Light and Optics

Our understanding of the world is based largely on what we see—both directly, and aided by optical devices that improve and extend our vision. Such tools as the microscope and telescope have helped extend knowledge in a variety of science fields, from the study of cells and stars to studies of the nature of light itself. In learning about light, students investigate its interactions with different materials and interpret its behaviour using a geometric ray model. Students then use their understanding of light to interpret a variety of light-based technologies and envisage new technologies we may use in the future.



  1. What do we know about the nature of light?
  2. What technologies have been developed that use light, and what principles of light do they show?

These notes are from EdQuest, a site for student information and resources for grade eight.  These are NOT my class notes, but they offer a great alternative with the same information.  To view the class notes, please visit the SECURED PAGE from the Science 8 menu at the top of this page.  You will need the password to view the secure page.

Section 1 – History of light and optics
Section 2 – Properties of light (reflection, refraction)
Section 3 – Vision and vision technologies (eyes, cameras, etc.) 
Section 4 – Light travels in waves, colour of light, electromagnetic spectrum
Section 1.1Early light ideas     SCREENCAST
Section 1.2 – Sources of light     SCREENCAST
Section 2.1 & 2.2 – Light rays and the Law of Reflection     SCREENCAST
Section 2.3 – Types of mirrors and image formation     SCREENCAST
Section 2.4 – Refraction     SCREENCAST
Section 3.1 – Lenses     SCREENCAST
Section 3.2 – How We See     SCREENCAST
Section 3.3 – Parts of the Eye     SCREENCAST     SHEEPS EYE DISSECTION/TUTORIAL
Section 4.1 – Light and Colour     SCREENCAST
Section 4.2 – The Electromagnetic Spectrum     SCREENCAST

Transparent, translucent and opaque materials (jpeg) – from Science Focus textbook
Far sightedness (jpeg) – from Science Focus textbook
Near sightedness (jpeg) – from Science Focus textbook
Labelled diagram of the eye – from Science Focus textbook


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