In this section you will find experiments that will help you understand the physics of light impress your friends with your new ability to manipulate light and color using nothing but a few gumballs and a shoebox.   Best of all, you will probably get to make a big mess all in the name of science.

Who knows you may even make a new scientific discovery of your own and get to wear your hair like Albert Einstein.

Easy Activities

These experiments explore the basic concepts of light and color. They will help you understand how light travels and how color and light interact with each other to produce amazing results. Activities in this section are suitable for scientists five and older.

Medium Activities

Light bends when traveling through various substances, can be scattered depending on what it hits, and the colors white and black are not as simple as black and white. The experiments in this section are recommended for scientists 10 and older.

Advanced Activities

You are ready to take it to the next level. You have mastered all the other experiments and need a challenge. Try your hand at these experiments, recommended for scientists 15 and above.

Hands-On Activities

Hands-On Optics (HOO) is an education program that brings together optics experts, teachers and parents to enlighten students about science, technology and the field of optics.

Activity of the Moment

Light Mixing

The goal of the series of experiments is to allow students to learn how different colors of light can interact and mix to produce various new colors. The experiment utilizes 3 different color LEDs (red, green, and blue) to produce a wide range of colors. Many of the current video displays, such as a computer monitor or TV, uses the concept of additive color, where three different colors of light are combined in order to produce a wide range of colors. The primary colors often used are red, green, and blue. Through different combinations and proportions, it is possible to cover the entire visible spectrum. For example, equal parts of red and green, green and blue, and red and blue produce yellow, cyan, and magenta, respectively. These generated colors are known as additive secondary colors. Combining all three primary colors creates white light.