Scotch tape
– Wax paper
– Fine tip marker
– Scissors
– Modeling clay
– Word or letter cut from a magazine or newspaper
– Ruler


  • 1

    Gather required material

    Once you have all the materials for the experiment available, gather them in one place so you don’t have to rush to fetch them as/when required.

  • 2

    Getting Started

    Place a length of scotch tape on a wax paper. Ensure that it is of the same length as the diameter of the magnifying glass. Mark inches, half-inches, quarter-inches, and eighth-inches along the tape with the help of a ruler and place the tape along the diameter of the lens.

  • 3

    Cutting word from a magazine

    Cut a word or letter from a newspaper or a magazine - This will be used as the object. Measure its length and note it down.

  • 4

    Make the object stand

    With the help of modeling clay, make a ruler stand upright on a table and position that word or letter right beside the standing ruler.

  • 5

    Holding magnifying glass

    Hold the magnifying glass 10 inches above the word and take the measurement at this point. Now move the magnifying glass an inch below and take the measurement. Keep on taking the measurements till you are left with only an inch.

  • 6

    Draw Conclusion

    After you have taken a set of measurements, divide the magnified length of the object by the actual size, which will give you the magnification. Make a conclusion based on the readings you obtain. This conclusion will tell that as the magnifying glass is moved away, the object seems smaller and as it is moved closer to the object, it starts appearing bigger.

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