A daVinci Pursuit Fundraiser
Seeing the Unseen
About the Event
We have amazing eyes. What we can see with the unaided eye is only a small fraction of what is possible to see with the aid of simple devices and techniques. From simple magnifying glasses to telescopes, microscopes, special cameras, and spectroscopes we are able to greatly expand our knowledge of ourselves and of the world around us. During this fall fundraiser, we are challenging you to use our small optics kit, for a $25 donation to the daVinci Pursuit, to view the world around you and take and post images of what you see using the kit. The best images will be posted on our website and on social media so that everyone can be inspired to learn new ways of seeing.
Hold one sheet of polarizer (the dark greyish one) in front of a computer screen, TV, smartphone or any other “flat screen.” (The screen should be turned on). Rotate the polarizer slowly. What do you see? Try this with several devices! Does it matter which side of the polarizer you look through?
Hold the “creation” in front of a computer screen showing a blank white image (an empty word processing window is perfect). Look at it through one of the polarizers. Rotate the polarizer to let as little light through as possible. Rotate the creation. What do you see? If you put the polarizer between the creation and the screen, does it change?
Now make a stack of the two polarizers and look through them. Flip one over. What do you see now? Flip the other. Hold one still and rotate the other like you did in exploration #1. What do you see now?
Hold the Magne-View® film to the back of a refrigerator magnet. What do you see? Does the pattern change when you move one or the other? Does it stay when you move the film away from the magnet? What do you see with other magnets? (Note, you can use a flat fridge magnet to “erase” the pattern. Figure out the best way to do it!
Arrange the two polarizers in a stack so that as little light as possible gets through. Now, place the piece of clear plastic with a tape “creation” on it between the two. What do you see now? Rotate the clear plastic between the two polarizers. Does the pattern change?
Look through the diffraction grating (clear, but reflections show a bit of color) at a light (not too bright!) What do you see? Try different kinds of bulbs, fluorescents, LEDs, etc. Try a candle flame. If you have a laser pointer, aim it through the diffraction grating to a white wall or piece of paper. What do you see now? Does a red pointer do the same thing as a green one?