Unit 5: Geometric Optics and Light | Physics Web Links


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Chapter 23: Light and Reflection

  • Foucault Speed of Light—This site provides two videos of Foucault's spinning mirror apparatus showing the principal of operation. Under “Instrument scientifique,” choose the selection with “Foucault” in the title. Bilingual (French and English subtitles).
  • Albedo of Enceladus—This is a somewhat technical article found in the Journal Science that discusses possible reasons for Enceladus's high albedo.
  • Concave Mirror Reflections—This links to an interactive animation demonstrating the geometric optics of concave mirrors. Click on the “View Online (free)” button.
  • Diverging Mirror Reflections—This site provides many physics-related, interactive Java applets. For a demonstration of virtual image formation in a convex mirror, click on the applet titled “Image Formation by a Diverging Mirror.”

Chapter 24: Refraction

  • Museum of Glass—This is an interesting resource for learning many things about glass, glass products, glass as art, and the history of glass through time. Links are provided to the museum itself.
  • Optics Bench—This is a comprehensive interactive optics bench that permits experimentation with various combinations of optical elements, including multiple lenses, mirrors, point and beam light sources. Site includes many lessons that permits formal instruction.

Chapter 25: Wave Optics

  • Single-Slit Diffraction—This site provides many physics-related, interactive Java applets. For a demonstration of single slit diffraction, click on the applet titled “Single Slit Diffraction.”
  • Double-Slit Diffraction—This page provides an interactive demonstration of Young's double-slit diffraction experiment. Many aspects of the physics of light are illustrated.
  • The Wave Model of Light—This links to the Annenberg Media Video on Demand site. For a classroom video lecture presentation of light, click on the icon for Item 40, “Optics.”
  • Laser Animation—This site provides many physics-related, interactive Java applets. For an animated demonstration of laser function showing photon pumping and coherent emissions, click on the link “The Laser.”

Chapter 26: Using Light

  • Leeuwenhoek’s Legacy—This website provides informative microphotographs taken through Leeuwenhoek’s microscope, plus many links to articles discussing his contributions to science.

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