home » teachers » Unit 4 » Light and Waves

How can waves explain the behaviour of light?

This webpage for the new Area of Study is a compilation of relevant resources from the former Units 3 & 4 Detailed Study: Sound and from the former Unit 2 Area of Study: Wave-like Properties of Light plus extra resources on new content areas. Some of the documents prepared for the previous course may have sections on content that is no longer covered.

The resources have been grouped by topic and type in the table below. If a cell in the table has the word 'Yes', there are resources on the topic for that row and of the type for that column. Click on 'Yes' to go to these resources. Click on 'return to top' to come back to the top of this page.

TopicTextsActivitiesAssessmentUseful weblinks
Types of Waves Yes Yes Aspects of Sound Yes
Doppler effect None Yes None Yes
Refraction and Dispersion Yes Yes None Yes
Resonance None Yes None Yes
Diffraction and Interference None Yes None Yes
Light as a Wave None None Aspects of Light Yes
Polarisation None None None Yes

Types of Waves: Texts and AV Resources

Text Resources

  • Rossing, TD, 2002, The Science of Sound, 3rd edn, Addison Wesley Longman, Massachusetts.

Return to top

Types of Waves: Activities

Note: Some of the documents below were written for the previous course, but they may contain still relevant material.

 Type

Filename

Filesize

Microsoft Word

Introductory Light Activities

191 kB

A set of a large number short practical activities intended to stimulate students' curiosity about what light is and what it can do. The students generate questions that they would like answers to. These become the basis of a later assessment task at the end of the unit in which the student can choose their own set of questions to answer. Prepared by Dan O'Keeffe, Vicphysics Teachers' Network.

Microsoft Word

Speed of Sound Prac 2

36.9 kB

This document contains a student handout outlining a prac to determine the speed of sound in air using resonance in a tube closed at one end.

Microsoft Word

Speed of Sound Prac 3

38.4 kB

This document contains a student handout outlining a prac to determine the speed of sound in air using standing waves set up in a sound tube.

Microsoft Word

CRO Speed of Sound Prac

133 kB

This speed of sound prac uses a dual trace CRO and allows measurement of the time interval betwen pulses arriving at two microphones a couple of metres apart.

The Victorian Arts Centre used to offer an excursion on Sound. However they decided to cancel the program.

The original presenter of the VCE program, Adrian Alexander, is now offering his program at other venues. The cost of the excursion is $22 + GST per student. Check Adrian's website below for more details.

Resources from Physics Teachers' Conferences

Files by Louise Mason from St Leonard's College in 2012 on the kinaesthetic approach to waves and optics.

 Type

Filename

Filesize

Microsoft Powerpoint

Kinaesthetic Activities to teach Waves and Optics

2.87 MB

Powerpoint by Louise Mason, St Leonard's College

Microsoft Word

Kinaesthetic Activities to teach Waves and Optics Support materials 1

29.2 kB

Calculating the speed of light, by Louise Mason, St Leonard's College

Microsoft Word

Kinaesthetic Activities to teach Waves and Optics Support materials 2

28.2 kB

Calculating the speed of light with chocolate by Louise Mason, St Leonard's College

Files from a presentation by Kelvin Barraclough, Gisborne Secondary College in 2011 of some audio freeware such as osc251 and sweepgen. Another useful piece of freeware is 'Audacity' which is a powerful audio editor and recorder, which can be easily downloaded from the 'audacity' website.

Return to top

Types of Waves (Sound): Assessment

Note: Some of the documents below were written for the previous course, but they may contain still relevant material.

 Type

Filename

Filesize

Microsoft Word

Test for the Summary Report on Prac activities for Sound

72.2 kB

A Test from the previous course on practical activities for Sound, including dB values, standing waves between speakers, interference in 2D and the resonance tube prac. Also included is a note to students on what practical activities will be covered in the task. Note: Some content in this task is not longer in the course.

Text

Sound Assessment Task

293 kB

A plan for conducting the sound practical work as part of the unit 4 school assessed coursework.

Text

Sound Summary

450 kB

A set of questions forming the assessment for the sound summary report as part of the unit 4 school assessed coursework.

Microsoft Word

Summary Report on Practical Activities in Sound

43.5 kB

Summary report of sound practical activities. SAC document used in 2000.

Microsoft Word

Another Summary Report on Practical Activities in Sound

56.8 kB

Summary report of sound practical activities linked to the first three Speed of Sound Pracs above.

Microsoft Word

Test in Sound

50.7 kB

Basic Unit 4 Sound Test. It consists of 34 mostly multiple choice questions. Answers are at the end.

