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Dear Prof Steve

The Fish water tank glass material could be Convex lens for magnification?


Hello Prashant,

Fish bowls do that, but I expect you are thinking of the tanks with rectangular sides and bottom. So, I am picturing one big lens, instead of being round like lenses usually are, cut so it is rectangular. Hmmm - getting a water tight seal at the edges would be difficult because the thickness would vary along the length of the cut. But assume a water tight seal could be accomplished. Another issue is that it would significantly increase the weight of the empty tank. Another option would be to grind the glass so that only an area in the center magnifies, allowing the edges to be normal flat glass. Then you just need to convince the fish to swim mostly in line with the magnifier. Or could you hold a magnifying lens between the tank and your eye?

I hope this helps,


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Steve Johnson


I would be delighted to help with questions up through the first year of college Physics. Particularly Electricity, Electronics and Newtonian Mechanics (motion, acceleration etc.). I decline questions on relativity and Atomic Physics. I also could discuss the Space Shuttle and space flight in general.


I have a BS in Physics and an MS in Electrical Engineering. I am retired now. My professional career was in Electrical Engineering with considerable time spent working with accelerometers, gyroscopes and flight dynamics (Physics related topics) while working on the Space Shuttle. I gave formal classroom lessons to technical co-workers periodically over a several year period.

BS Physics, North Dakota State University
MS Electrical Engineering, North Dakota State University

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