Module 18

Main Progression - The Properties of Light, Geometric Optics, and Wave Optics

Review & Preview - Study for your next practice test in Module 19.

Knowledge Mapping - An intense and challenging set of discussions designed to help you integrate a great deal of physics and chemistry.

Verbal Reasoning and Essay - Continuing the regimin of reading program, exercise, and writing assignment.

Main Progression

Videos

Assignments


Orient yourself to the model systems and terminology of the Properties of Light before proceeding with the rest of your assignments. Browse the terminology and images within your MCAT Primer, complete the basic terms Crossword Puzzle (Solution) and perform an online drill at the Question Server..
Master the Concept and Question cards for Electromagnetic Waves from the physics flashcards.
Perform the Properties of Light Practice Items, which have some items for Geometric and Wave Optics as well. Here is the Answer Key for the problem set.
Finish your Main Progression work on Electromagnetic Waves with a review tour of the Properties of Light external resources in the Learning Center.

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Goals


Possess at least a basic understanding of the description of light as electromagnetic waves.
Be able to give a conceptual summary of the meaning of the electric permittivity and magnetic permeability of space.
Understand basic properties of electromagnetic waves such as their transverse wave nature, the ability to travel in a vacuum, and polarizability.
Be able to identify the transitions as you move up in frequency thruogh the electromagnetic spectrum from radio waves all the way to gamma rays.
Possess a good comfort level carrying out basic harmonic wave computations involving wave speed, frequency, and wavelength in the context of electromagnetic radiation.
Understand basic problem solving involving reflection of light.
Know Snell’s Law backwards and forwards and know how to solve the basic conceptual and quantitative problems involving the transmission of light between media.
Be able to explain what is happening with the dispersion of light by a prism.
Understand what the critical angle is, which determines whether light will be transmitted or reflected at a border between two media.

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Videos

Assignments


Orient yourself to the conceptual field of Geometric Optics by browsing the terminology and images within your MCAT Primer, complete the basic terms Crossword Puzzle (Solution) and perform an online drill at the Question Server.
Master the Concept and Question cards for Geometric Optics from the physics flashcards.
Here is a Summary Page for Simple Lenses and Mirrors.
Finish your Main Progression work on Harmonic Motion with a review tour of the Geometric Optics external resources in the Learning Center.

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Goals


Know how to distinguish virtual and real images and understand how examples of each are produced. Have a clear idea of what an optical image is.
Be prepared to construct a ray diagram for a concave or convex mirror as well as a converging or diverging simple lens.
Starting with the object on the principal axis very far away from a concave mirror, be able to imagine the transitions the image undergoes as you move the object closer in terms of the location of the image on the axis, whether it is real or virtual, upright or inverted, and magnified or diminished. Understand how to do the same thing with a converging lens.
Remember that the image created by a simple diverging lens as well as a convex mirror is always diminished, erect, and virtual (DEV).
Be able to interpret the lens makers equation in various contexts in a straightforward, common-sense way.
Know how to apply the principals of converging lenses to understanding the function of the human eye. Be able to relate these principals to farsightedness and nearsightedness.
Understand the meaning of the near point.
Be familiar with how to interpret compound optical devices such as the astronomical telescope and the compound microscope.
Be familiar with how to interpret compound optical devices such as the astronomical telescope and the compound microscope.

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Videos

Assignments


Warm up before watching the videos. Browse Wave Optics in your MCAT Primer to get a feel for the field of reference. Perform your basic terms Crossword Puzzle (Solution) and perform an online drill at the Question Server.
Work through the Concept and Question cards for Wave Optics from the physics flashcards.
Close the circle with a review tour of the Wave Optics resources in the Learning Center.

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Goals


Understand diffraction in terms of Huygens’ Principal.
Comprehend how interference produces the pattern of light and dark fringes in Young’s double slit diffraction experiment.
Remember the distinction between hard and soft reflection.
Be able to describe how thin film interference produces the iridescent colors of soap bubbles. Be able to extend this understanding to similar interference phenomona such as observed with an air wedge.
Understand how the Michelson interferometer can be used to measure very small distances.
With regard to the Fraunhofer type of pattern produced with single slit diffraction, understand what determines the width of the central fringe and the location of maxima and minima.
Be able to apply principles from single slit diffraction to understanding the pattern of an airy disc which governs the resolution of optical instruments such as microscopes and astronomical telescopes. Remember Rayleigh’s criterion.
Be able to recall the means by which polarized light may be produced. Be familiar with Brewster’s angle.

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Review & Preview

Assignments


Study for your next practice test in module 19. Study as you see fit. We've been through this a few times, and at this stage of the course it is very important for you to take full, self-conscious responsibility for your knowledge base and understand its performance in MCAT style problem solving at the topic level. Go back through your past tests. Go back through the half hour ExamKrackers tests. Go back through the outlines of the knowledge in the Learning Center. Pick a few videos to watch. Fix your weaknesses.

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Goals


Be prepared for an awesome practice test in Module 19.

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Knowledge Mapping

Assignments


Read the Coaching Discussions associated with the Main Progression topics of The Properties of Light, Geometric Optics, and Wave Optics. Start HERE and proceed by clicking 'Next Discussion'.

