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Play with optic

Rome_IYL__01On February 27th,at Roma Tre Mathematics and Physics Department, was performed the event “Occhi su Giove: l’autovelox per la luce”. About 600 persons took part at the evening.
During the event it was possible to observe with telescopes of the Department and to took part at the ‘Play with optics’ experiments.
Our experiments concerned arguments studied during the degree course and expanded for personal curiosity. Experiments concepts were:

  1. OPTICS LAWS: The purpose of the activity was to provide an opportunity to discover the optics (geometrical and physical) by means of hands-on labs. To explain these phenomena we used:
    • laser pointers and mirrors , to show refraction and reflection laws of light in water and in other materials;
    • different torches to show diffusion in a medium and to answer questions like ‘Why is the sky blue?’;
    • bottles filled with water to produce waveguides;
    • 3D cinema glasses and a LCD monitor, whose screen was used as a polarizing filter, in order to explain the polarization of light;
    • Slits, laser and participants’ hair were used to talk about the diffraction of light.
  2. THE EYE AND THE 3D VISION: The experiment was focused on eye’s functionality and was divided into three steps: the anatomical components of a healthy eye, how these components works together, and why, if one eye works perfectly alone, we have two of them?
    In this regard, a demonstration on how our brains are able to make us understand the three-dimensions, using a stereoscope, was given.
    Moreover was explained the concept of the cinema 3D vision, with practical demonstration of the three-dimensional view of a siderite through anaglyph glasses.
  3. GRAVITATIONAL LENSES, MASS THAT DEFLECTS LIGHT: The idea at the base of the experiments was to show that the general relativity’s topics aren’t so far from reality. In fact, many theory’s arguments have a practical application like the gravitational lenses, which are used for astrophysics’ investigations. To do that, minor experiments have been used. Some of that were: a sheet bended by a ball to simulate the warped space-time and a mirror that shows how candle’s light could be reflected or distorted, as the gravitational lenses do.
  4. AUTO-GRAVITING WATER: The goal of the experiment is to obtain an optical effect that gives various perception of water drops: flowing downward in slow motion, suspended in the air, flowing upward. To achieve this goal, two tools have been used: a subwoofer and a strobe light. The water flowed in a little tube attached to the subwoofer that made it oscillate, and when the water was spilled out, it was enlightened by the strobe light at different frequencies. The demonstration of these three optical effects have been made possible by using specific frequencies of the strobe light.