Polarization: Light Waves, Rainbows, and Cheap Sunglasses

01/26/2003 2:00 PM 26-100Walter Lewin, Professor of Physics; Description: In this lecture taped before a live audience of elementary and middle school students and their families, MIT Physics Professor Walter Lewin explains polarization, and demonstrates properties of light in rainbows, smoke and the sky. He answers the perennial question, "why is the sky blue?" and creates a red sunset in the laboratory.
About the Speaker(s): Walter H. G. Lewin is well-known at MIT for his lectures on both Newtonian mechanics and electricity and magnetism. Videos of his lectures can be viewed on the web via the Open CourseWare and Pivot links below.

Lewin received his Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics in 1965 at the Technical University of Delft, The Netherlands, and has been a member of the MIT Physics faculty since 1966. During his MIT career, Lewin's investigations in astrophysics have included satellite and high-altitude balloon X-ray observations, world-wide coordinated observations of optical and X-ray bursts, and international collaborations observing X-ray sources. In addition, Lewin has collaborated over the years with various artists on sky art events. From 1998 to 2000, Lewin worked with MIT's Center for Advanced Educational Services on creating the Physics Interactive Video Tutor project -- video help sessions for freshman physics students.
Host(s): Office of the Provost, MIT MuseumTape #: T14783.


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