The Great Light Debate

One of the interesting ways to approach the great debate between light theories and the stegnths of each is a debate. We have tried many different ideas to stress the relative stong and weak points of each theory but this one is by far one of the most effective means to get the entire class involved.

Guidelines are given to the entire class so all can prepare. The actual team selection happens the day of the debate and teams are give a five minute time to prepare as the rest of the class readies the room. Students are told to be prepared to discuss pros and cons of: reflection, refraction, diffraction, dispersion, partial reflection and refraction, total internal reflection, constructive and distructive interference, vacuums, heating when light hits a surface, polarization, photoelectric effect and any other pertinent piece of information they can find to support wave or particle theory.

Stict rules of a five minute introduction, three two minute rebutal periods and and a one minute summation period are allowed. This keeps students involved and focused. It also forces them to listen to the opposing sides issues and respond to them. Students come to class well prepared and organized for their defense and the entire class benefits for the exercise.

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Last modified: June 1, 1998