Optics and Radioactivity Outreach Activities 

The Department of Physics and Engineering Physics currently offers three two-hour Outreach Activities:

  1. Geometric Optics (suitable for Grades 8 to 12)
    Students conduct a number of guided activities involving mirrors (reflection) and glass blocks and lenses (refraction).
  2. Wave Optics (suitable for Grades 11 and 12)
    Students observe and measure the single-slit diffraction patterns formed by slits of three different widths and observe and measure the double-slit diffraction patterns formed by pairs of slits of three different slit separations.
  3. Radioactivity (suitable for Grades 8 to 12)
    This session consists of a presentation with interspersed student activities.  Students use a Geiger-Muller detector to measure background radiation, to measure the radioactivity of a number of readily-available sources, and to measure the effectiveness of radiation absorbers.  The students conduct a simulation of radioactive decay and compare results with an instructor-conducted measurement of the decay of an actual short-lived radioactive source.  The presentation covers the sources of background radiation, the types of natural radioactivity, the benefits and hazards of ionizing radiation, and the mathematics of radioactive decay.

For more information, or to register for these activities, please contact Brian Zulkoskey, brian.zulkoskey@usask.ca, 306.966.6439.