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Spie Press Book

Light Action! Amazing Experiments with Optics
Author(s): Vicki Cobb; Joshua M. Cobb; Theo Cobb
Format Member Price Non-Member Price

Book Description

Faster than anything in the universe! Sustainer of life as we know it!

What is this miraculous, mysterious thing? It’s light. And you can be its master with optics, the science of the future. Optics lets you:
- Bend light around corners
- Stop time with a pair of sunglasses
- Capture light on a silver tray
- Magnify pictures with an ice cube
- Pour light into your palm
- Project a big-screen image from your small TV
- Fool a doorbell with a bike reflector

Once you get your head and hands into optics, the world will never look the same again. That’s a promise.
Illustrated by Theo Cobb.
Ages 11 and up.

Book Details

Date Published: 13 April 2005
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9780819458513
Volume: PM150

Table of Contents
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1. SHEDDING LIGHT ON LIGHT 1

2. BLOCKING LIGHT 9
The Anatomy of a Shadow 10
Making Shadows 14
Thinking of Light as a Stream of Particles 19
Translucency 19
Make a Dark Spot White 20

3. BENDING LIGHT 25
Make Money Appear Before Your Eyes 28
Thinking of Light as Waves 29
False Pencils in Water 33
Hot-Air Mirages . Without a Desert! 37
Lose a Glass in a Glass 38

4. LIGHT BENDERS 43
A Light Bender in Action 48
Watch TV Upside Down on a Piece of Paper 51
A Rear-Projection Projector 54
The Swimming-Pool Effect 56
An Ice Lens 57
Grinding an Ice Lens 60

5. BOUNCING LIGHT 63
Turn On Your TV from Another Room 64
Off-the-Wall TV Control 67
Watch TV with a Curved Mirror 69
Make a Big-Screen TV with a Curved Mirror 71
See the Astigmatism in a Curved Mirror 72

6. GUIDING LIGHT 79
Send Light Through a Glass Baking Dish 80
Make a Coin Disappear in a Bowl of Water 86
Wipe Away the Image of a Coin with Your Hand 88
Transparent Gelatin that Light Cannot
Get Through 90
Pouring Light 92

7. BREAKING UP LIGHT 97
A Water Prism 98
Colored Lights Through Water 100
Make a Rainbow in Your Backyard 102
Make a Sunset in a Glass of Water 103

8. COLOR 109
Make a Green Gumball Black 110
Mixing Light 112
Color Wheel 115
Color Television and Color Print 117
Clear Glass that Light Cannot Get Through 120
"Whiter than White" Soap 121
Lasers 123
Unseen Colors 125

9. MAKING WAVES 129
The Ripple Tank 130
Diffraction Between Wax Blocks 133
Interference in a Ripple Tank 135
Bubble Films 138
Oil Slicks 141
Colors in Clear Acetate 141
A Pocket Comb with False Teeth 142
Feather Fringes 144
Colorful Compact Discs 145
Holograms 146

10. POLARIZED LIGHT 153
The Moving Rope and the Gate 153
A Glare Hunt 156
Block Light with a Piece of Transparent Tape 157
Make a Rainbow Appear and Disappear 160
Sunglasses that Stop Time 163
Stressed-Out Gelatin 164
Hunting for Stress 165
The Depolarizer 167
Light-Flopping Syrup 167

11. CATCHING LIGHT 173
Make a Ghost Appear on a Wall 175
The Blind Spot 177
Catch Light on a Silver Tray 180
Searching for Electric Eyes 182
Fool a Doorbell 184
Photosynthesis 186
The Light that Makes Food 187
Light and the Energy Crisis 191

Index 193

Preface

Light makes the world visible to us. But what is light? For centuries scientists have tried to answer that question by experimenting with light and observing its behavior. Now you can, too.

Here, in dozens of exciting experiments, using materials that are readily available, you can make your own scientific observations. What amazing things happen when you block, bend, bounce, catch, or scatter light? A pencil appears to bend in a glass of water. Light pours out of a glass jar. You can make a sunset in a glass of water. Figure out how to polarized sunglasses block glare. Observe the results as green plants catch and transform light. Each experiment will reveal something about the nature of light.

Vicki Cobb and Josh Cobb provide easy, fun-to-follow instructions. Theo Cobbs's clear, appealing illustrations make the experiments virtually foolproof. Try just one, and you�ll want to do more! You�ll be on your way to discovering the world of optics.


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