Some students believe light is intentionally designed to allow us to see.

Light, Sound and Waves


Resources to Address This

  • How do we see?  (5-11)

    Ref- SPT HS01 TL02

    Right Lines:You are able to see as a result of light entering your eye. Light may come directly from a luminous source, or reflect off an object, or be scattered from particles and then enter the eye.

    This activity challenges the ideas of a pool of light; an active eye; light from eye to object.

    View Resource


The following studies have documented this misconception:

  • Andersson, B and Kärrqvist, C. () How Swedish pupils, aged 12‐15 years, understand light and its properties, European Journal of Science Education, 5 (4), DOI: 10.1080/0140528830050403.

    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

IOP DOMAINS Physics CPD programme

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Our first collection of videos gives teachers and coaches of physics a preview of the training we offer ahead of this term's live support sessions.

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