Outer Space | Inner Space


“Optics for near and far”

“Optics for near and far” was a project consisting of a number of organised activities to teach about optics for near and far. Specifically, for the ‘far’ element this consisted of building a telescope from scratch with the help of the gallileoscopeTM and by using PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane) lenses to turn smartphones and tablets into a convenient telescope. For the ‘near’ element this consisted of building a microscope out of LEGO pieces (the LEGOscope).

“Optics for near and far” took place on a number of family days and open days during the summer at the Mills Observatory.










Image of fabric captured using a PDMS lens.

This project was the idea of Valentina Ferro, Valerie Bentivegna and Rolf Black and inspired by the International Year of Light (2015). Additional funding for these activities, including further equipment purchases, was provided by SUPA (Scottish University Physics Association).

Rolf is a Rehab Engineer working in the Augmentative and Alternative Communication Research Group at the School of Science and Engineering and is one of the interdisciplinary group of researchers who works on the OSIS project. Valentina and Valerie are PhD students who are part of the PHOQUS (PHOtonic tools for Quantitative imaging in tissUeS) programme. PHOQUS will train 13 postgraduate students in the development and application of novel imaging modalities at the interface between Life and Photonic Sciences using the world-class strengths in Life and Photonic Sciences at the University of Dundee and 22 European partners from both industry and academia.






Valentina Ferro looking through a telescope (gallileoscopeTM) and Valerie Bentivegna using a PDMS lense to turn her smartphone into a telescope.