June 1, 2016 (Vol. 36, No. 11)
Strong Points: Graphics update immediately, easy to use
Weak Points: No orientation or text description within app
Given the prevalence of increasingly advanced microscopy methods in biological science research, it is certainly advantageous to have a working knowledge of the basic physics of optics and optical systems. The optics app is a very simple app that lets users explore the physical principles of mirrors and lenses via adjustable parameters and diagrams that update in real-time as users make adjustments. For mirrors, users explore the relationships among curvature, object distance and object height, and they can do so for plane, concave, and convex mirrors. Within the lens section of the app, users adjust focal length or optical power (in addition to object distance and height) for either converging or diverging lenses.