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Proceedings Paper

Teaching of optics and photonics in a college astronomy course
Author(s): George Tremberger Jr.; Alex Flamholz; Paul J. Marchese; David H. Lieberman; Tak D. Cheung
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Paper Abstract

Astronomy is among the most popular courses that students select to fulfill their college science requirement at Queensborough Community College, New York City. Recent advances in photonics now enable us to observe celestial objects from exoplanets to ultra deep space galaxies that are 13 billion light years away. These results are regularly reported in the popular press such as the New York Times and “Sky & Telescope” magazine. We upgraded our astronomy course to keep pace with these advances in optics and photonics. The laboratory hands-on exercises include observations in our observatory using a telescope with digital camera and CCD; spectrum analysis with grating; Java photonics simulation delivered over the Internet; the use of virtual instruments in optics and photonics written with Labview. Advanced techniques such as interferometry are also included as demonstrations in the laboratory. Light is described light as an electromagnetic wave to avoid confusion with the dictionary description. As a result of these teaching designs, the students gain a clearer understanding of the optics and photonics basis of the astronomy instrumentation reported in popular articles.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 December 2004
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5578, Photonics North 2004: Photonic Applications in Astronomy, Biomedicine, Imaging, Materials Processing, and Education, (9 December 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.567455
Show Author Affiliations
George Tremberger Jr., Queensborough Community College (United States)
Alex Flamholz, Queensborough Community College (United States)
Paul J. Marchese, Queensborough Community College (United States)
David H. Lieberman, Queensborough Community College (United States)
Tak D. Cheung, Queensborough Community College (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5578:
Photonics North 2004: Photonic Applications in Astronomy, Biomedicine, Imaging, Materials Processing, and Education
Marc Nantel; Glen Herriot; Graham H. McKinnon; Leonard MacEachern; Robert A. Weersink; Rejean Munger; Andrew Ridsdale, Editor(s)

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