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Patterns of Light, 1st Edition

Chasing the Spectrum from Aristotle to LEDs

Patterns of Light, 1st Edition
Author
Beeson, Steven/ Mayer, James W. 
Publisher
Springer-Verlag 
Publication Date
Jan, 2008 
ISBN
0387751068 or 9780387751061
HARDCOVER 
195 Pages
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¥ 12,435 (tax included)

Description

Light is all around us - even when we do not see it. Our eyes do not detect the higher energy and shorter-than-visible-wavelength ultraviolet radiation, yet we know it is there from the sunburn we receive in Arizona. We know that window glass can block ultraviolet rays so we do not get a burn while driving with the windows rolled up. Our eyes do not detect the low-energy, long-wavelength infrared (IR) radiation but we know it exists from discussions of war applications and televised images of guided weapons targets. We also know about radio waves from the little boxes that talk to us and x-rays from the dentist's office.

Patterns of Light, Chasing the Spectrum from Aristotle to LEDs, written by Steve Beeson and Jim Mayer starts with the visible the straight path of light. It continues with chapters detailing reflection (mirrors, storefront windows) and refraction (eyeglasses, binoculars). Color is then introduced with the query "Why is the sky blue?" After answering that and other similar questions ("Why is snow white?"), the book goes beyond the visible to the infrared and ultraviolet. Patterns of Light's many colorful photos and figures further aid in the reader's grasp of the concepts discussed.

Patterns of Light is a descriptive, rather than technical, book with the mathematics behind light included in the appendices. The book is designed for physics students of optics and engineering, but will certainly be enjoyed by all readers interested in gaining a broader perspective on light and its history.

Contents

1 The Path of Light
2 The Reflection of Light
3 Daguerreotypes: Light Captured
4 The Refraction of Light
5 Lenses: From Water Drops to Telescopes
6 Sources of Light and Color
7 Diffraction and Interference
8 Rainbows
9 Sea, Sky, and Cloud
10 Polarized Light and Sunglasses
11 Photons, Electrons, and the Atom
12 X-rays, Ultraviolet Light, and Infrared
13 X-ray Emission: Earth, Moon, and Mars
Appendix A
References
Index

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