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Light and Vision How do we see?. The Electromagnetic Spectrum.

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Presentation on theme: "Light and Vision How do we see?. The Electromagnetic Spectrum."— Presentation transcript:

1 Light and Vision How do we see?

2 The Electromagnetic Spectrum

3 Things to Think About Today Light waves travel in straight lines until they meet matter Then, light is reflected, absorbed, refracted Why do animals have eyes? How did eyes evolve? What are the parts of the eye and how do they work to bend light

4 Light Energy Meets Matter Reflected Refracted (Bent) Absorbed

5 Light waves travel in straight lines until they meet matter Some matter ( lenses) focus rays and bend them in defined ways Pin activity=Boxes with solutions/laser pointer, ray box Ray boxes with lenses, gelatin lenses

6 Convex Lenses Magnifying Lenses are Convex lenses

7 Concave Lenses (divergent lenses)

8 Eyes: Detect and Focus Light Eyes are organs that detect light, and convert it to electro-chemical impulses in neurons In higher organisms the eye is a complex optical system which: –collects light from the surrounding environment – regulates its intensity through a diaphragm – focuses it through an adjustable assembly of lenses to form an image –converts the image into a set of electrical signals –transmits these signals to the brain, through complex neural pathways that connect the eye, via the optic nerve, to the visual cortex and other areas of the brain.

9 3 types of eyes have evolved Single centered lens –Advanced mollusks (octopus), spiders,vertebrates Many tiny lenses –Arthropods (trilobites) –Ex. Ants (50 images) Horsefly (7,000 images) Dragonfly (30,000 images) Hole without lens –snakes

10 Parts of the Eye that you can See!

11 Functions of Parts of the Eye Eyelid- protection of eye from injury Pupil- hole in the center of the iris that lets light in –Appears black because the eye tissue absorbs most of the light Sclera-tough outer layer –collagen and elastin Iris-colored area surrounding pupil –Composed of smooth muscle

12 Interior Parts of the Eye



15 Path of an Image Goes through the Cornea and Lens Hits the back of the retina Activates rod and cone cells Transmit impulse through optic nerve to the brain


17 Rod and Cone Cells Rod Cells- numerous ( 130 million in each eye –Responsible for Twilight vision, Gray shades –Very sensitive to light –Found on outside of retina Cone Cells- – less numerous ( 7 million) –Responsible for –Ability to see Color –Found in center of the retina (macula)

18 Now, let’s think about what might go wrong

19 Myopia- Near-sighted Genetic Basis Eye is longer than normal, Cornea steeper Correct with glasses, contacts, surgery Very common! Can make it better by squinting!- Changes the eyeball shape!

20 Myopia= Near Sightedness

21 Hyperopia- Far-sighted Image is focused behind the eyeball Cornea is flatter, eye is shorter, focusing power is weaker Young people can “accommodate” by changing shape of eye= As people get older, lens get harder and can’t be bent. Lasix surgery changes shape of cornea –

22 Hyperopia+ Farsightedness


24 Cataracts Clouding of the lens Caused by aging or damage to the proteins that make up the lens Chemicals, Diabetes, Injury, Smoking are causative Surgery to remove lens

25 Normal/Cataract

26 Retinitis Pigmentosa Rare genetic disease (1/4000 people in US) Rods die and leave dark deposits in retina Lose peripheral and night vision

27 Normal/Retinitis

28 What about compound vision?

29 A Grid- Seen by a Human and an Insect

30 A spider web- seen by a human and an insect

31 Bee as seen by a mammal and an insect

32 Insect images

33 Insects See Colors Differently

34 What about other animals?

35 Bird Vision How do nocturnal birds see? –Rod cells are very sensitive in low light Humans have around 200,000/mm 2, some owls have over a million/mm 2 –Birds also have larger pupils which let more light in What about day foragers –Have more cones than humans –May have more than one fovea area of sharpness)

36 Ruminant Pupils Slit-like in bright light, circular in dim light Gives permanent wide- angle vision whether in dim or bright light -makes watching for predators more efficient.

37 Making the connection between physical science and biology Light travels in straight lines Light bends when it meets matter Lenses are matter that bend light How animals see Eye diseases Do you need light to see? Ray box Bending Experiment Play with Lenses Eye Dissection Annenberg video

38 Video

39 Wrap up Questions What is seeing? Can a human being see in the dark? Why? How would a scientist test if you could see in the dark?

40 Reading Resources A Natural History of the Senses-Diane Ackerman Video- Annenberg Foundation GEMS- topic.html

41 Exploring Light and Lenses Concave Lenses and light Pinhole Viewer (Camera) Camera Obscura Camera Box Camera Obscura (CA)

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