Share Email Print

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
    SHOW Table of Contents | HIDE Table of Contents
    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.


    © SPIE. Terms of Use
    Back to Top
    PREMIUM CONTENT
    Sign in to read the full article
    Create a free SPIE account to get access to
    premium articles and original research
    Forgot your username?
    close_icon_gray