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Title: A simple apparatus for demonstrating how light rays emanate from a point source
Authors: Kreetha Kaewkhong
Narumon Emarat
Kwan Arayathanitkul
Alex Mazzolini
Mahidol University
Swinburne University of Technology
Keywords: Physics and Astronomy;Social Sciences
Issue Date: 1-Apr-2009
Citation: Physics Teacher. Vol.47, No.4 (2009), 243-245
Abstract: A point source of light sends out light rays in all directions and in straight lines. This is an important concept for all students who study elementary optics at the high school level. Most physics textbooks discuss this topic only briefly.1-6 They usually explain the concept by using two-dimensional diagrams even though a three-dimensional discussion may be more instructive. Much of the commercial demonstration equipment that can be used to explain this concept is very expensive (e.g., the optics kit from Suksapan Panit Company7 in Thailand costs approximately $70 U.S.). This and similar optics kits show that light propagates in straight lines but do not represent where the light beams come from. Because it is an abstract idea, most students still have considerable misunderstanding about this concept.8-F14 This paper describes an effective but inexpensive (approximately $20 U.S.) apparatus to illustrate the behavior of light rays emitted isotropically from a point source of light. The apparatus is simple and is intelligible to students.
ISSN: 19434928
Appears in Collections:Scopus 2006-2010

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