Note: These are additional enrichment resources for the Quantum Physics for Kids class "Photons & You" on the Outschool learning platform. If you'd like to give Outschool a try, click here to receive an invitation for a first free class.
Resource #1: How animals and humans see the world.
In class, we discussed how bees can sense UV light, which is invisible to humans. Many other animals sense light differently from humans. This video explains how 20 different animals see the world, from dogs to turtles:
To understand in more detail how humans actually sense colors, check out this TED talk on the subject:
Resource #2: The glowing human body
Science researchers have discovered that humans emit visible light, in a range that changes throughout the day. This article explains the research process, and the short video below describes the scientists' findings:
Resource #3: Silicon emitting light?
Silicon, a key ingredient in computer chips, has recently been made to emit photons. Scientists have been trying to do this for over 50 years, and have only recently succeeded. This exciting breakthrough opens up the possibility of data-carrying photons and using photons in computer chips!
Check out this Wired article to learn more.
One amazing use of photons is in lasers. This short video explains, in accessible language, how lasers work:
Another important use of photons is in photovoltaic solar cells for electricity generation. This topic is covered in the next-level Quantum Physics for Kids class, "Solar Energy and Solar-Generated Electricity."