Presentation on theme: "How things work: The Fresnel Lens Look at page 27 in Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie and compare it to this picture of a Fresnel lens. Do the lighthouse."— Presentation transcript:
How things work: The Fresnel Lens
Look at page 27 in Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie and compare it to this picture of a Fresnel lens. Do the lighthouse lamps from the book look like the Fresnel lens? Fresnel lens from the National Museum of American History Abbie in the lighthouse from Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie
Many light sources, like the oil lamps at Abbie’s lighthouse, send light out that moves in several different directions. But sometimes, we don’t want the light to go in many directions—we want it to go in just one direction, like how lighthouse beams only light up one place at a time.
A man named August Fresnel came up with a way to do that using a lens. A lens is a piece of see-through material (like glass) that focuses rays of light. Say it: FRESNEL sounds like Fray- nell. and the second part rhymes with “shell.” The first part rhymes with “spray”... Click here to listen
Many lenses are made out of glass or plastic. Looking at this part of a lens from the National Museum of American History do you think it is made of glass or plastic? Here’s a hint: It is very heavy and could break! The lens is made of glass and is held together by a metal called brass! glass brass metal
The Fresnel lens has many parts, which have different shapes. Each glass part curves just a little bit. Can you count the different pieces of glass in this close-up picture of part of a Fresnel lens? 13 pieces in just this part!
The parts of the Fresnel lens bend the light so a lot of it points in the same direction. The bending is called “refraction” and happens because light moves differently in air than in the glass of the lens. Refraction also happens in water. Take a look at this animation from Science Net Links. and try it yourself at home! Can you “break” a pencil using only a glass of water?
About a year after Abbie saved the day, the Matinicus Rock lighthouse (where she lived) was repaired and Fresnel lenses were added to the towers. The lenses added to the Matinicus Rock lighthouse were “third order,” or the third biggest size of Fresnel lenses made for lighthouses. Look at the chart. How tall were the Matinicus Rock Fresnel lenses? OrderHeight First7' 10" Second6' 1" Third4' 8" Third and 1/23' 0" Fourth2' 4" Fifth1' 8" Sixth1' 5" Great! Each one was 4’8” tall. Is that taller or shorter than you are?
The National Museum of American History has a Fresnel lens in its new exhibition On the Water. This lens is 4’ 8” tall. What order is it? OrderHeight First7' 10" Second6' 1" Third4' 8" Third and 1/23' 0" Fourth2' 4" Fifth1' 8" Sixth1' 5" 4’8 ” Nice job—it’s a third order lens.
The lens on display at the National Museum of American History was used at Bolivar Point lighthouse, in Galveston, Texas. In 1915, there was a big storm and some of the people from the town of Galveston went to the lighthouse to get protection from the storm. During the storm, the machine part that rotated the lighthouse lens broke. To warn ships at sea, the assistant keeper turned the huge lens by hand for nearly an hour. For even more information about this lens, check out the On the Water exhibition at: edu/collection/TR_ h tmlhttp://americanhistory.si. edu/collection/TR_ h tml. For more activities and information about Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie and America’s activities on the water, visit ourstory/activities/water/. ourstory/activities/water/
For more information on lighthouses Explore the history of lighthouses with a Lighthouse Preservation Society Web site (http://www.lighthousepreservation.org/beacons.php).http://www.lighthousepreservation.org/beacons.php Learn more about the Fresnel lens and it’s use in American lighthouses at the National Park Service Web site (http://www.nps.gov/caha/historyculture/fresnellens.ht m)http://www.nps.gov/caha/historyculture/fresnellens.ht m