Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Simulating Light and Optics [undergoing transformations]

The PhET program at the University of Colorado/Boulder has been making quality simulations since the 1990s. I don't recall the exact details of when I started crafting activities around them. But I know I chose to work PhET-based activities into my Conceptual Science lab manuals because I could count on them being universally accessible, free of charge.

When PhET ported its legacy Flash and Java sims into HTML5, some characteristics of the sims changed. Some of the changes broke some of the activities I had written for the original simulations.

Here are the activities I've written for sims involving light and optics.

Pixel Peeping [Color Mixing] at PhET
Using PhET's Color Mixing sim, use a magnifier to examine the pixels of a computer display and see how the display’s colors are created. This activity is included in the Conceptual Physics 12th edition lab manual at Pearson.

Fun With Colors [Color Mixing] copy from my Google Drive
I used this activity as an extension of Pixel Peeping. No magnifier required.

Fringe of Optics [Interference] at PhET
Using PhET's Wave Interference sim, construct the mathematical relationship describing interference patterns.