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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Some remarks of teaching "The Concepts in Experimental Optics" for students in natural sciences in Brazil

Paper Abstract

In Brazil, we’ve perceived that there is resistance to the learning of Optics by students who are not from the area of physics. The traditional way of teaching optics requires a prior knowledge of calculus that is not easy to students of the natural sciences. In order to solve this problem, we have developed an experimental optics discipline for undergraduate students in nature sciences: Concepts in Experimental Optics (Conceitos de Óptica Experimental, EACH-USP). This course is divided into three parts: (I) The Origin of Light, (II) The Path of Light and (III) The Light Destination. In the first part, we work with light emission spectra, continuum and ray spectra, using spectral lamps and everyday lamps. The second part presents the concepts and applications of Geometrical Optics and Wave Optics, including Geometrical Theory of Diffraction. The third part is about the absorption of light by matter with application in light detectors and photosynthesis. In the first lesson, we introduce the subject of human vision functioning, for interpretation of colors. The human vision is resumed in the third part. In Geometrical Optics we use images from works by artists such as René Magritte and M. C. Escher to encourage discussion about imaging. The emphasis of the discipline is to understand natural phenomena with as few calculations as possible and to encourage the demonstrations that can be made with everyday objects. We have taught this subject twice, 2017 and 2018, totaling 27 approved students with an average grade of approximately 87%.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 July 2019
PDF: 17 pages
Proc. SPIE 11143, Fifteenth Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2019, 1114316 (2 July 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2520615
Show Author Affiliations
Alberto Tufaile, Univ. de São Paulo (Brazil)
Adriana P. B. Tufaile, Univ. de São Paulo (Brazil)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11143:
Fifteenth Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2019
Anne-Sophie Poulin-Girard; Joseph A. Shaw, Editor(s)

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