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 Is your company involved in the design, fabrication, or production of optics or optical devices? N  eed a simple tool to teach your staff about photonics? W  ould your workforce benefit from a hands-on, learning based program in photonics and optics?

The field of photonics is rapidly expanding. A recent study from the University of North Texas found that approximately 20,000 photonic technicians are employed in the US and job demand is expected to increase by 25% over the next five years1. Photonic computing, currently in its infancy, will drastically increase the speed of computers. LED light sources continue to find their way into an ever-increasing variety of products, from consumer electronics to medical imaging. Optical fiber communication will triple in capacity over the next ten years and solar power will finally reach grid parity becoming a true, cost-competitive alternative to fossil fuel derived energy. Finding workers with a fundamental understanding of optical principles

is a challenge. The need for cost-effective employee training and education that delivers real-time benefits is a priority as organizations continuously adapt to changing marketplaces, and external competition.

Omega Optical has developed a Photonics Kit that combines practical hands-on experience with the fundamental principles of electromagnetic radiation. The kit includes 12 lab activities based on various topics within the field of photonics including solar cells, reflection, refraction, wave interference, LEDs, light detection, complementary colors, fluorescence, and phosphorescence.

The Photonics Kit provides the help

needed to educate workers and improve their understanding of optical principles.


 ull, D.M., Ruggiere, P., & Illich, P. (May 2009). Photonics Technician Employment in H the United States: An Industry Survey of Current and Future Demand in 2009 for Education and Training Programs. Waco, TX: OP-TEC.

All levels of the workforce can benefit from an increased knowledge base of the principles behind the products they design, specify, build, test, and inspect. Get a head start on the competition by incorporating the Omega Optical Photonics Kit into your employee development and training program.

Example Lab Lessons VIS 

Color Perception Utilize several different white light sources and explore not only how the human eye perceives color, but different methods on how to create color. The roles and wavelength sensitivities of the different types of photoreceptive cone cells contained in the retina are examined. Use interference filters to demonstrate the principles of additive and subtractive color as schemes used to create the vast array of colors we see produced in movies, color printers, photographic dyes, etc.

UV  Bee Vision  (UV+Blue+Green)

Complementary Colors: Interference Filters Learn about light’s possible interactions with a physical boundary: transmission, reflection, refraction, or absorption. As the concept of interference filter is discussed you will use a two-color filter to visualize how colors can vary depending on whether the incoming light is

transmitted through the boundary, or reflected from it. Explore the differences between an absorption filter and an interference filter and how the angle of incidence of the incoming ray plays a role in how each type of filter interacts with light.

Reflection and Refraction A bright white sheet of paper and a bathroom mirror both reflect about the same amount of light. Why can you see an image of yourself in the mirror but not in the paper? Why does a glass prism separate light into a rainbow of colors but a glass window does not? In this exercise you will explore the laws of reflection and refraction

(Snell’s Law) using a laser pointer and substances of differing refractive indices (air and water). The concepts of TIRF (Total Internal Reflection) and the critical angle are explored and the use of these phenomena is discussed.

Fluorescence and Phosphorescence These physicochemical properties have been exploited in countless products and across a broad spectrum of disciplines, from lasers, room lighting to glow in the dark posters and invisible ink

pens. You will explore what causes the phenomena and why they exhibit different characteristics. Also examined is the relationship of emitted photons and electrical current using the multimeter.

Polarization LCDs used in computer monitors, iPods and cell phones all use the properties of polarization to generate the contrast needed to view the displays, yet few people are aware that just by removing the imbedded polarizing filters the unit is rendered useless. This lab introduces the concepts of parallel and perpendicular polarization, birefringence, and Brewster’s Angle. Using a laser pointer, polarizing filters, and a multimeter, you will discover:

• how different polarization states can be made to transmit or reflect off the same surface simply by changing the orientation of the surface • if the incoming light is polarized or not • how the energy striking a light sensitive LED changes depending on the angle of incidence of the incident light source.

Solar Energy Harnessing the energy of the sun by direct capture of light striking the Earth’s surface has largely been an untapped resource. In order to harvest this energy, the use of photovoltaic cells is required. In this exploration you will learn about band gaps, the conduction and valence bands, and the basics of photocell design. Using filtered

light of differing wavelengths you will measure the amount of energy captured by a typical solar cell and a blue LED and draw conclusions about each band gap. You will also learn about measuring the efficiency of a photocell by plotting an IV curve and finding the fill factor of the cell.

Light Emitting Diodes LEDs are a remarkably simple device composed of only two layers of semi conductive material. The functions of the two, the n and the p-type semiconductor layers, are covered. In this lab you will use a homemade spectroscope to examine the spectra of several different LEDs and discover how an LED is not only a light

emitting device, but a light detecting device as well. The use of interference filters demonstrates how not all LEDs respond to the same wavelengths of light.

Interference The wave particle duality nature of light is one of the more fascinating discoveries in the field of photonics. In this lab the classic two-slit experiment is replicated using a monochromatic light source and diffraction slit.

Fiber Optics In this exercise, you will uncover the mystery of light transmission through a fiber. The fibers construction and the refractive index differences in the materials contribute to loss in

transmission. LED light moving through a multimode optical fiber measures the efficiency of the transmission.

The comprehensive labs are organized and supported with all required hardware for the following:  wave/particle duality of light  interactions of light and matter including scattering, reflection, refraction, fluorescence and phosphorescence

The Photonics Kit

 relationship between the electronic structure of an atom or molecule and its emission and absorption spectra

 principles behind optical computing  human and animal perception of color  principles behind the operation of LEDs, solar cells, and fiber optic cables are explored

 56 different optical interference filters  25 light sources including laser diode, light emitting diode (LED), fluorescence, incandescence and atomic emission  6 of 3.5 digit digital multi-meter; sensitivity to .001 mA and .001 V  Assorted mounting hardware to assemble components  License to reproduce 12 lesson plans  Instructor plans with supporting notes  Chart of the electromagnetic spectrum  Wooden storage chest

 Delta C amp u s

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2 1 O mega D r i v e

toll f r ee U S A 8 6 6 . 4 8 8 . 1 0 6 4

Fa x + 1 8 0 2 . 2 5 4 . 3 9 3 7

B r attle b o r o , V T 0 5 3 0 1 , U S A

Credit: Images of Buttercup flowers are courtesy of Dr. Klaus Schmitt

 how information about the structure of a molecule can be elucidated using spectroscopy

 Tools for 6 groups

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 how light can be used to encode information by changing intensity, spectral characteristics or polarization


Omega Optical Photonics Kit for Professionals