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ERIC Number: EJ799622
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Aug
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0926-7220
Developing Ideas of Refraction, Lenses and Rainbow through the Use of Historical Resources
Mihas, Pavlos
Science & Education, v17 n7 p751-777 Aug 2008
The paper examines different ways of using historical resources in teaching refraction related subjects. Experimental procedures can be taught by using Ptolemy's and Al Haytham's methods. The student can check the validity of the approximations or rules which were presented by different people. The interpretation of the relations is another subject. Refraction phenomena were interpreted either by the principle of least time or by particles or by waves. The law of refraction can be used as an example of a law which was discovered but put aside. The use of the law to construct lenses can be seen in Ibn Sahl's hyperbolical lenses. Al Farisi's method of "cones" is used for the interpretation of the rainbow. Al Farisi's model was discovered again by Descartes. These models were not able to explain the supernumerary arcs. For this reason a simple wave model is presented. The models proposed by Al Haytham of atmospheric refraction can be used to show that refraction actually cannot be considered as the cause of the change of the size of the moon. Finally Huygens model of refraction in the atmosphere is used to introduce the wave fronts as more fundamental than rays.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A