Introduction to Light: The Physics of Light, Vision, and Color

Overview

Designed as a text for a one-semester, nonmathematical optics course at the undergraduate level, this well-illustrated text is addressed to art majors but is also suitable for students of fashion, theater, photography, and the liberal arts. Four parts constitute this introductory volume: Part I discusses the nature of light, including early ideas of light (a newly revised chapter for this edition), and classical and modern theories. Part II concerns the manipulation of light, including such topics as geometrical ...

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Overview

Designed as a text for a one-semester, nonmathematical optics course at the undergraduate level, this well-illustrated text is addressed to art majors but is also suitable for students of fashion, theater, photography, and the liberal arts. Four parts constitute this introductory volume: Part I discusses the nature of light, including early ideas of light (a newly revised chapter for this edition), and classical and modern theories. Part II concerns the manipulation of light, including such topics as geometrical optics, polarization, lasers, and holography; Part III explores vision, including the eye and seeing; and Part IV examines color, in terms of light and color in nature and color science. Three appendices deal with lens and mirror equations, Snell's law, and scientific notation.
Questions at the end of each chapter offer students a chance to test their grasp of the material. The presentation is almost completely nonmathematical in manner, making this book widely accessible to students of all backgrounds and to other readers curious about this ubiquitous but mysterious natural phenomenon.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Waldman (retired, physics, St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley) presents a textbook for an introductory physics course designed to be accessible to undergraduates with little mathematical background. The classical and modern theories of optics are explained and major areas of optics are examined. Consistent with being a general interest survey text, there is less material on optical instruments and physical optics and more on lasers, holography, meteorological optics, and the psychology of vision. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486421186
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 6/14/2002
  • Series: Dover Books on Physics Series
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 943,981
  • Product dimensions: 6.58 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Table of Contents

  Preface
Part I. What Is Light?
  Chapter 1. Early Ideas of Light
    1.1 Greek Optics
    1.2 Optics in the Middle Ages
    1.3 A New Beginning
  Chapter 2. The Classical Theories
    2.1 The Corpuscular Theory
    2.2 The Wave Theory
    2.3 Electromagnetic Waves
  Chapter 3. Modern Theories
    3.1 Blackbody Radiation
    3.2 Photoelectric Effect
    3.3 The Nuclear Atom
    3.4 Matter Waves
Part II. Manipulation of Light
  Chapter 4. Geometrical Optics
    4.1 Light Rays
    4.2 Reflection and Refraction
    4.3 Spherical Lenses and Mirrors
    4.4 Conic Section Mirrors
  Chapter 5. Polarization
    5.1 Transverse Waves and Polarization
    5.2 Polarization by Reflection
    5.3 Polarization by Scattering
    5.4 Double Refraction
    5.5 Circular Polarization
  Chapter 6. Lasers
    6.1 Absorption and Emission
    6.2 Population Inversion
    6.3 Ruby Laser
    6.4 Helium-Neon Laser
    6.5 Other Laser Types
    6.6 Effects of the Optical Cavity
    6.7 Coherence
    6.8 Applications
  Chapter 7. Holography
    7.1 Zone Plates
    7.2 Hologram as a Set of Zone Plates
    7.3 Improved Holograms
    7.4 Holography and Photography
    7.5 Holograms as Sets of Hyperbolic Mirrors
    7.6 New Types of Holograms
    7.7 Applications
Part III. Vision
  Chapter 8. The Eye
    8.1 Outer Shell
    8.2 Pupil
    8.3 Lens
    8.4 Retina
    8.5 Pathways to the Brain
  Chapter 9. Seeing
    9.1 Eye Movements
    9.2 Optical Illusions
    9.3 Seeing in Three Dimensions
    9.4 Color Vision
Part IV. Color
  Chapter 10. Light and Color in Nature
    10.1 Natural Light
    10.2 Forced Oscillators
    10.3 Rayleigh Scattering
    10.4 White Light Scattering
    10.5 Dispersion
    10.6 Coronas and the Glory
    10.7 Thin Film Colors
    10.8 Pigments in Nature
    10.9 Other Natural Lighting Effects
  Chapter 11. Color Science
    11.1 Newton's Work
    11.2 Primary Colors
    11.3 Attributes of Color
    11.4 Color Solid and Color Atlases
    11.5 Colorimetry
Appendix A. Lens and Mirror Equations
Appendix B. Snell's Law
Appendix C. Scientific Notation
  Index
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