OPTI 200 Research Paper


The research paper for this class is to be written on some topic in the field of optics. It can be of historical, sociological, economical, or technical interest. The only criteria is that it covers some aspect of optics or light.
The paper is to be:

  • Written electronically (on a word-processor) or typed. No handwriting.
  • Double-spaced.
  • 10 pages in length.
  • Print out your papers, and turn them in during class.
  • Cite all references within your text. At the end of the paper, include a Reference Page (bibliography of all your citations). At least 5 references are needed for full credit.


  • Topic, Thesis Sentence, and Outline DUE DATE: Start of Class — Friday, March 4, 2016
  • Annotated Bibliography DUE DATE: Start of Class — Monday, March 21, 2016
  • Opening Paragraph DUE DATE: Start of Class — Monday, March 28, 2016
  • Paper and Abstract DUE DATE: Start of Class — Friday, April 22, 2016

LATE PENALTY: Late work will be penalized 50%.

Example Titles:

  • “The Invention of the Laser”
  • “How Optical Fibers Work”
  • “How the Microscope Changed Medicine”
  • “Galileo and the Telescope”
  • “Early Uses of Glass”
  • “Glass-making– Old vs. New Technologies”
  • “The Helium-Neon (He-Ne) Laser–How it Works”
  • “Laser Materials Processing”
  • “Uses of Optics in Medicine”
  • “The Making of the 200″ Mirror for the Telescope on Mt. Palomar”
  • “Patent Issues with the Invention of the Laser”
  • “Wiring of America with Optical Fibers–Economic Issues”
  • “Optical Technology of the Internet”
  • “How a Gas Laser Works”
  • “Optics in our Atmosphere–Sunsets, Sundogs, and Blue Skies”
  • “How a Telescope Works”
  • “A Survey of the World’s Largest Telescopes”
  • “The Optics of a Rainbow”
  • “What went Wrong with the Hubble Space Telescope”
  • “The Colors in Stained Glass”
  • “The National Ignition Facility–The World’s Largest Laser!”
  • “How a Camera Works”

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