Content - Light and Vision
Light and Vision
Tripping the light fantastic.
The appeal of light and vision phenomena is that we can enjoy the exhibits without having any special expertise. With simple experimentation we can make connections between theoretical physics and everyday perception and experience.
Dozens of surprising optical illusions are presented and turned inside out in the Perception section. Colorful shadows are cast where you would expect to see only darkness. You can discover bizarre reflections, ghostly images, and color illusions. You see a hill though you know it is a valley. Nothing is what it seems, or seems like what you "know" it to be.
You can quickly determine which lenses magnify and which make smaller images; which lenses spread the light wider and which focus the light, which distort light and which invert images. With this understanding you can assemble lenses into a simple slide projector.
Some of the remarkable experiences in the exhibition are: a view of the pulsing red blood cells on your own retina, looking deeply into your own eye, and using your bare hands to attract the flow of high voltage filaments of glowing electrons as you touch the largest "Plasma Ball" in Europe.
Even the question "Why is the sky blue?" is answered at one of these exhibits. And finally at the "Soap Film Painting", interference and the wave nature of light create a beautiful shimmering colorful pattern.