By OSA TAU Student Chapter
The optical enrichment activity was conducted on 8 April 2016 as part of an open day at school to expose the students to different fields of interest. The students that attended the optical activity chose this activity out of other options available to them that day.
In this activity, we exposed the class to the white light wonders using the OSA Optics Suitcase and explained the motivation of our visit, to revel and to expose our attention to daily phenomena and to understand how it relates to the science and technology. We started with a short introduction on what is light, what we know about it, the students actively participated in the discussion and offered different types of light sources. We summarized this part by stating that light is an energy that has a source and that travels in space.
We started with reviling the colors of white light, following the instructions of the first experiment, the Rainbow Peephole that was distributed to the students in the class. The students were excited to see the colors and the structure. We then presented, the Grating, an optical element that separates the white light. This activity followed the instruction in the suitcase guide, including the explanation that the grating is constructed from an array of very small bumps. This activity was summarized by presenting the connection between the Grating and the Telecommunication, explaining that the grating is being used at the end of the communication line in order to enable transmission of massive data.
The second activity was the Magic Stripes where we have used the Slinky to demonstrate how a linear wave behaves. The students experimented with the two polarizers and saw how it transmitted less light when the polarizers when they are perpendicular to each other. The students placed each time one of the elements in the kit and followed the change of color when turning the polarizer.
The third activity – was the demonstration of liquid crystal, explaining the general idea of liquid crystal. Since the liquid crystal sheet is very sensitive to temperature, we brought covered ice cubes, so the students had been able to cool the sheets before testing them. We have asked them to place the magic patch on the inside of their wrist. There was quite an excitement about the change in colors, and the question if there are any Vampires at the class was quite fun for them. At the end we did ask where the colors are coming from, one of the students did answer correctly. We summarized using transparency shows the use of liquid crystal in medicine to enables to see if one smokes (too much), or not.
We ended the activity with a brief description how the liquid crystal screen in TVs works. How the optical elements we get acquainted, in the optical activity: the polarizers and the liquid crystals are the major parts in the liquid crystal screens and in our technology in general.
Thank you to the Rochester Local Section and OSA for providing the Optical Suitcase for us to demonstrate.
Posted: 28 April 2016 by
OSA TAU Student Chapter
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