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content provider: the Nuffield Curriculum Centre
written by the Nuffield Curriculum Centre
This is a classroom lab for grades 6-12 designed to allow students to compare the action of a pinhole camera and a lens camera.  It gives directions for setting up a carbon filament lamp as the light source, plus technical tips provided by a physicist for getting best results.  Required materials include a +7D lens and the pinhole camera itself, which can be constructed by students (see below for link).

This item is part of a much larger collection of physics/astronomy experiments, sponsored by the UK's Institute of Physics and funded by the Nuffield Curriculum Centre.

SEE RELATED ITEMS ON THIS PAGE for a link to detailed instructions for building the pinhole camera box.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Practices
- Curriculum Development
= Laboratory
Optics
- Geometrical Optics
= Pinhole
- High School
- Middle School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Instructor Guide/Manual
= Laboratory
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Lesson Plan
- Activity
- Laboratory
- New teachers
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Safety Gloves Must be worn   Minimal Danger  


Intended Users:
Educator
Learner
Format:
text/html
Access Rights:
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Restriction:
© 2006 The Nuffield Foundation
Additional information is available.
Keywords:
activities, curriculum, experiment, hands-on, high school labs, labs, lenses, light, pinhole, pinhole camera, practical physics, ray model, ray optics, visible light
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created May 27, 2009 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
March 8, 2012 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
October 25, 2007

This resource is part of 3 Physics Front Topical Units.


Topic: Nature and Behavior of Light
Unit Title: Ray Optics -- Reflection and Refraction of Light

Students experimenting with pinhole cameras are often amazed to see an inverted image at the back of the box.  Often, they are confused about why the pinhole image is upside down, but we see things rightside-up with our eyes.  The difference is that the pinhole actually projects rays of light  through the hole to specific points on the back of the box. The lenses in our eyes act to converge light rays together into a common focus.  This lesson is a great springboard to help students understand the ray model of light.  **NOTE:  Pinhole camera can be constructed by the student.  See the resource directly below for step-by-step directions on building one out of an oatmeal box.

Link to Unit:

Topic: Nature and Behavior of Light
Unit Title: Microscopy and Optical Devices

Classroom Experiment                                                            Grades 6-12
Students experimenting with pinhole cameras are often amazed to see an inverted image at the back of the box.  Often, they are confused about why the pinhole image is upside down, but we see things rightside-up with our eyes.  The difference is that the pinhole actually projects rays of light  through the hole to specific points on the back of the box.  Lenses, which we have in our eyes, brings light rays together into a common focus.  This lesson is a great springboard to help students understand the ray model of light.  **NOTE:  Pinhole camera can be constructed by the student.  See the resource directly below for step-by-step directions on building one out of an oatmeal box.

Links to Units:

Topic: Nature and Behavior of Light
Unit Title: Microscopy and Optical Devices

Students experimenting with pinhole cameras are often amazed to see an inverted image at the back of the box.  Often, they are confused about why the pinhole image is upside down, but we see things rightside-up with our eyes.  The difference is that the pinhole actually projects rays of light  through the hole to specific points on the back of the box.  Lenses, which we have in our eyes, brings light rays together into a common focus.  This lesson is a great springboard to help students understand the ray model of light.  **NOTE:  Pinhole camera can be constructed by the student.  See the resource directly below for step-by-step directions on building one out of an oatmeal box.

Link to Unit:
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Record Link
AIP Format
Nuffield Curriculum Centre, (2006), WWW Document, (http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics/pinhole-camera-and-lens-camera).
AJP/PRST-PER
Nuffield Curriculum Centre, Practical Physics: Pinhole Camera and Lens Camera (2006), <http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics/pinhole-camera-and-lens-camera>.
APA Format
Nuffield Curriculum Centre. (2007, October 25). Practical Physics: Pinhole Camera and Lens Camera. Retrieved April 25, 2014, from http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics/pinhole-camera-and-lens-camera
Chicago Format
Nuffield Curriculum Centre. Practical Physics: Pinhole Camera and Lens Camera. October 25, 2007. http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics/pinhole-camera-and-lens-camera (accessed 25 April 2014).
MLA Format
Nuffield Curriculum Centre. Practical Physics: Pinhole Camera and Lens Camera. 2006. 25 Oct. 2007. Nuffield Curriculum Centre. 25 Apr. 2014 <http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics/pinhole-camera-and-lens-camera>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Nuffield Curriculum Centre", Title = {Practical Physics: Pinhole Camera and Lens Camera}, Volume = {2014}, Number = {25 April 2014}, Month = {October 25, 2007}, Year = {2006} }
Refer Export Format

%Q Nuffield Curriculum Centre
%T Practical Physics: Pinhole Camera and Lens Camera
%D October 25, 2007
%U http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics/pinhole-camera-and-lens-camera
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A Nuffield Curriculum Centre,
%D October 25, 2007
%T Practical Physics: Pinhole Camera and Lens Camera
%V 2014
%N 25 April 2014
%8 October 25, 2007
%9 text/html
%U http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics/pinhole-camera-and-lens-camera


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Practical Physics: Pinhole Camera and Lens Camera:

Is Supplemented By http://idea.uwosh.edu/nick/Buildingacamera.pdf

This web page provides explicit directions for constructing a pinhole camera using card stock, tape, cardboard, heavy-gauge needles, and brass stock (available in hardware stores).

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