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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Integration of optics into the undergraduate physics curriculum at Millersville University
Author(s): Natalia M. Dushkina

Paper Abstract

A discovery based lab course in applied optics was developed and will be offered for the first time at Millersville University (MU) in the fall of 2007. The course will deal with fundamental optics and optical techniques in greater depth so that the student is abreast of the activities in the forefront of the field. The goal of the course is to provide hands-on experience and in-depth preparation of our students for graduate programs in optics or as a workforce for new emerging high-tech local industries. The new 300 level course will be required for BS physics majors, but will be open also to the full spectrum of science majors, who have the appropriate background. The optics course consists of four contact hours per week including a one-hour lecture and a three-hour lab. Students will learn applied optics through sequence of discovery based laboratory experiences. The guided but open-ended approach provides excellent practice for the academic model of science research. The lab experiments are chosen from a broad range of topics in optics and lasers, as the emphasis is on geometrical optics, geometrical aberrations in optical systems, wave optics, microscopy, spectroscopy, polarization, birefringence, laser generation, laser properties and applications, and optical standards. The starting budget of about $60,000 provided state-of-the-art lab equipment from Newport Co. and MICOS Co. The attraction of the course is shown by the active registration among physics, chemistry and biology majors.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 June 2007
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 9665, Tenth International Topical Meeting on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics, 96651J (3 June 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.2207327
Show Author Affiliations
Natalia M. Dushkina, Millersville Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9665:
Tenth International Topical Meeting on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics
Marc Nantel, Editor(s)

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