Introduction to the properties of light, its interaction with matter and its dual nature (wave - particle).

How do our eyes work? How do we perceive colour? Why is the sky blue during the day and red at sunset? How do optical fibres work? What is light?

The aim of the course is to familiarize students with the properties of light and its interaction with matter. Students will observe such phenomena as reflection, refraction, diffusion and scattering and will explore the formation of rainbows, the colour of the sky, vision, colour perception and technological applications like lasers and optical fibers.

2nd grade of Lyceum students take things a step further as they discuss electromagnetic radiation and explore polarization, diffraction and interference of light. They are also introduced to the dual (wave–particle) nature of light through experiments concerning the absorption and emission of radiation by matter.


Topics Covered

  1. Experiments: reflection, refraction, diffusion, total internal reflection, scattering.
  2. Newton’s light spectrum.
  3. Lenses and mirrors.
  4. Why is the sky blue during the day and red at sunset? Scattering of light.
  5. How do we perceive colour? Is colour an intrinsic property of objects?
  6. The wave nature of light (2nd grade of Lyceum).
  7. Experiments: polarization, diffraction and interference (2nd grade of Lyceum).
  8. Maxwell: light as an electromagnetic wave (2nd grade of Lyceum).
  9. Transverse waves and wave interference (2nd grade of Lyceum).
  10. The particle nature of light.
  11. Absorption and emission of light (2nd grade of Lyceum).

Learning Objectives

Introduction to light and its properties.
Demonstration of complex concepts in a simple, interesting and fun way.
Develop critical thinking.
Establish the relationship between science and technology.
Recognize scientific and technological applications to everyday life.