From Sight to Light: The Passage from Ancient to Modern Optics

University of Chicago Press
Free sample

From its inception in Greek antiquity, the science of optics was aimed primarily at explaining sight and accounting for why things look as they do. By the end of the seventeenth century, however, the analytic focus of optics had shifted to light: its fundamental properties and such physical behaviors as reflection, refraction, and diffraction. This dramatic shift—which A. Mark Smith characterizes as the “Keplerian turn”—lies at the heart of this fascinating and pioneering study.

Breaking from previous scholarship that sees Johannes Kepler as the culmination of a long-evolving optical tradition that traced back to Greek antiquity via the Muslim Middle Ages, Smith presents Kepler instead as marking a rupture with this tradition, arguing that his theory of retinal imaging, which was published in 1604, was instrumental in prompting the turn from sight to light. Kepler’s new theory of sight, Smith reveals, thus takes on true historical significance: by treating the eye as a mere light-focusing device rather than an image-producing instrument—as traditionally understood—Kepler’s account of retinal imaging helped spur the shift in analytic focus that eventually led to modern optics.

A sweeping survey, From Sight to Light is poised to become the standard reference for historians of optics as well as those interested more broadly in the history of science, the history of art, and cultural and intellectual history.
Read more

About the author

A. Mark Smith is a Curators’ Professor of History at the University of Missouri–Columbia. Among his numerous publications is an eight-volume critical Latin edition and English translation of Alhacen’s De aspectibus.
Read more

Reviews

Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
Read more
Published on
Dec 26, 2014
Read more
Pages
480
Read more
ISBN
9780226174938
Read more
Language
English
Read more
Genres
History / Ancient / General
History / Europe / Medieval
Science / General
Science / History
Science / Physics / Optics & Light
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
E. Fred Schubert
Revised and fully updated, the Second Edition of this textbook offers a comprehensive explanation of the technology and physics of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) such as infrared, visible-spectrum, ultraviolet, and white LEDs made from III–V semiconductors. The elementary properties of LEDs such as electrical and optical characteristics are reviewed, followed by the analysis of advanced device structures. With nine additional chapters, the treatment of LEDs has been vastly expanded, including new material on device packaging, reflectors, UV LEDs, III–V nitride materials, solid-state sources for illumination applications, and junction temperature. Radiative and non-radiative recombination dynamics, methods for improving light extraction, high-efficiency and high-power device designs, white-light emitters with wavelength-converting phosphor materials, optical reflectors, and spontaneous recombination in resonant-cavity structures, are discussed in detail. Fields related to solid-state lighting such as human vision, photometry, colorimetry, and color rendering are covered beyond the introductory level provided in the first edition. The applications of infrared and visible spectrum LEDs in silica fiber, plastic fiber, and free-space communication are also discussed. Semiconductor material data, device design data, and analytic formulae governing LED operation are provided. With exercises, solutions and illustrative examples, this textbook will be of interest to scientists and engineers working on LEDs, and to graduate students in electrical engineering, applied physics, and materials science.

©2017 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.