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Lesson Plans
  1. Light Properties (University of California - Battle)
      Provides a lesson to study the properties of light, especially as applied to astronomy. 3-01

  2. Spectral Wavelengths (University of California)
      Provides a lesson to study spectral wavelengths, using data from four different satellite observatories. 3-01

  1. Relativity (Time)
      Provides audio of Einstein explaining that energy equals mass times the velocity of light squared. 1-00

  1. -01 Scientists Make a New Type of Matter Out of Light (
      "A team of scientists from Harvard and MIT said they found a way to bind light together, creating a new type of matter. The findings go against what scientists previously believed possible."

  2. Blueshift (
      "Blue shift is the phenomenon that the frequency of an electromagnetic wave (such as light) emitted by a source moving towards the observer is shifted towards the blue end of the spectrum (that is, its wavelength is decreased)." 10-04

  3. Experiments Help Explain "Floppy" Space Molecule (
      "A laboratory method developed for making and analyzing cold, concentrated samples of a mysterious 'floppy' molecule thought to be abundant only in outer space has revealed new data that help explain the molecule's properties."

      "The advance, described in the Jan. 6 issue of Science,* is a step toward overcoming a decades-old challenge in chemistry--explaining reactions that occur within very cold clouds among the stars, and perhaps for developing new chemical processes." 01-06

  4. Future Tractor Beam? As in Star Trek? (PC World)
      "Light emits photons, and when these photos strike an object, they can propel it forward, away from the light source--not a whole lot, mind you, but on a very small scale. Scientists in Hong Kong have recently discovered a way to use a special laser called a Bessel beam to actually pull objects closer to the beam's source." 05-11

  5. High School Student Wins Award for Spectograph (ABC News)
      "Mary, a senior at Westmore High School in Oklahoma City, won first place in the 2007 Intel Science talent search competition, beating out 40 other contestants and winning a $100,000 college scholarship."

      "While these devices already exist, there is one key difference between Masterman's spectrograph and those being used today. Spectrographs can cost a hundred thousand dollars to build, but Mary built hers for $300 out of household parts, and hopes that it might help make research cheaper and easier in the future." 03-07

  6. Infrared Photovoltaic Cells (J X Crystals)
      Describes a new cell, thermophotovoltaic (TPV), that converts infrared light into electricity. It can be used in a furnace, for example, to convert wasted infrared heat into additional electricity. 6-01

  7. Invisibility Thread Invented (MSNBC News)
      "It no longer belongs to the wizarding world of Harry Potter: A scientist at the University of Texas at Dallas has created his own invisibility cloak."

      "His 'cloak' right now is small -- several strands of what look like thread." 11-11

  8. Lasers Promise Greatly Improved Interplanetary Communications (
      "Interplanetary space probes currently communicate via microwaves, but those transmitters are not as tightly focused as laser beams. This spreading reduces microwave power received, and thus the maximum data rate. For example, NASA's Mars Odyssey probe can send only 128,000 bits per second to Earth."

      "Because laser beams spread much more slowly, they can deliver more power to ground-based optical receivers, allowing higher data rates." 01-06

  9. Light (
      "Light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength that is visible to the eye, or in a more general sense, any electromagnetic radiation in the range from infrared to ultraviolet." 10-04

  10. Light - Properties of Light (
      Provides basic information on the nature of light and defines key terms. 5-01

  11. Light - Speed of Light May Be Changing (New Scientist)
      Provides a summary of research that shows that the speed of light, one of the most important constants in physics and astronomy, may be changing. 8-01

  12. Light Waves Used for Database Searches (Macmillan Publishers - Nature - Ball)
      Describes a process for using light waves to conduct searches for data on a computer, expected to yield a billion-fold increase in speed over current electronics-based searches. 5-01

  13. Movement of Light Captured at MIT (
      "Our feeble little minds can’t process the time that light takes to fill a room, but now we can see it happen in slow-motion with help from the MIT Media Lab and its trillion frames per second camera." 11-12

  14. Optics (
      Provides 106 articles. 10-04

  15. Photon Measurement (Nature)
      Provides news on a devise that measures photons in the far-infrared spectrum of light. It is 10,000 times more powerful than previous devices.

  16. Unbelievably Powerful Laser Planned (PC World)
      "The crown jewel of ELI’s laser research facilities, the highest intensity pillar location of the four, is still being decided upon but they plan to create the world’s most powerful laser there. A 200-petawatt laser to be exact, which is 100,000 times the power of the world electric grid." 05-11


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