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2012 BFY Abstract Detail Page
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||Fiber Optics Module for a Physics of Medicine Program
||We recently received an NSF grant to develop three upper-division active learning modules that relate physics principles to medicine. The goal is to attract more students to upper division physics classes by incorporating physics concepts that are relevant to students' interests and more readily applicable than material commonly presented in traditional physics classes. We are currently developing a fiber optics module focusing on two medical applications: laser therapy and viewing with an endoscope. Our approach is to first introduce the concept of acceptance angle using a macroscopic acrylic rod (core) submerged in water (cladding). The teaching materials will contain a set of guided questions to help students with conceptual and quantitative understanding. Next, concepts of numerical aperture and coupling of the light source to the fiber will be introduced. To increase transferability to other universities, two types of teaching materials are being developed: one involves optical components used in industry (expensive) and the other involves macroscopic setups and paper-and-pencil exercises (not expensive). For both types, the students will gain knowledge of fibers, Gaussian beam optics, lens selection, and spherical aberration, but with the former approach, the students will also gain experience with experimental techniques used in research and industry. Experiments on losses in fiber due to bending and viewing objects using fiber bundles will be developed. We will explore fiber optic sensors and imaging (specifically OCT). The physics module activities will be developed around medical situations and will include slides and videos of real surgeries and endoscopic procedures.
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Loyola University Maryland
Physics Department, KH 212b
4501 N. Charles Street
Nancy Donaldson, Rockhurst University, nancy.donaldson -at- Rockhurst.edu
Alex Spiro, Loyola University Maryland
Charles Gosselin, Rockhurst University