Lens Science: Exploring Light with Gelatin Lenses Documents

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Lens Science: Exploring Light with Gelatin Lenses 

written by Rebecca Vieyra
sub author: Caroline Hall

This lesson blends physics, geometric optics, and biology as students explore light refraction through convex and concave "lenses" made of clear gelatin. The activity promotes understanding of four key concepts: 1) convex lenses cause light to converge, while concave cause divergence; 2) Focal length can be determined from the convergence point of a convex lens; 3) Ray diagrams provide a geometric way to depict the path of light through a transparent object; and 4) The malleable gelatin lenses can model the function of the human eye.

This AAPT Lesson Plan was inspired by two articles in The Physics Teacher magazine: "Edible Optics: Using Gelatin to Demonstrate Properties of Light" by Patrick Bunton, and "Construction of Optical Elements with Gelatin" by Mario Branca and Isabella Soletta.

Released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license.

Published January 8, 2017
Last Modified January 11, 2017

This file has previous versions.

Primary Documents (2)

Teacher's Guide: Lens Science-Exploring Light with Gelatin Lenses 

by R. Vieyra and C. Hall

Word Version: Print and Customize Your Lesson

Released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license.

Published January 7, 2017
Last Modified January 11, 2017

This file has previous versions.

Student Worksheet: Exploring Light with Gelatin Lenses 

by Rebecca Vieyra

Printable Student Guide for classroom distribution.

Released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license.

Published January 7, 2017
Last Modified January 11, 2017

This file has previous versions.