“Project LITE: Light Inquiry Through Experiments” is a software, curriculum and materials development project located in the Science and Mathematics Education Center at Boston University. It has been funded by the National Science Foundation Division of Undergraduate Education through Grant numbers 9950551, 0125992, and 0715975.


This opening page links to several web sites individually developed as part of the project.

LITE 1 . This site was developed during the proof-of-concept phase of Project LITE between 1999 - 2001. It contains JAVA applets, some of which were designed to be used in conjunction with an associated kit of optical materials.

LITE Vision for Flash Player 10. This part of the site includes a range of visual effects and illusions. Many of the applets allow the user to explore, manipulate and enhance the phenomena under study.

LITE Vision (old). This part of the LITE site runs under Flash Player 9 or below.

LITE Spectrum Explorer 2.0. This software can be run either as a JAVA applet over the web or as an application. It allows the user to explore physical aspects of the electromagnetic spectrum, particularly the emission and absorption of light. (See footnote.)

LITE Spectrum Explorer 3.0 beta. Requires JAVA Web Start.

New LITE Applets.

LITE Inkjet Science.This section of the Project LITE web site contains links to PDF files of objects that can be printed with an inkjet or laser printer and then assembled. Each three dimensional model allows the observer to explore aspects of depth perception that cannot be fully probed using a two dimensional computer screen alone.

Vectorized LITE. This section of the Project LITE web site contains PDF images that illustrate a variety of visual phenomena. These files can be downloaded and printed at any scale and still retain the sharp edges which facilitate the efficacy of most of the effects. All of these phenomena gain strength from being displayed in a large format, say a yard (or meter) on a side.

LITE Spinning Tops. In this section of the Project LITE web site, we have posted a number of surface patterns for spinning tops. They were designed to fit onto CDs and DVDs. With a suitable spindle running through the center of the CD or DVD, the resulting top can be spun around its central axis. Depending on the rotation speed and lighting, these patterns give rise to a variety of visual effects.

LITE iPod and iPhone Apps. Here is a link to the iTunes store where we have posted apps that we have developed about light, color and vision that run on the iPod and on the iPhone.

Binocular LITE. Here is a link to a set of apps that allow the user to explore binocular vision. It has been designed for viewing on an iPhone or on an iPod Touch using Safari. (Versions using Google Chrome on the iPhone, as well as Android versions, will be posted at a later date.) The binocular images - some are stereoscopic, others are not but probe binocular vision more generally - can be explored by parallel free viewing, or by cross viewing, or with the aid of a stereo viewer consisting of a pair of lenses with 2.5 inch separation that have 4 inch - 6 inch focal lengths.

Binocular LITE Version 2. Here is a link to a revised set of apps that allow the user to explore binocular vision. It has been designed for viewing with Safari running on either an iPhone 4 or 5 or on an equivalent iPod Touch. It will also work using Google Chrome on an iPhone. This version of the software will also work on some Android powered smart phones. The binocular images - some are stereoscopic, others are not but probe binocular vision more generally - can be explored by parallel free viewing, or by cross viewing, or with the aid of a stereo viewer consisting of a pair of lenses with 2.5 inch separation, each with the same 4 - 6 inch focal lengths.

Binocular LITE Version 3 . Here is a link to a revised set of apps that allow the user to explore binocular vision. It has been designed for viewing with Safari running on either an iPhone 4 or 5 or on an equivalent iPod Touch. It will also work using Google Chrome on an iPhone. This version of the software will also work on some Android powered smart phones. The binocular images - some are stereoscopic, others are not but probe binocular vision more generally - can be explored by parallel free viewing, or by cross viewing, or with the aid of a stereo viewer consisting of a pair of lenses with 2.5 inch separation, each with the same 4 - 6 inch focal lengths.

Binocular LITE Version 4 . Here is a link to a revised set of apps that allow the user to explore binocular vision. It has been designed for viewing with Safari running on either an iPhone 4 or 5 or on an equivalent iPod Touch. It will also work using Google Chrome on an iPhone. This version of the software will also work on some Android powered smart phones. The binocular images - some are stereoscopic, others are not but probe binocular vision more generally - can be explored by parallel free viewing, or by cross viewing, or with the aid of a stereo viewer consisting of a pair of lenses with 2.5 inch separation, each with the same 4 - 6 inch focal lengths.

