Optics Gallery

Innovation Center

One of the most interesting aspects of glass is how it reacts with light. From the first telescope to the latest in optical fiber communication, the story of optics is the story of how we manipulate light. In the Optics Gallery, meet the innovators who opened the universe, who made travel safer, who let us speed along the Information Highway—with glass.

The famous 200-inch disk, the first casting for the Hale telescope on Mount Palomar, is the centerpiece of the gallery. Its mount allows you to see it from all angles.

Walk up to the large curved mirror and discover an image of yourself that is very similar to the virtual view you get from a flight simulator.

Compare refracting telescopes with reflecting telescopes. Check the view of Corning through a periscope.

Learn about the principle of communicating with light, starting with light houses and ending with modern optical fiber


New Glass for a New Era: Borosilicate Glass

Explore the discoveries that took glassmaking from a centuries-old craft to a modern material.