Playing With Light

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This course is an entirely laboratory-based exploration in optics. Students will be using mirrors, lenses, gratings, filters, and other optical equipment to explore the behavior of light. We will begin by investigating some simple rules that govern how light behaves at interfaces, such as reflective and refractive surfaces (i.e., mirrors and lenses), and then use this knowledge to build simple optical systems. We will also examine what happens when light is forced to travel through very tiny openings, exploiting its physical properties on a much smaller scale. Students will work in groups to explore a variety of phenomena and to build optical systems.