This is a multimedia lesson plan appropriate for middle school and high school on the topic of light refraction. Students work cooperatively to learn how light refracts through a prism, using a variety of natural and artificial light settings. An accompanying Java simulation allows them to explore the refraction of light as it moves from a vacuum to different mediums (air, water, glass, diamond, and lead). By switching to monochromatic light, users can see how the wavelength and frequency of the light wave change with its color. Also included is a historical vignette that details Isaac Newton's work with prisms. This item is part of a larger guidebook for teachers on the topic of light and optics, developed by the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory. SEE RELATED ITEMS on this page for a link to the full index.


  • Mathematics > General
  • Education > General

Education Levels:

  • Grade 1
  • Grade 6
  • Grade 8
  • Grade 9


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