Optics

Optics is the study of the properties and behavior of light. In this section you can learn about everything from holograms to lasers and lenses.


Just about everyone has seen a television show or movie in which a criminal suspect is questioned while detectives watch from behind a one-way mirror. How does a piece of glass manage to reflect light from one side while remaining clear on the other?

Some of the brightest minds in history have focused their intellects on the subject of light. Einstein even tried to imagine riding on a beam of light. We won't get that crazy, but we will shine a light on everything scientists have found so far.

Imagine wearing a T-shirt with lettering on it while brushing your teeth. Why are the letters on the T-shirt reversed in the mirror, while your head appears right side up?

When I stand at the water's edge and look out over the ocean, how far away is the horizon? Is there an equation to figure it out?

I have a thin piece of plastic mounted on the back window of my RV. It magnifies things so I can see better when I'm backing up. How can such a thin piece of plastic magnify things? A regular glass magnifying lens would have to be curved on both sides and much thicker.