2009 Advanced Laboratories Conference Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Modifying the optics laboratory for greater conceptual understanding
Abstract: We developed a sequence of optics laboratories which assist the student in understanding critical concepts in optics.  Our approach relies upon discussion, direct confrontation of misconceptions, and leading questions as opposed to a series of detailed, cookbook-like instructions.  Through the labs we build conceptual understanding in subjects like image formation by lenses and mirrors, ray optics, and ultimately elliptical polarization while fostering laboratory independence.  Initial support structure in the laboratory is progressively removed.  In the final three weeks, students are complete an independent research project.  We present details of our laboratory sequence and our impressions of the modifications.  
Supported by NSF Grant #0410760
Abstract Type: Contributed Presentation
Contributed Presentation: Download the Contributed Presentation
Session: Session XVI - Teaching the Optics Course

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Timothy T. Grove
Department of Physics, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne
2101 Coliseum Blvd E
Fort Wayne, IN 46805
Phone: 260-481-6153
and Co-Presenter(s)
Mark F. Masters