Editor selections by Topic and Unit

The Physics Front is a free service provided by the AAPT in partnership with the NSF/NSDL.

Detail Page

Item Picture
published by the PhET
This interactive Flash simulation allows students to investigate the properties of converging lenses.  The user can change the index of refraction and control the lens curvature to see how light rays are refracted by a lens.  The focal length of the lens is also adjustable and the lens and object can be moved in two dimensions. The simulation is designed to help students understand how an image is formed by a lens and how changes to the lens curvature and radius affect the image appearance.

This item is part of a large collection of simulations freely available from the Physics Education Technology group at the University of Colorado.  Also available for free download are inquiry-based lesson plans on Geometric Optics and Power Point presentations to supplement classroom use of the simulation.  SEE RELATED ITEMS on this page for links to these additional resources.

Please note that this resource requires Flash.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
- Geometrical Optics
= Thin Lens
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Middle School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Interactive Simulation
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Lesson Plan
- Activity
- Laboratory
- Assessment
- New teachers
  • Currently 0.0/5

Want to rate this material?
Login here!

Intended Users:
Access Rights:
Free access
© 2004 PHET and University of Colorado
Additional information is available.
Light, Refraction, Vision, comvergent lens, convex lens, experiment simulation, image, interactive multimedia, lens, marginal ray, optics, principal ray, ray diagrams, real image, screen, virtual image
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created July 13, 2008 by Taha Mzoughi
Record Updated:
August 18, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
August 11, 2006
Other Collections:

This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.

Topic: Nature and Behavior of Light
Unit Title: Ray Optics -- Reflection and Refraction of Light

A great follow-up simulation after doing a classroom lab on converging lenses.  Your students choose from four "objects" (pencil, star, smiley face, and arrow).  They can change the curvature of the convex lens, adjust the focal length, and move the object to get a feel for how light refracts through a converging lens.  Don't miss the step-by-step lesson and Power Point clicker questions created by a high school teacher specifically for use with this simulation (see Lesson Plans above).

Link to Unit:
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
(PhET, Boulder, 2004), WWW Document, (https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/geometric-optics).
PhET Simulation: Geometric Optics (PhET, Boulder, 2004), <https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/geometric-optics>.
APA Format
PhET Simulation: Geometric Optics. (2006, August 11). Retrieved June 21, 2024, from PhET: https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/geometric-optics
Chicago Format
PhET. PhET Simulation: Geometric Optics. Boulder: PhET, August 11, 2006. https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/geometric-optics (accessed 21 June 2024).
MLA Format
PhET Simulation: Geometric Optics. Boulder: PhET, 2004. 11 Aug. 2006. 21 June 2024 <https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/geometric-optics>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {PhET Simulation: Geometric Optics}, Publisher = {PhET}, Volume = {2024}, Number = {21 June 2024}, Month = {August 11, 2006}, Year = {2004} }
Refer Export Format

%T PhET Simulation: Geometric Optics %D August 11, 2006 %I PhET %C Boulder %U https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/geometric-optics %O application/flash

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %D August 11, 2006 %T PhET Simulation: Geometric Optics %I PhET %V 2024 %N 21 June 2024 %8 August 11, 2006 %9 application/flash %U https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/geometric-optics

Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.

Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

This resource is stored in 9 shared folders.

You must login to access shared folders.

PhET Simulation: Geometric Optics:

Is Supplemented By http://phet.colorado.edu/teacher_ideas/view-contribution.php?contribution_id=42

A standards-based module created by the PhET team specifically for use in secondary classrooms with the simulation Geometric Optics.  Includes lesson plan, step-by-step student directions, and a set of "clicker" questions (with answers provided) for use in formative assessment.

relation by Caroline Hall

Know of another related resource? Login to relate this resource to it.
Save to my folders



Related Materials

Similar Materials

Featured By

Physics Source
Dec 27 - Jan 27, 2010

Physics To Go
Jul 15 - Aug 1, 2013