Tell You a Story about Light, Different from the Textbook

Tell You a Story about Light, Different from the Textbook

– Youth Education Activity of OSA student chapter at Zhejiang University

On July 8th 2015, the OSA student chapter at Zhejiang University organized a youth education activity, inviting some of the first-year students from Hangzhou Changhe High School ( Most of the students came from poor families, who had less education resources. Our event aimed at providing access to interesting and basic optics knowledge, meanwhile inspiring them to explore in the field of optics. The event was also supported by SPIE and IEEE student chapter at Zhejiang University.


(Group photo of students from Changhe High School and some of our members)

 The event was divided into 2 parts. Lectures delivered by our members gave the students a first glance of optics. Then the students were engaged in the experiments to gain practical experience of optical research.

The lecture began at 12:00 a.m. in the conference room of our center. Senling Zhang, an OSA member, gave a brief introduction to the college of optical science and engineering, along with the major of optical engineering. Jun Yuan, the president of IEEE student chapter at Zhejiang University, gave a talk about the development of optics. Christian Huygens, Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell and Albert Einstein were introduced with their fundamental theory and great contribution. Students obtained a rough picture of optics through these lectures and some basic knowledge they might use in the following experiments.

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(Pictures of Senling Zhang and Jun Yuan giving lectures)

After lectures, students were divided into 10 groups, taking turns to join the different experiments. For each experiment, one member was in charge of explaining the principle, demonstrating the operation and instructing students to finish it by themselves. We had designed 9 basic experiments shown in the following table.

Description of Experiment Member in Charge
3D Vision Experiment Senling Zhang
Assembling of optoelectronic device Yi Suo
Surveillance by Laser Hao Wu
Transmission of Laser beam Xiong Yang
Assembling of optical lens (Microscope and telescope) Xianhe Sun
Modulation of spectrum to form pseudo-color Fei Gao & Ming Zhang
Newton’s ring Wanrong Ding
Polarization property of light Jichao Fu & Jun Yuan
Motion sensing with Kinect × 2 Yu Gong & Xianglian Feng

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(Students taking experiments of Modulation of spectrum to form pseudo-color and Assembling of optoelectronic device)

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(Students taking experiments of Assembling of optoelectronic device and Polarization property of light)

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(Students taking experiments of Surveillance by Laser and a girl learning to use telescope)

 With the instruction of our members, students understood some basic optical theory through interesting and visualized experiments, which gave them a deep impression. Most of the students were so deeply attracted by different experiments that some students even did not want to leave after the gathering time.

Through this event, our chapter enhanced our friendship and long term cooperation relationship with Hangzhou Changhe High School. We shouldered our responsibility of youth education, spreading optics knowledge to more young students. Our members practiced their skills of presentation and communication with teenagers during this event.

Article by Hao Wu (
Photo by Jingwei Li (

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