9 December 2004 Teaching of optics and photonics in a college astronomy course
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Abstract
Astronomy is among the most popular courses that students select to fulfill their college science requirement at Queensborough Community College, New York City. Recent advances in photonics now enable us to observe celestial objects from exoplanets to ultra deep space galaxies that are 13 billion light years away. These results are regularly reported in the popular press such as the New York Times and “Sky & Telescope” magazine. We upgraded our astronomy course to keep pace with these advances in optics and photonics. The laboratory hands-on exercises include observations in our observatory using a telescope with digital camera and CCD; spectrum analysis with grating; Java photonics simulation delivered over the Internet; the use of virtual instruments in optics and photonics written with Labview. Advanced techniques such as interferometry are also included as demonstrations in the laboratory. Light is described light as an electromagnetic wave to avoid confusion with the dictionary description. As a result of these teaching designs, the students gain a clearer understanding of the optics and photonics basis of the astronomy instrumentation reported in popular articles.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
George Tremberger, Alex Flamholz, Paul J. Marchese, David H. Lieberman, Tak D. Cheung, "Teaching of optics and photonics in a college astronomy course", Proc. SPIE 5578, Photonics North 2004: Photonic Applications in Astronomy, Biomedicine, Imaging, Materials Processing, and Education, (9 December 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.567455; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.567455
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