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How Thick is Your Hair?


Source Institutions

    American Physical Society

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How Thick is Your Hair?

In this activity on page 13 of the PDF, learners use a laser pointer (with known wavelength of light) to measure the thickness of a human hair. By shining the laser on a hair, analyzing the patterns created, and completing some calculations, learners the thickness of a hair in nanometers. Learners can calibrate the laser to find its wavelength by completing the first activity in the manual entitled, "Spots, Lines and Lasers." This manual contains 4 activities related to the Spectra: The Original Laser Superhero Force comic book published by the American Physical Society.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan

Language:
English

Materials List (per group of students)


Subjects


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Nanotechnology
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Units of Measurement
      • Size and Scale
  • Physical Sciences
    • Light and Optics
      • Lasers
      • Vibration and Waves
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Light and Optics
      • Diffraction and Interference

Informal Categories


  • Literature

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

  • Thompson-Flagg, Rebecca; Johnson, Kerry G.

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, American Physical Society, ©2010

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