Binocular LITE Version 5. Here is a link to a revised set of apps that allow the user to explore binocular vision. It has been designed for viewing with Safari running on either an iPhone 4 or 5 or on an equivalent iPod Touch. It will also work using Google Chrome on an iPhone. This version of the software will also work on some Android powered smart phones. The binocular images - some are stereoscopic, others are not but probe binocular vision more generally - can be explored by parallel free viewing, or by cross viewing, or with the aid of a stereo viewer consisting of a pair of lenses with 2.5 inch separation, each with the same 4 - 6 inch focal lengths.

Monocular LITE Version 1. Here is a link to a set of apps for use with an iPhone, iPod or Android based smartphone. These apps are mainly meant to assist the user in exploring various aspects of light: fluorescence, phosphorescence, reflective color mixing, and spectroscopy. For example, the Spectral Line app allows the user to adjust the width and color of a physical line of color that can be examined with a handheld transmission grating. The red, green and blue spectra of an iPhone are shown in the Smartphone Color Spectra app. Two monocular visual perception apps are also posted here.

 

For further information, comments or suggestions about Project LITE contact:

Professor Kenneth Brecher, Principal Investigator (Telephone 617-353-3423)

Email: E-Mail


Boston University
725 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
© Trustees of Boston University 2014

 

Footnote:

To run the Spectrum Explorer Applet, you must add lite.bu.edu/ site to the exception site list in the Java Console. To do this, you must take the following steps. If you have not already, activate the Java plug-in on your system by going to a site with a Java applet, such as lite.bu.edu/ to bring up an applet and prompt activation.

Outside your browser

Windows:From the Desktop, click on the Start menu and look under “All Programs” for a folder titled “Java”. Select “Configure Java” from the “Java” folder.

Mac OS X 10.7.3 and above:

Click on the Apple icon in the upper left of the screen. Go to System Preferences and click on the Java icon to access the Java Control Panel

In the Java Control Panel which pops up, navigate to the Security tab and click on “Edit Site List” which will be towards the bottom of that window. A window will open, in which is an “Add” button. Click on the “Add” button, type or paste http://lite.bu.edu into the line which becomes available and then click on “OK” at the bottom of the window. Once you are back to the Java Control Panel window, click “OK” again.

Inside your browser

Navigate to lite.bu.edu and select the link for LITE Spectrum Explorer 2.0. Click on the “Launch Spectrum Explorer (all platforms)” link to open a new window containing the Spectrum Explorer applet. Depending on the browser you are using, there may be a request to allow the Java plug-in to run, either once or always. Select the choice that makes sense for you. Following this, a Java Security Warning will pop up, asking if you wish to continue. Select “Continue.” Another window will pop up asking if you wish to run this application. The “Run” button is grayed out until you click on the small check box at the bottom of the window. Click on the “I accept the risk and want to run this application” box and then select “Run.”

Yet another window will pop up at this point, asking if you want to block potentially unsafe components from being run, at which point you must answer “Don’t Block.” A final window will pop up at this point, asking if you want to run this application. Select “Run” and the applet will now run. From this point forward, you will not need to approve this applet for it to run. At least, not until Java gets updated again, and then, who knows?

For Mac OS X 10.6.8:

In the Applications folders, click on Utilities. Click on the “Java Preferences” icon. In the window that pops up, make certain that the “Enable applet plug-in and Web Start applications” box is checked and then navigate to the Networks tab. Uncheck the box labeled “Keep temporary files for fast access” and then click the “Delete Files…” button near the bottom of the window. Make certain to include “Trace & Log Files” in the confirm deletion window that opens. Leave this window open while you switch to the browser. Navigate to lite.bu.edu and select the link for LITE Spectrum Explorer 2.0. Click on the “Launch Spectrum Explorer (all platforms)” link to open a new window containing the Spectrum Explorer applet. Depending on the browser you are using, there may be a request to allow the Java plug-in to run, either once or always. Select the choice that makes sense for you. Following this, a Java Security Warning will pop up, stating that an applet from “lite.bu.edu” is requesting access to your computer. There is a box labeled “allow all from “lite.bu.edu” with this signature” in this window, which you should click, before selecting “Continue.” At this point, a window will pop up, asking if you wish to allow the applet to run. Click “Allow” and the applet will now run. You may notice that a line has been added to the exception list under the Security tab in the Java Preferences window that includes “lite.bu.edu”. This indicates that you have successfully applied this fix and should be able to run any java applet from lite.bu.edu now.