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Year 11 Physics Update

Year 11 Physics Update
Term three in year 11 physics is all about light and sight. We look at how waves in general behave and some of the wave properties of light. We also look at mirrors and lenses and how they can be used to make various optical devices.
One of the most complex, yet most taken for granted devices is the human eye. Each part of the eye that light passes through has a different refractive index, helping the lens to focus the images of the things we see on the retina at the back of the eye and passed on to our brain via the optic nerve. Now, that’s all well and good to talk about, and we can even examine diagrams, but nothing quite brings it home like seeing it with our own eyes. (Ha-ha)
Dissecting bulls eyes allowed our year 11 students to see firsthand the different parts of the eye, and helped get a better understanding of what each part does. Finding the retina, blind spot and optic nerve made the general structure a bit clearer, and there were plenty of “so that’s what goes off to the brain, then?” type questions as they put together a stronger picture of what goes on when we see things. Being told the pupil is nothing but a hole is one thing, but putting your finger through it is another.
Manipulating the lens that brings things into focus on newspaper print proved a particular favourite!
Whoever said physics was just about nerds with textbooks and calculators? Not eye!