Introductory Optics System - OS-8500



This Introductory Optics System includes both a ray table and an optics bench. It includes everything needed for a complete course in introductory optics. It will take students through reflection, thin-lens theory, color theory, polarization, interference, diffraction and optical instruments. The manual includes 22 quantitative experiments.

In many ways, the requirements for a good introductory system are even more stringent than for more advanced equipment. The equipment must be easy to use and durable, and the experiment must be substantive, yet conceptually straight-forward.

Typical Experiments

With Teacher's Guide and Sample Data

  • Introduction to Ray Optics
  • The Law of Reflection
  • Image Formation in a Plane Mirror
  • The Law of Refraction
  • Optical Reversibility
  • Dispersion and Total Internal Reflection
  • Converging Lens – Image and Object Relationships
  • Light and Color
  • Two-Slit Interference
  • Polarization
  • Image Formation Concave Mirrors
  • Image Formation Spherical Mirrors
  • Image Formation Cylindrical Lenses
  • Spherical Lenses Spherical and Chromatic Aberration, Aperture Size, Depth of Field
  • The Diffraction Grating
  • Single-Slit Diffraction
  • General Diffraction
  • Introduction to Optical Instruments
  • The Projector
  • The Magnifier
  • The Telescope
  • The Compound Microscope


 With these requirements in mind, we incorporated the following features into our Introductory Optics System:

  • Magnetic Mounting: Com­po­nents mount mag­net­i­cal­ly to the optics bench and ray table, yet are easily aligned and re­po­si­tioned.
  • Fully-Illustrated Manual: The 22 copy-ready experiments provide a thor­ough and orderly introduction to both elementary and more advanced optics experiments.
  • Full Range of Components: No improvising or buying additional equipment.
  • Built-in Scales: Built-in scales are convenient and provide accurate results.
  • Calibrated Variable Aperture: Investigate the relationship between aperture and depth of field.
  • Virtual Image Locators: Help locate virtual images and determine their magnification.
  • Color Filters: Investigate color mixing.
  • Full Range of Components: Includes a parallel ray lens, slit mask, universal mirror and other components needed for a full range of optics experiments.
  • Diffraction Scale, Grating and Slits: The system includes a diffraction grating and a diffraction plate with 10 diffraction apertures (single, double and multiple slits, plus random and ordered arrays).
  • Ground Glass Lenses and Mirror: Produce sharp images and mount in recessed plastic holders for protection.
  • Calibrated Polarizers: Two polarizers rotate through 360° in 2° increments.
  • 70 cm Optics Bench: This tough aluminum bench has 2 built-in metric scales, one on each side, and magnetic pads for attaching the light source, component holders and ray optics table.
  • Rotating Ray Table: The table mounts magnetically on the bench, at a slight angle, for bright, sharp rays. Measurements are easy: there's a polar grid on one side of the table and both a polar and a rectangular grid on the other.
  • High-Intensity Light Source: The special line filament makes images and diffraction lines bright and sharp. Features a built-in power supply and a knob for adjusting the filament position.


Each system contains a complete set of the following components:

  • Optics bench — 70 cm extruded aluminum bench with magnetic surface
  • Incandescent light source — high-intensity; built-in power supply (Replacement bulbs for the Incandescent light source are available as EM-8679)
  • Instruction and experiment manual — with 22 experiments
  • Specifications

    Optics Bench
    • 70 cm Aluminum

    Buying Guide

    Replacement Bulbs (5 Pack) - Series/Parallel Circuit
    Color Filter Set - Introductory Optics
    75 mm Lens - Introductory Optics
    -150 mm Lens - Introductory Optics
    Replacement Parts
    Replacement Bulbs (5 Pack) - Series/Parallel Circuit   EM-8679
    Color Filter Set - Introductory Optics   OS-8481
    75 mm Lens - Introductory Optics   OS-8488
    -150 mm Lens - Introductory Optics   OS-8489