How to see that light is a wave

by Stephanie Chasteen on October 17, 2008

It can be hard to change your view of things. I was just talking about this with a friend last night — we get used to a certain model of the world in science, and it’s rather revolutionary to see the world in a different way. If you see something that doesn’t fit your view of how the world works, you can literally not see it. That’s what happened to Newton when he saw (or rather didn’t see) the evidence that light is really a wave. I just posted an episode of my Science Teaching Tips podcast where Exploratorium staff physicist Paul Doherty tells how to do the same experiment that Newton did back in the 1650’s, so you can see what he didn’t, and confirm the wave nature of light. Listen to the episode — Seeing the light.
Paul Doherty’s Web site

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Nick October 17, 2008 at 11:12 am

Observing phenomenon that challenge you to think about how things work is so incredibly important for inspiring new scientists. This is a great experiment!

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