Module : Nature of Light

Nature of Light


It’s something we take for granted on a daily basis, but in this module we explore what light actually is, what forms it can take, the way it moves and how none of us can live without it. After a number of small demonstrations to examine its behaviour, we investigate how astronomers manipulate light to discover most of what we know about the Universe around us. Following a second activity to study a few optical systems, including the eye, cameras and telescopes, we touch on the idea of spectroscopy. Older groups (age 11-14) take a more in depth look at the electromagnetic spectrum and cover some important concepts such as wavelength, frequency, the Doppler effect and lasers.

Age Range

7 – 11   or   11 – 14


45 minutes

Module Composition
  • Introductory Talk about Light – Presentation
  • Activity on the Behaviour of Light – Practical Activity
  • How Astronomers Harness Light – Presentation
  • Optical Systems – Practical Activity
  • Basics of Spectroscopy – Presentation
  • Introduction to Lasers – Presentation for Age 11+
Extension Activities

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