Seeing the Light

This is an introductory course for non-science majors that examines the complex process of how we perceive visual images both through the naked eye and through sophisticated optical instruments. The course will examine several elementary topics in the fields of optics, optical instruments, vision, and color. A three-hour laboratory meeting once per week accompanies the lecture part of the course. Specific topics covered include: elementary properties of light, image formation by simple lenses and mirrors, optical instruments (eyeglasses, the camera, telescopes and the compound microscope), the human eye, visual processing, binocular vision, color and color perception, wave optics, scattering and polarization, and holography.