For our second meeting we were a group of six, as expected, with three new
students: Sharon and Gwen from Port Jefferson HS and Amy from Riverhead
HS. We were able to talk about a lot of optics principles and show more
demonstrations, in part by having the "experienced" group work with the
"newcomers." Optics phenomena demonstrated included reflection,
refraction, total internal reflection, colors from interference,
spectral lamps, and diffraction.
The pictures above show students pondering the appearance of light from overhead fluorescent lights through "rainbow glasses" that create a two-dimensional diffraction pattern. How is the color pattern from fluorescent lights different from the color pattern of incandescent lights, and why?
Next time we will start working on mini-projects, probably in three groups of two. Some of the possible topics are 1) measuring the index of refraction of materials; 2) studying colors in thin films; and 3) learning about light guides and optical fibers.