Light as a Detective

Light as a Detective Lesson

Driving Question: How can electromagnetic waves be used to determine the shape and structure of a nanoscopic object?  Is light a wave or a particle?

Synopsis: Students will investigate the diffraction patterns that are created by different structures.

Physical Science NYSSLS Standards: Students will
  • Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning behind the idea that electromagnetic radiation can be described either by a wave model or a particle model (quantum theory), and that for some situations one model is more useful than the other.
  • Communicate technical information about how some technological devices use the principles of wave behavior and wave interactions with matter to transmit and capture information and energy.

OPT 110 Topics: 

Sources of Light – fluorescence, the spectrum of light sources
Our Understanding of Light – properties of waves
How Light Behaves – interference, diffraction
Light in Technology and Industry – lasers