Optics: A Fairy Tale by Sarah Allen, e-book, 23 pages, published in 2013.
The woods surrounding Isabelle’s village are full of monsters. The villagers know it is not safe to enter the woods, but Isabelle must go to cut some wood to help her family survive. She discovers a monster stuck in a tree, and helps it. In return she is shown a special mirror in which she can capture the monsters’ souls so that they will stop terrorising her village.
This book introduces the properties of convex and concave mirrors and lenses in a fun and entertaining way. The mirror in the story is a large spherical concave mirror, like a big bowl on its side. In this mirror, Isabelle can see and trap the souls of the monsters that have chased her. She sees that the images of the souls change size and location when the monsters move closer to or further away from the mirror’s surface, and on the concave side, the images are upside-down. Through the telling of this story, I learnt a bit about optics. Being able to put this information into the context of a story will help me to remember the properties of concave and convex mirrors, and in turn, lenses.
There is a small section at the end of the story that explains these concepts in simple language. It covers the centre of curvature, focus and image location with simple diagrams to aid understanding.
Optics: A Fairy Tale is part of an educational series by Sarah Allen. This blend of fairy tale and physics is suitable for high school students and up. It simplifies some optics basics, helping to prepare physics students for more complex concepts.
*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.