Light Years: The Extraordinary Story of Mankind's Fascination with Light

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Icon Books Ltd, Jan 8, 2015 - Science - 288 pages
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This is the story of light and the people who were determined to unlock the secrets of one of the greatest puzzles of the Universe. Acclaimed science writer Brian Clegg recounts how civilisations from the Ancient Egyptians to the Mayans understood light spiritually, and looks at the first scientific grapplings with light by the ancient Chinese sage Mo Ti, the Greek philosopher Empedocles, Arab genius Alhazen and others. Clegg also explores the contribution of artists such as Brunellschi, Leonardo de Vinci and Durer to our understanding of light and examines the great revolutionaries of light theory including Galileo, Descartes, Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday and Albert Einstein. In this new edition of one of his best-loved books, Clegg finally discusses the work of scientists such as Maxwell, Edison and Gould that led to light-driven inventions from the camera to the laser, CDs and optical computers and explains the mind-bending advances of quantum physics.
 

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Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
At the speed of light
The philosophers
Out of the darkness
Engines of light
Seeing further
Lights anatomy
Death of the ether
Fearful symmetry
9
Tangled light
Tyger Tyger
Browsing
Further reading
Index

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About the author (2015)

Science writer Brian Clegg studied physics at Cambridge University and specialises in making the strangest aspects of the universe, from infinity to time travel and quantum theory, accessible to the general reader. He is editor of www.popularscience.co.uk and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. His previous books include Inflight Science, The Universe Inside You, Dice World, The Quantum Age and Introducing Infinity: A Graphic Guide.

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