April 14, 2012: Lightwave Communications
This workshop was rescheduled from January 21 due to weather
Host: Rex Rice
Time: 8:00 am to 12:00 noon
Location: Clayton High School, Room 203
Click HERE for some photos of the workshop which includes some of the equipment used.
On Saturday, April 14, 2012 Rex Rice presented a workshop on the teaching of lightwave communications with some additional activities related to the physics of cell phones. This was a reprise of a workshop that has been presented by SLAPT twice before (1994 and 2000) that includes many of the materials developed as a Rutgers/
Industry Physics Module by the Rutgers University Center for Mathematics, Science, and Computer Education. The materials were developed by PTRA's Mark Davids and R. Stephen Rea, in cooperation with Paul Zitzewitz of the University of Michigan. Additional materials on teaching the physics of cell phones were developed by Mark Davids, Rick Forrest, and Don Pata, physics teachers from the Detroit Metro Area Physics Teachers. Additional background information can be found in THIS "The Physics Teacher" article.
In this workshop, participants performed activities using a variety of devices which illustrate the principles of radio and lightwave communications. The workshop is that students should have a maximum of hands-on learning with equipment that is as simple (and inexpensive) as possible while still working reliably. In addition, connections need to be made between the simple materials and the complex modern technology of radio and lightwave communications. Teachers and students will find that this unit ties together the topics of sound, light, electric circuits, electromagnetic interactions, and digital communications. When this workshop was presented in the past, it was a make and take workshop that cost $55.00 per kit. This workshop will not be a make and take, but the major make and take component (a bias circuit for modulating an electrical signal to a carrier lightwave) is now available for $19.50 from Arbor Scientific (http://www.arborsci.com/prod-Bias_Circuit_Board-1442.aspx). This is comparable with the cost (perhaps cheaper) than the cost of the parts to build the circuit. Information on how to obtain the parts for performing the activities with your students were presented at the workshop. Many hands on activities were completed. Clayton High School School is located at #1 Mark Twain Circle. From Maryland Avenue (Ladue Road) turn south on Topton way and then south on Mark Twain Circle. Park in the faculty parking lot (near the globe in front of the school) and follow signs to room 203 which is on the top floor just above the main entrance to the building.