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13 October 1995 The diffractionator
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Physical demonstrations of diffraction and image formation for educational purposes have long been hampered by limitations of equipment and viewing facilities: it has usually been possible to demonstrate diffraction and image formation for only a few simple apertures or objects; it has often been time consuming to set up the optical bench used for the demonstration and difficult to keep it aligned; a darkened demonstration room has normally been required; and, it has usually been possible for only small groups of people to view the diffraction patterns and images. In 1990, the Optical Sciences Center was awarded an AT&T Special Purpose Grant to construct a device that would allow diffraction and image formation demonstrations to be conducted while avoiding the limitations noted above. This device, which was completed in the fall of 1992 and is affectionately called 'The Defractionator', makes use of video technology to permit demonstrations of diffraction, image formation and spatial filtering for large audiences in regular classrooms or auditoria. In addition, video tapes of the demonstrations can be recorded for viewing at sites where use of the actual demonstrator is inconvenient. A description of the system will be given, and video tapes will be used to display previously recorded diffraction phenomena and spatial filtering demonstrations.
© (1995) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jack D. Gaskill and Craig H. Curtis "The diffractionator", Proc. SPIE 2525, 1995 International Conference on Education in Optics, (13 October 1995);

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