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published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science
This item is a standards-based lesson plan for grades 6-9 on the nature of light.  It provides a detailed blueprint for reproducing the historical experiment in which William Herschel "accidentally" discovered infrared radiation in 1800.  Students build their own observational device out of a cardboard box and a prism, then use alcohol thermometers to measure  temperatures at various locations along the spectrum they observe.  The lesson promotes early understanding that there is radiation other than visible light being emitted from the sun, and also gives them authentic experience in the scientific process.  The resource includes warm-up questions, a reproducible student lab guide, assessments with answer keys, and plentiful teaching tips.

**NOTE: To ensure student safety, alcohol thermometers are highly recommended over mercury thermometers.

This item is part of a larger collection of lessons, all of which are aligned with specific AAAS Benchmarks for Scientific Literacy.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Electricity & Magnetism
- Electromagnetic Radiation
= Electromagnetic Spectrum
Optics
- Geometrical Optics
= Optical Instruments
- Middle School
- High School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Laboratory
= Lesson/Lesson Plan
= Project
= Student Guide
- Assessment Material
= Answer Key
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- Lesson Plan
- Activity
- Laboratory
- Assessment
- New teachers
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Format:
text/html
Access Rights:
Free access
Restriction:
© 2004 American Association for the Advancement of Science
Keywords:
amplitude, authentic instruction, electromagnetic radiation, experiential learning, experiment, frequency, light, light waves, middle school lesson plans, optics, spectrum, standards-based lessons, wave amplitude, wavelength
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created June 10, 2009 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
September 24, 2014 by Bruce Mason
Last Update
when Cataloged:
January 31, 2009

NSES Content Standards

Con.A: Science as Inquiry
  • K-4: Understandings about Scientific Inquiry
Con.B: Physical Science
  • K-4: Properties of Objects & Materials

This resource is part of 3 Physics Front Topical Units.


Topic: Nature and Behavior of Light
Unit Title: Behavior of Light

Inquiry-Based Investigation                                                            Grades 7-9
In this exceptional inquiry-based lesson plan, students discover that there is radiation other than visible light being emitted from the sun.  They build their own observational device out of a cardboard box, prisms, and alcohol thermometers......replicating the historical experiment in which William Herschel "accidentally" discovered infrared radiation in 1800.  Includes warm-up questions, lab guide, assessments, and teaching tips.  See the resource directly above for a related web-based investigation of the same concept.

Links to Units:

Topic: Nature and Behavior of Light
Unit Title: Electromagnetic Radiation and the Spectrum

In this exceptional inquiry-based lesson plan, students discover that there is radiation other than visible light being emitted from the sun.  They build their own observational device out of a cardboard box, prisms, and alcohol thermometers......replicating the historical experiment in which William Herschel "accidentally" discovered infrared radiation in 1800.  Includes warm-up questions, lab guide, assessments, and teaching tips.

Link to Unit:

Topic: Nature and Behavior of Light
Unit Title: Electromagnetic Radiation and the Spectrum

Inquiry-Based Investigation                                                            Grades 7-9
In this exceptional inquiry-based lesson plan, students discover that there is radiation other than visible light being emitted from the sun.  They build their own observational device out of a cardboard box, prisms, and alcohol thermometers......replicating the historical experiment in which William Herschel "accidentally" discovered infrared radiation in 1800.  Includes warm-up questions, lab guide, assessments, and teaching tips.  See the resource directly below for a related web-based investigation of the same concept.

Links to Units:
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Record Link
AIP Format
(American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DC, 2004), WWW Document, (http://sciencenetlinks.com/lessons/sensing-the-invisible-the-herschel-experiment/).
AJP/PRST-PER
Science NetLinks: Sensing the Invisible: The Herschel Experiment, (American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DC, 2004), <http://sciencenetlinks.com/lessons/sensing-the-invisible-the-herschel-experiment/>.
APA Format
Science NetLinks: Sensing the Invisible: The Herschel Experiment. (2009, January 31). Retrieved November 27, 2014, from American Association for the Advancement of Science: http://sciencenetlinks.com/lessons/sensing-the-invisible-the-herschel-experiment/
Chicago Format
American Association for the Advancement of Science. Science NetLinks: Sensing the Invisible: The Herschel Experiment. Washington, DC: American Association for the Advancement of Science, January 31, 2009. http://sciencenetlinks.com/lessons/sensing-the-invisible-the-herschel-experiment/ (accessed 27 November 2014).
MLA Format
Science NetLinks: Sensing the Invisible: The Herschel Experiment. Washington, DC: American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2004. 31 Jan. 2009. 27 Nov. 2014 <http://sciencenetlinks.com/lessons/sensing-the-invisible-the-herschel-experiment/>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {Science NetLinks: Sensing the Invisible: The Herschel Experiment}, Publisher = {American Association for the Advancement of Science}, Volume = {2014}, Number = {27 November 2014}, Month = {January 31, 2009}, Year = {2004} }
Refer Export Format

%T Science NetLinks: Sensing the Invisible: The Herschel Experiment
%D January 31, 2009
%I American Association for the Advancement of Science
%C Washington, DC
%U http://sciencenetlinks.com/lessons/sensing-the-invisible-the-herschel-experiment/
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D January 31, 2009
%T Science NetLinks: Sensing the Invisible: The Herschel Experiment
%I American Association for the Advancement of Science
%V 2014
%N 27 November 2014
%8 January 31, 2009
%9 text/html
%U http://sciencenetlinks.com/lessons/sensing-the-invisible-the-herschel-experiment/


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Science NetLinks: Sensing the Invisible: The Herschel Experiment:

Covers the Same Topic As PBS Learning Media: Infrared Gallery

A high-quality set of interactive Flash images produced with infrared photography.  The photographic technique allows users to "see" the heat radiated by each object.

relation by Caroline Hall
Is Supplemented By http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/optics/timeline/people/herschel.html

This is a short biography of Friedrich William Herschel, compiled by the Molecular Expressions project at Florida State University.

relation by Caroline Hall
Covers the Same Topic As TryEngineering: Infrared Investigations

Students apply knowledge of infrared technology by devising a plan to "bounce" a TV remote signal around a corner.

relation by Caroline Hall

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