Contents of Color and Light
Science of Optics
Heat & Light
Language of Color
Lasers & Holograms
Sky Lights – Auroras
Art & Optics: Science and Art Closer Than You Think
Optical technology and the study of light go far back in human culture. Contemporary artists are often quick to adopt new technology, or to absorb its implications. Was it any different then? Why should the use of a tool diminish the value of the art?
Concepts of Light and Color
A set of interactive Java applet tutorials to help you understand how color and light work. Beautifully done. Lots of levers to slide to make changes. From Molecular Expressions.
Here you’ll find pictures, videos, games, educational materials, and more. A fun way to learn all about the “cool” part of the electromagnetic spectrum: infrared light.
This site is dedicated to light in all its manifestations: in physics, in technology, in nature and in culture. To help you learn about light, we’ve included a message board for posting questions. A Thinkquest site.
Fermilab’s System of Web Pages About Light
Light is great, light is mysterious, light is useful. After all, they say everything started with light. When any revolution has happened in the history of science, light was always there. So it deserves a little attention.
The Light Stuff
Here on Earth the speed of light can change. How? Go to Joe’s Room and see if you can figure it out.
An interactive tour of current research in the materials sciences at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source. For high school students, this site explains how intense light is used for physics research.
Optics For Kids: Science and Engineering
Some fun and interesting things about OPTICS: the science of LIGHT, and one of the most important fields of PHYSICS. by Bruce Irving, Optical Research Associates.
Chemiluminescence – Light without Heat
To do this experiment, you’ll need some light sticks from a sporting goods store or a necklace from a fair. You’ll watch what happens when you put it in hot water and in your refridgerator.. From Home Experiments by Professor Shakhashiri.
A Modest Chemiluminescence Movie
Glow-in-the-dark chemical reactions you can watch online.
What Makes Fireflies Glow?
Having lucibufagens is so important for survival that one species of firefly that can’t make this chemical acquires it by eating other species that can make it.
Chemistry of Autumn Colors
Formerly green leaves turn to brilliant shades of yellow, orange, and red. These color changes are the result of transformations in leaf pigments.
Paper Towel Chromatography
Colors makes color! Separate different colors from a marker.
Separate Colors in a Green Leaf using Chromatography
To help you understand just how leaves change colors in the fall and why some trees change to red while others change to orange or yellow, try this experiment on leaves from the same tree both before and after color changes.
Why Do Leaves Change Color in the Fall?
Separate colors in a green leaf using chromatography. Observe how light affects color development. Word Scramble puzzles as well.
Optical Society of America Student Center
This is your opportunity to network electronically with OSA members who have expertise in various technical groups and application areas.
Heat & Light
The Infrared Zoo What do animals look like in the infrared? Actually “see” the differences between warm and cold-blooded animals, and learn how animals use fur, blubber and feathers to insulate themselves.
Build a Pizza Box Solar Oven
The sun is hot enough to bake food. Here’s how to make a simple solar oven that gets hot enough to warm up cookies and other treats, like s’mores. It won’t get really hot, though, so you can’t bake things in it and you won’t burn yourself when playing with it. Be sure to have an adult help you with this!
Language of Color
Feng Shui and Color
Response to color symbolism is a response to color preconception, and it is a predetermined response based on literary and psychological ideas about color itself.
Make a Splash with Color
We see red apples, green grass, and blue sky. Did you ever wonder why this is? Maybe it has something to do with the apples, the grass, and the sky? Or maybe something to do with your eyes? Or maybe even something to do with your mind?
Lasers & Holograms
Holography Lasers and Holograms
Learn all about these 3-D photographs. Make them for yourself.
How Glasses Are Made
Be able to look over high fences and around corners with this handy device made with a tube and mirrors.
Counter-Rotating Spirals Illusion
Stare at the spirals for 20 seconds and then at the pattern on the right. What causes this affect? An optical illusion!
A didactic downloadable moiré demonstration kit
A printable moiré demonstration kit, where each layer is given by a separate PostScript file that can be downloaded and printed on a transparency.
Gallery of Visual Illusions
View and test various illusions by dragging seemingly different objects together or apart.
20 visual illusions, hidden faces, moving yet still graphics.
Illusion design works that look like op art. Please note that this page could make you feel sick.
Polarized Light in Nature and Technology Polarization is present in the rainbow, in the hidden color of minerals, in the dance of honeybees, in the flow of molten metal, in the color of beetles, and the gloss of tree leaves at dawn.
Bob Miller’s Light Walk Artist Bob Miller’s “Light Walk” at the Exploratorium is always an eye-opening expereience for students and teachers alike. His unique discoveries will change the way you look at light, shadow, and images
Shadow Dance The purpose of this activity is to experiment with shadows and light sources and to understand the relationship between the angle of illumination and the shadow’s length.
Sky Lights – Auroras
What creates these shimmering celestial lights? Information, resources and experiments you can carry out to learn more about the Northern Lights. From Newton’s Apple. Lightning
Lightning in a Pan
Try this easy experiment to make your own miniature version of a lightning bolt.
Building a Rainbow
Young students will enjoy just creating online rainbows. More advanced students can take the whole lab course to understand how rainbows obey the rules of calculus.
The Physics of a Rainbow
A most charming example of chromatic dispersion is a rainbow. When white sunlight is intercepted by a drop of water in the atmosphere, some of the light refracts into the drop, reflects from the drop’s inner surface, and then refracts out of the drop. Sunsets & Blue Skies
Blue Sky – Red Sunset
Why is the sky blue? What makes colorful sunsets? This simple demonstration will show you how these sky colors happen.
What Color is the Sky?
If you are a parent or are old enough to babysit younger relatives there is one question children ask that stumps most adults. It’s what color is the sky or why is the sky blue. This article will tell you why and do it in as simple a way as possible so that the next time a kids ask the question you have a good answer.
Why is the sky blue? Why are sunsets red?
Take a look at light through a prism and notice all the different colors that you can see. Light that looks white to our eyes actually is made up of many different colors. From Optics For Kids.
Artists were fascinated by Newton’s clear demonstration that light alone was responsible for color. An online course on color, vision and art.
You may ask yourself why is it that we only see the “visible” portion of light?
Web Safe Color Chart – Paired Color Values
Click on a color to lock it as the background. Click on any color to unlock. Place your mouse over a color to see the CSS shorthand value tooltip.
Triboluminescence in Quartz Crystal
Which Wintergreen Candy Sparks the Brightest in the Dark?
In this experiment we will find out which brand of wintergreen candy produces the most sparks in the dark, a process called triboluminescence.
Wintergreen Candy and other Triboluminescent Materials
Go into a closet or other dark room. Take along a mirror and some WintOGreen Lifesavers. Wait for your eyes to adjust and then bite down on the candy real hard while watching in the mirror. If the candy hasn’t gotten soggy, your mouth will glow, and here’s why.