Summary of Suitcase Contents

The NES/OSA Suitcases form the core of our exhibit. The contents have not changed in several years but have been augmented with additional demonstrations provided by members. Four cases of approximately 50 cubic feet hold the bulk of the equipment. Each is lined with foam so the cases can be shipped; they are also used for an SPIE Short Course taught by Mark Kahan entitled “Introduction to Optics for Non-Optical Engineers”.

Historic Suitcase Contents

Contents of Case 1 include:

  • A chess-set transmission hologram
  • Two bottles of water, each containing diatomaceous earth (to scatter a laser beam when transmitted through)
  • Lenticular displays
  • Flashlight
  • Instructional materials on demo’s that can be run using various pieces of equipment (e.g. via overhead projector, etc.)
  • Overheads displaying real-world cases where the effects of refraction & diffraction can be readily observed
  • Moiré pattern demonstration materials
  • Photonics demonstrations: demonstration of room-light blinking due to A/C current, rewired TV remote controllers to allow viewing 24 bit/sec signals sent to TV, a PC-fan rigged through a rheostat used to chop a laser beam and hear changes in pitch, an amplified speaker with both sound & LED output
  • Misc. laser pointers, spare LEDs, salt/pepper
  • Polaroid/overhead pieces (1” squares to hand out)

Case 2 includes:

  • Broken HeNe laser with a removable cover which allows the pumping cavity to be seen
  • Large magnifier
  • Light table
  • Reflected light “trap” (1/4-wave plate/linear analyzer sandwich)
  • Overheads displaying birefringence via scotch tape montages
  • Polarizer sheets and analyzer sheets
  • Vectograph of moon-rocks  and viewer (seen as 3-D via parallax & polarization)
  • Plastic squeeze-bar which can be used to show isoclines & isochromatics
  • Stereograms and a stereogram viewer
  • Fiber-optic cable (thin, long)
  • Half-wave plate
  • Glass ruled-grating
  • CD disk
  • Optical bench for a laser
  • American Optical demo case containing a beam multiplier, pinholes, mounts, front surface mirrors, a "water bath" (small aquarium with black-back), plastic positive and negative lenses, and photodetector

Case 3 includes:

  • Laser with rail mount
  • Power supply for the laser
  • Spare laser

Case 4 includes:

  • Fiber bundles (horse-hair, fiberoptic card reader head, pig-tails, etc.)
  • Long-filament (» 6”) Tungsten bulb
  • Corner-cube
  • 20X beam expander
  • Fiber-optic faceplate

Recent Additions to Demonstrations Materials

  • Hands on Optics Mini Kit supporting Magnification and Ultraviolet light modules
  • Hands on Optics "Hit the Target" Laser Kit
  • Various laser levels and pointers
  • “Jello Optics” templates
  • Diffractive Optics Samples
  • Mirascope
  • LED based laser communications demonstration