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Optica Publishing Group
  • ETOP 2013 Proceedings
  • (Optica Publishing Group, 2013),
  • paper EWP25

Optics in engineering education: stimulating the interest of first-year students

Open Access Open Access


The work here presented deals with stimulating the interest for optics in first-year students of an Engineering School, which are not specifically following Optical Engineering studies. Optic-based technologies are nowadays wide spread, and growing, in almost all the engineering fields (from non destructive testing or alignments to power laser applications, fiber optic communications, memory devices, etc.). In general, the first year curriculum doesn’t allow a detailed review of the main light properties, least its technical applications. We present in this paper our experience in showing some basic optic concepts and related technologies to the students of our school. Based on the fact that they have a very basic training in this branch of physics, we have designed a series of experimental demonstrations with the dual purpose of making them understand the basic principles of these technologies, and to know the potential of applications to engineering they offer. We assembled these experiments in the laboratory and invited students to pass to get to know them, giving them an explanation in which we focused on the possible range of application of each technique. The response was very good, not only by the number of students who attended the invitation but also by the interest demonstrated by their questions and opinions.


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