John Di Bartolo

Senior Lecturer of Physics, NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering

Physics Bites! - Lenses HD

 


If you think physics bites, try Physics Bites! - Lenses HD, (the iPad version of Physics Bites! - Lenses for the iPhone). Students taking introductory physics courses often feel drowned in a sea of equations, unable to grasp the underlying concepts. By breaking content down into tiny "Bites," the goal of the Physics Bites! software is to allow the user to more easily digest otherwise complex principles. Each simulation has just enough interactivity for the user to control several aspects of the simulation without feeling overwhelmed by too many buttons and sliders.

 

"Lenses" is the first Physics Bites! module. It includes five simulations demonstrating various aspects of lenses and mirrors.

 

Lensmaker

 

By controlling the radii of curvature of the two spherical surfaces that make up a lens, as well as the index of refraction of the material itself, the user can see how the shape of the lens changes and what the resulting focal length of the lens is. The spherical surfaces themselves, together with the centers of curvature, can be shown or hidden.

One Lens

 

By controlling the focal length of the lens as well as the distance of the object from the lens, the user can see where the image appears and what its magnification is. The parallel, central, and focal rays can be shown or hidden.

Two Lenses

 

By controlling the focal lengths of two lenses, the distance between the lenses, and the distance of the object from one of the lenses, the user can see where the final image appears and what its magnification is. The intermediate image (produces only by the first lens), together with the focal ray, can be shown or hidden.

Spherical Interface

 

By controlling the radius of curvature of the spherical interface that separates two transparent media, the distance of the object from the interface, and the indices of refraction of the media, the user can see where the final image appears and what its magnification is. The parallel, radial, and central rays can be shown or hidden.

Mirrors

 

By controlling the radius of curvature of the mirror as well as the distance of the object from the lens, the user can see where the image appears and what its magnification is. The parallel, radial, and focal rays can be shown or hidden.

All Simulations

 

Each simulation has a help screen which provides a brief tutorial, can be rotated into landscape mode, allows the display to be resized by pinching, and can save up to four different configurations.

Feedback
Please use the email address below to report any bugs, ask questions, or provide suggestions for improvement. Any requests for future Physics Bites! modules or for additional simulations to be added to the "Lenses" module are most welcome!