Return to top

Types of Waves: Useful Weblinks and Applets

Return to top

Refraction and Dispersion: Texts and AV Resources

Text Resources

  • Greenler, R 1990, Rainbow, Haloes and Glories, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne.
  • Minnaert, M 1993, Light and Color in Outdoors, Springer Verlag, New York.

Videos and Powerpoints

 Type

Filename

Filesize

Microsoft Powerpoint

Presentation on Colour

212 kB

Microsoft PowerPoint presentation on aspects of colour - absorption, reflection of light by coloured objects, components of white light, etc.

Generic

Dyes in Milk

11.8 MB

Three dyes are added to milk in a petri dish. A drop of detergent is then added and the dyes mix. Light, colour. 1 min avi file.

Generic

Crown Glass in Glycerol

11.3 MB

Crown glass block disapppears in glycerol. Ending missing. Light, refractive index. 48 sec Quick time file.

Return to top

Doppler Effect: Activities

Resources from the Physics Teachers' Conferences

Files from a presentation by Simon Dick, Padua College in 2007.

 Type

Filename

Filesize

Microsoft Powerpoint

Using freeware resources for sound reproduction measurements

18.5 MB

A powerpoint by Simon Dick for the 2007 Physics Teachers Conference.

Microsoft Excel

Doppler calculation

16.4 kB

A spreadsheet to support the presentation by Simon Dick.

Return to top

Resonance: Activities

Resources from the Physics Teachers' Conferences

Files from a presentation by Simon Dick, Padua College in 2007.

 Type

Filename

Filesize

Microsoft Powerpoint

Using freeware resources for sound reproduction measurements

18.5 MB

A powerpoint by Simon Dick for the 2007 Physics Teachers Conference.

Microsoft Excel

Resonance

17.4 kB

A spreadsheet to support the presentation by Simon Dick.

Return to top

Refraction and Dispersion: Activities

Resources from the Physics Teachers' Conferences

Easy and Engaging Light Pracs by Spiros Liacos at 2014 Conference. These and others are also available at Liacos Educational Media.

 Type

Filename

Filesize

Adobe PDF

Refraction Prac

224 kB

Prac sheet by Spiros Liacos from Cheltenham Secondary College

Adobe PDF

Total Internal Reflection Prac

262 kB

Prac sheet by Spiros Liacos from Cheltenham Secondary College

Note: Some of the documents below were written for the previous course, but they may contain still relevant material.

 Type

Filename

Filesize

Microsoft Word

Refraction & Total Internal Reflection

26.1 kB

Refraction & Total Internal Reflection prac worksheet Pracs use lightbox and semi-circular plastic accessory.

Return to top

Diffraction and Interference: Activities

Note: Some of the documents below were written for the previous course, but they may contain still relevant material.

 Type

Filename

Filesize

Text

Diffraction Waves

15.4 kB

A work sheet for observing diffraction with the ripple tank - can be used as part of sound practical activities.

Return to top

Light as a Wave: Assessment

Note: Some of the documents below were written for the previous course, but they may contain still relevant material.

 Type

Filename

Filesize

Microsoft Word

Light Revision 2

24.6 kB

Revision Notes on Colour, Refraction, Total Internal Reflection and Image Formation with Lenses.

Microsoft Word

Light Test 2

23 kB

Test on Colour, Refraction, Total Internal Reflection and Image Formation with Lenses.

Return to top

Refraction and Dispersion: Useful Weblinks

Return to top

Doppler Effect: Useful Weblinks

Return to top

Resonance: Useful Weblinks

 Type

Filename

Filesize

Generic

Standing Waves

295 kB

This Visual Basic program simulates the standing wave that results when two waves, travelling in opposite directions, superimpose. It shows both component waves and the resultant standing wave (zip file that expands to 2 files which need to be located in the same directory).

Return to top

Diffraction and Interference: Useful Weblinks

 Type

Filename

Filesize

Microsoft Word

Wave Interference

264 kB

Students use a Java Applet to observe interference of waves from 2 point sources, measure path differences, investigate the effect of changing distance between slits and wavelength, and find mathematical rules for the path difference along nodal and anti-nodal lines. HINT:- make sure that your school network can run the applet before giving it to your class.

Return to top

Light as a Wave: Useful Weblinks

Return to top

Polarisation: Useful Weblinks

Youtube video on polarisation at A level (5 min), Polarisation video by Sixty Symbols (8 min).

Return to top

Return to top