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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Teaching adaptive optics concepts in the high school classroom using an active engagement, experimental approach
Author(s): Robert T. Sparks; Stephen M. Pompea; Constance E. Walker; Erin F. C. Dokter

Paper Abstract

Adaptive optics is rarely mentioned in high school physics classes due to its complex nature but is a valuable way to introduce key optics concepts that have practical applications. Over the last three years, we have been developing a series of hands-on activities targeted at high school students addressing various topics in adaptive optics. Using only high school math, these activities build a conceptual understanding of the processes involved in modern adaptive optics systems. The topics include atmospheric distortion, Shack-Hartmann sensors, and flexible mirrors. We will outline the activities as well as the results of classroom testing.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 August 2010
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 7783, Optics Education and Outreach, 77830C (31 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.862633
Show Author Affiliations
Robert T. Sparks, National Optical Astronomy Observatory (United States)
Stephen M. Pompea, National Optical Astronomy Observatory (United States)
Constance E. Walker, National Optical Astronomy Observatory (United States)
Erin F. C. Dokter, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7783:
Optics Education and Outreach
G. Groot Gregory, Editor(s)

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