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Goals


Possess a basic understanding of how a changing electric field produces a magnetic field and that a changing magnetic field produces an electric field, in other words, the unity of the topics of electromagnetism and light.
Be able to scroll through the different types of electromagnetic radiation and discuss the emission or absorption of these types in the context of specific types of chemical or physical phenomena.
Understand how to apply the principles of geometric optics in the context of the physiology and pathophysiology of the human eye.

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Verbal Reasoning

Assignments


Two or three times this for this module, sit down for one half hour and read from the following works in the category of PHILOSOPHY. With the Santayana, which is a long work, read the first ten pages. Practice reading carefully and slowly. Find the voice in the writing Find the structure of argument. Don't zone out. This is exercise in sustaining attention and concentration. Grip down with your attention and don't let go.

accessibleWalking - Henry David Thoreau
moderateTerminus: of the Interpretation of Nature - Francis Bacon
difficultThe Life of Reason - George Santayana
Let's practice being an MCAT test writer. In this exercise, write a 'correct' and an 'incorrect' answer corresponding to questions following a typical verbal reasoning passage. Pretend you are part of a committee making the test, and your job is to write a 'best answer' and a 'second best' (tricky but wrong) answer. We will do this exercise often throughout the course to help you understand the nuances of the Verbal Reasoning questions. Print and complete this exercise. Click Here.

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Goals


Improve the stamina of your reading attention. Practice sustaining your focus through dense reading material.
Understand the intentions of the writers of Verbal Reasoning questions on the MCAT.
Verbal Reasoning Tip of the Week
Think for a moment after you read a prompt for an author's tone question. Take a moment to think before reading the answer choices. The shades of difference between the answer choices are usually subtle with author's tone questions. Don't let the answers dictate your impression.

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Essay

Video

Assignments


Read the WikiPremed guide to Writing the MCAT Essay.
Arrange a clear, undisturbed half hour to write an essay. Use your word processor. Click Here for your essay topic for module two. Don't advance to page 2 until you are ready to begin writing.

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Goals


Understand how to imagine a dialogue or debate as a generative device for writing MCAT essays.

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MECHANICS & WAVES
MCAT course 
syllabus module 1
Kinematics
Newton's Laws
Work, Energy, & Power
Momentum & Impulse
MCAT course syllabus module 2
Rotation  
Harmonic Motion
Elastic Properties of Solids
Fluid Mechanics
Waves
FUNDAMENTAL FORCES
MCAT course syllabus module 3
Gravitation
Electricity
THE STRUCTURE OF MATTER
MCAT course 
syllabus module 4
Atomic Theory
Periodic Properties
The Chemical Bond
Intermolecular Forces
MCAT course syllabus module 5
Functional Groups
Stereochemistry
THERMODYNAMICS & KINETICS
MCAT course syllabus module 6
Temperature & Heat Flow
Ideal Gas & Kinetic Theory
1st Law of Thermodynamics
Stoichiometry
Thermochemistry
MCAT course syllabus module 7
2nd Law & Heat Engines
Chemical Thermodynamics
The States of Matter
Orgo Physical Properties
Chemical Kinetics
AQUEOUS SYSTEMS
MCAT course syllabus module 8
Water
Solutions
Acids & Bases
Organic Acids & Bases
ORGANIC REACTION CHEMISTRY
MCAT course syllabus module 9
Nucleophiles & Electrophiles
Rearrangements
Radical Intermediates
Conjugation & Aromaticity
Alkanes
Alkenes  optional
Alkynes  optional
Alkyl Halides
Allylic Conjugation
Aromatic Compounds  optional
Alcohols & Ethers
Aldehydes & Ketones
Carboxylic Acids
Amines
Phosphorus Compounds
Sulfur Compounds
MCAT course 
syllabus module 10Overall Review
BIOMOLECULES
MCAT course syllabus module 11
Proteins
Carbohydrates
Nucleic Acids
Lipids
THE CELL
Biological Membranes
The Prokaryotic Cell
The Eukaryotic Cell
BIOENERGETICS & BIOSYNTHESIS
MCAT course syllabus module 12
Coordination Chemistry
Oxidation/Reduction
Redox in Organic Chemistry
Electrochemistry
Cellular Respiration
Photosynthesis  optional
Integration of Metabolism
GENETICS & REPRODUCTION
MCAT course syllabus module 13
Gene Expression
Cellular Reproduction
Mendelian Genetics
Recombination & Mutation
Molecular Biology Lab
Human Genetics
DIVERSITY OF LIFE
MCAT course syllabus module 14
Viruses
Bacteria & Archaea
Protista  taxonomy optional
Fungi
Plants  optional
Animals  taxonomy optional
Embryology
MCAT course 
syllabus module 15
Tissues & Histology
HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY
Nervous System
Sensory Systems
Endocrine System
Musculoskeletal System
Cardiovascular System
Blood
Respiratory System
Lymphatic System & Immunity
Urinary System
Digestive System
Reproductive System
POPULATION BIOLOGY
MCAT course syllabus module 16
Evolution
Ecology
ELECTROMAGNETISM, LIGHT, & MODERN PHYSICS
MCAT course syllabus module 17
Electricity
DC Current
Magnetism
Electomagnetic Induction
AC Current
MCAT course syllabus module 18
Properties of Light
Geometric Optics
Wave Optics
MCAT course syllabus module 19
Modern Physics  relativity optional
Molecular Spectroscopy
Nuclear Physics
MCAT course 
syllabus module 20Overall Review
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