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Proceedings Paper

The laser propagation demonstration: a STEM-based outreach project
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Paper Abstract

Investment in laser technology has led to significant advances in remote sensing, astronomy, industrial processing, and medical technology. To celebrate this rich heritage and promote public awareness in optics and photonics, the SPIE Student Chapter at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) developed the Laser Propagation Demonstration (LPD). This interactive demonstration serves as one of AFIT’s legacy outreach projects for events involving education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Initially developed with funding from a LaserFest grant awarded by SPIE in 2010, the goal was to develop a simple hands-on demonstration to highlight the optical effects of diffraction, refraction, and attenuation on laser propagation. Since then, the LPD has undergone several upgrades (thanks to the continued support from a 2012 SPIE Education Outreach Grant) to better highlight these optical phenomena and make it more engaging for a wider range of audiences. This paper celebrates the continued success of the LPD and shares the knowledge gained with an overview of its design and use in STEM-based outreach events.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 September 2014
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 9188, Optics Education and Outreach III, 91880D (15 September 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2060879
Show Author Affiliations
Mark F. Spencer, Air Force Institute of Technology (United States)
Michael J. Steinbock, Air Force Institute of Technology (United States)
Milo W. Hyde, Air Force Institute of Technology (United States)
Michael A. Marciniak, Air Force Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9188:
Optics Education and Outreach III
G. Groot Gregory, Editor(s)

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