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Product Code: JLA_8_5_259

Michele L. Brill
Camden County College — Physics/Lasers, Box 200, Blackwood, NJ 08012, U.S.A.

This paper reflects the proceedings of a workshop for local educators provided by Camden County College Laser Curriculum faculty which addressed the question: ‘How can the teacher take advantage of laser properties to improve or enhance demonstrations and student labs?’ Explored here are illustrative ways in which to utilize, for educational purposes, the three well‐known characteristics of lasers: directionality, monochromaticity, and coherence. There is a faculty overlap between the Physics Department and the Laser Curriculum faculty at the college. The use of lasers in the classroom, then, has a two‐fold purpose: first, to teach about lasers, and second, to teach with lasers. The first objective is accomplished largely in a new facility, the Laser Institute of Technology for Education and Research (LITER building), a free‐standing building housing laser and fiber‐optic programs. It features a wide selection of lasers and allows use of various tuning options of some of them for demonstrations and student labs connected with optics classes and other laser curriculum courses. The Physics Department provides the usual Class II or lower (for safety reasons) lasers to be used for demonstrations and student labs. Physics classes are at three levels: preparatory, college (algebra‐based), and transfer (calculus‐based). The lasers permit ground to be covered quickly and effectively at all levels. A current project at the transfer curriculum level will be described.


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