E. Norval Fortson
Compares past explanation of certain familiar natural phenomena with present understandings. Lamps and lighting, outdoor light, optical devices, color vision, perspective, paints, and pigments. Quantitative comparison critical to the course, but college-level mathematics background not required. Intended for non-science students.
Modern scientific understanding of color, cameras, the eye, paints, polarized light, and what light and color tell us about atoms, stars, and the universe.
Student learning goals
Nature of light and color
The eye and color vision
Lenses and images: cameras, microscopes, and telescopes
The physical world revealed by light and color, from atoms to the expansion of the universe.
General method of instruction
Three lectures per week, one discussion hour, and one workshop hour in small groups. Workshops will deal with color mixing, lenses, shadows, reflections, polarization, images, illusions, lasers.
Basic high school mathematics will be helpful (ratios, triangles, etc). College level mathematics background is not required. Previous college level physics courses are not required.
Class assignments and grading
A weekly homework assignment will include problems and observations. A term project will be due at end of quarter.
Grades will be based on the homework, two mid-term exams, term project, workshop, and discussion participation.