AAS 197, January 2001
Session 98. Innovations in Teaching Astronomy II
Joint Oral, Wednesday, January 10, 2001, 1:30-3:00pm, Royal Palm 3/4

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[98.04] Seeing the LITE

K. Brecher (Boston U.)

We are developing a number of eyes-on experiments, lecture demonstrations and Web based JAVA applets about light, optics, color and visual perception as part of “Project LITE - Light Inquiry Through Experiments”. These are intended for incorporation into introductory level university science courses in astronomy, physics and other disciplines. In this presentation, several of the new LITE demonstrations applicable to large astronomy and physics classes will be shown. One demonstration involves novel materials to display Rayleigh scattering (blue skies, red sunsets and interstellar reddening - NOT redshift!) - including polarization effects. Others employ incandescent bulbs, LED's and laser pointers to illustrate fluorescence, diffraction and other physical and quantum optics phenomena. Still other demonstrations utilize transparent plastic moire overlays as well as computer animated moire patterns to show a variety of astronomical and physical phenomena. We will also display some of our applets posted at the Project LITE Web site (http://www.bu.edu/smec/lite) as well as the associated kit of optical materials we have developed for use by individual students in their own homes or dormitory rooms.

This work was supported in part by NSF grant # DUE-9950551.

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