Physics and Astronomy

Optical Black Box
Objective To use the least time to decide which optical elements were used to produce observed effects.
Participants Teams of up to six.
Materials Provided by the judges.

1. Each team will observe a series of "black boxes" in which light is seen to enter and seen to exit altered in some clearly visible way.
2. A set of optical elements will be provided from which the effects can be created. The set includes: thin convex and concave lenses; plane, convex and concave mirrors; 45° prisms; isosceles prisms; diffraction gratings; parallel-sided and semicircular transparent solids. (No single black box will contain all these elements.)
3. The team must decide which elements were used and diagram their placement in each box.
4. The team submits one set of solutions. The time from entry to submission of solutions will be measured.

Judging 1. Time used will be divided by the number of correct solutions.
2. Minimum raw score will be awarded 100 points. All other scores will be proportional.
Source This event was used at the Second Annual Long Island Physics Olympics, 1983.


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