Study Plan

Learning Goals

By the conclusion of this chapter, you should be able to:
  1. Compare and contrast the two main types of optical telescopes, and summarize how these telescopes utilize the behavior of light.
  2. Describe how telescopes of various types collect radiation over the range of the electromagnetic spectrum.
  3. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of ground-based telescopes and telescopes in orbit.
  4. Summarize why spacecraft are sent to study the planets and moons of our Solar System.
  5. Recount how particle accelerators, neutrino and gravitational-wave detectors, and high-speed computers contribute to the body of information we have about the universe.
  6. Discuss the types of observations that led to the discovery of leftover radiation from the Big Bang.

Prepare and Assess


    1. Geometric Optics and Lenses
      Section: 6.1
    1. Telescope Simulator
      Demonstrates the properties of a telescope, and how these vary with aperture and eyepiece selection.
    2. Snell's Law Demonstrator
      Demonstrates Snell's Law, the formula that describes how light is refracted when it moves between different media.
    3. CCD Simulator
      Shows a rainfall and bucket analogy to CCD imaging.

Reassess and Apply

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