Some students believe a lens will not form an image if it is not whole

Light, Sound and Waves


Resources to Address This

  • Thinking about actions to take: Seeing With Light  (11-14)

    Ref - SPT Li03TL06

    This resource highlights a number of Teaching and Learning issues, such as --

    exploring the phenomenon of refraction through many different examples.

    Make sure the examples include a wide range of different lenses, especially some that are not whole.

    View Resource


The following studies have documented this misconception:

  • Kaltakci-Gurel, D., Eryilmaz, A. & McDermott, L. C. () Development and application of a four-tier test to assess pre-service physics teachers’ misconceptions about geometrical optics. Research in Science & Technological Education, 35 (2),


    Review sheet

  • Bryan, J. A. and Slough, S. W. () Converging lens simulation design and image predictions, Physics Education, 44 (3),

    Review sheet

  • Fetherstonhaugh, T. and Treagust, D. F. () Students’ Understanding of Light and Its Properties: Teaching to Engender Conceptual Change. Science Education, 76 (6),


    Review sheet

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