Do You See What I See? Light and Latent Evidence Detection

Jackie Smith,  Science, William A. Hough High School

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


This curriculum unit teaches students about light and its applications in the field of forensic science. The unit begins with a study of the dual theory of light and the electromagnetic spectrum. It covers the interactions and reactions of light with matter. The unit then looks at how the properties of light, including its interactions and reactions with matter, can be used to locate and analyze latent evidence at a crime scene. It covers the use of alternative light sources to detect blood, saliva, sweat, accelerants, ink alterations, hairs, fibers, fingerprints, footprints and more. This unit is an interesting way to explore light and its applications to practical science.