Patterns of Light: Chasing the Spectrum from Aristotle to LEDs / Edition 1

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Overview

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, starts with the visible-the straight path of light-and 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 and 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

From the reviews:

"In this work, which developed out of a general studies course at the university, Beeson and Mayer (both, Arizona State Univ.) present a descriptive overview of the nature of light and fundamental phenomena associated with its behavior. … The brief, nontechnical chapters are geared to the nonscientist and emphasize phenomena. The book includes excellent illustrations (with some color photos) and a glossary of terms. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers." (O. Eknoyan, CHOICE, Vol. 45 (11), 2008)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780387751061
  • Publisher: Springer New York
  • Publication date: 1/3/2008
  • Edition description: 2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 196

Table of Contents

1 The Path of Light 1

1.1 The Straight and Narrow 1

1.2 The Fastest Thing Around 3

1.3 Standing in the Shadows 5

1.4 The Reversible Path of Light 7

1.5 The World through a Hole 8

1.6 A Room with a View 10

2 The Reflection of Light 13

2.1 Reflections on the Past 13

2.2 All Things Equal 15

2.3 From the Looking Glass 16

2.4 The Curved Mirror 19

2.5 Shaving and a Spoon 20

2.6 The Rough Edges 22

3 Daguerreotypes: Light Captured 25

3.1 A Race to Capture Light 25

3.2 Tripping the Light Fantastic 26

3.3 It's all in the Reflection 29

4 The Refraction of Light 33

4.1 From Galaxy to Fish 33

4.2 Altering the Speed of Light 33

4.3 The Light Brigade 36

4.4 The Properties of Waves 38

4.5 On the Beach 40

4.6 The Law of Refraction 42

4.7 The Refractive Index 43

4.8 Total Internal Reflection 45

4.9 Diffraction: Newton's Mistake 46

5 Lenses: From Water Drops to Telescopes 49

5.1 Viewing the Unknown 49

5.2 The Focal Length 50

5.3 Of Objects, Images, and Burning Glasses 52

5.4 Burning Glasses 53

5.5 Measuring Magnification 55

5.6 The Compound Microscope 57

5.7 A New Microscope 59

5.8 Inside the SEM 62

5.9 Optical versus Electron Microscopy 64

5.10 Seeing the Distant 66

5.11 Imperfect Light 67

5.12 The Most Advanced Camera 69

5.13 Still and Imperfect Camera 71

6 Sources of Light and Color 75

6.1 Crossroads 75

6.2 Waves, Rebounding 75

6.3 Waves, Unfolding 78

6.4 Photons, Reflecting 80

6.5 The Color of Objects 82

6.6 Sources of Light 83

6.7 Replacing Edison 85

6.8 Revolution in White Light Sources 86

6.9 Tricking Photons with Lasers 87

6.10 Structural Color 88

6.11 The Eye and Color Sensation 89

7 Diffraction and Interference 91

7.1 Light as a Wave 91

7.2 Wave Interference 91

7.3 Young's Interference 93

7.4 Color from Interference 94

7.5 Soap Bubbles 95

7.6 Oil Slicks and Lens Coatings 96

7.7 Newton's Rings 99

7.8 Birds of a Feather 99

7.9 Diffraction 100

7.10 Diffraction Gratings 101

8 Rainbows 103

8.1 Through the Looking Glass 103

8.2 The Pot of Gold 103

8.3 A Rainbow by Hand 105

8.4 The Antisolar Point 106

8.5 Rainbows in 3D 108

8.6 The Double Rainbow 109

8.7 The Light inside a Rainbow 112

8.8 Rainbows Far Afield 113

9 Sea, Sky, and Cloud 115

9.1 Beam of Light 115

9.2 The Color of Sky 115

9.3 The Color of Sea 116

9.4 The Color of Smoke 118

9.5 White Clouds and Smoke 119

9.6 Salt with your Beer? 122

9.7 The Remains of the Day 123

9.8 The Shadow in the East 125

9.9 Beyond the Horizon 125

9.10 An Oasis in the Sahara (or the Arctic) 127

9.11 Sundogs and Halos 129

10 Polarized Light and Sunglasses 131

10.1 Sunglasses 131

10.2 Polarized Light 132

10.3 Polarization by Reflection 133

10.4 Polarization by Scattering 134

10.5 Polarization by Absorption 135

10.6 Calcite and Double Refraction 136

10.7 Polarization and the Eye 138

11 Photons, Electrons, and the Atom 139

11.1 Light is Created and Destroyed 139

11.2 Packets of Energy 139

11.3 The Electron 140

11.4 The Bohr Model of the Atom 142

11.5 Light and Electrons 142

11.6 Electrons and the Spectrum 143

11.7 X-ray Energies 145

11.8 Characteristic X-rays 146

12 X-rays, Ultraviolet Light, and Infrared 147

12.1 Beyond the Visible 147

12.2 Discoveries beyond the Visible 148

12.2.1 Infrared (IR) Radiation 148

12.2.2 Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation 149

12.2.3 X-radiation (X-rays) 149

12.3 Light Absorption 152

12.4 X-ray Absorption 152

12.5 Fluorescence with Ultraviolet Light 153

12.6 Infrared Light 154

12.7 Infrared Space Exploration 154

13 X-ray Emission: Earth, Moon, and Mars 157

13.1 The Moon 157

13.2 X-ray Emission 158

13.3 X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) 158

13.4 Electron Microprobe and Electron Dispersive Spectrometry (EDS) 160

13.5 Particle-Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) 162

Appendix A 165

References 185

Index 187

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