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Optics in the age of Euler : conceptions of the nature of light, 1700-1795

Author: Casper Hakfoort
Publisher: Cambridge ; New York, NY, USA : Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
According to received historiography, the fundamental issue in eighteenth-century optics was whether light could be understood as the emission of particles or as the motion of waves in a subtle medium. Moreover, the emission theory of light was supposed to have been dominant in the eighteenth century, backed by Newton's physical arguments. This picture is enriched and qualified by focussing on the origins, contents,  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Named Person: Leonhard Euler; Leonhard Euler; Leonhard Euler; Leonhard Euler; Leonhard Euler; Leonhard Euler
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Casper Hakfoort
ISBN: 0521404711 9780521404716
OCLC Number: 30914764
Language Note: Translated from the Dutch.
Description: vi, 243 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: 1. Introduction. 1. Condensation and presentism in the historiography of optics. 2. Terminology and outline of this book --
2. The debate on colours, 1672-1720. 1. Newton's theory of colours. 2. Reception of Newton's theory of colours --
3. Theoretical traditions in physical optics, 1700-45. 1. Development of the emission tradition. 2. Development of the medium tradition. 3. The relationship of the optical traditions --
4. Euler's 'Nova theoria' (1746). 1. Euler's place in the medium tradition. 2. Arguments for and against. 3. The content of the theory. 4. The influence and significance of the 'Nova theoria' --
5. The debate in Germany on the nature of light, 1740-95 --
1. Introduction. 2. Early reactions to Euler's argumentation. 3. Physical phenomena. 4. Colour and phosphorescence. 5. The chemical effects of light. 6. Chemistry turns the scales --
6. Epilogue: Optics as a minor of eighteenth-century science. 1. Kuhn's outline: Mathematical and experimental traditions. 2. An addition to the scheme: The natural philosophical tradition. 3. The three-fold division and eighteenth-century optics. 4. On early modern science.
Other Titles: Optica in de eeuw van Euler.
Responsibility: Casper Hakfoort.
More information:

Abstract:

What is light? This 1995 book studies the eighteenth-century origins and early phases of this key debate in optics.  Read more...

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'... well-balanced, and gives us a more comprehensive picture of Continental wave theories of the eighteenth century than has hitherto been available. It will provide an excellent companion volume to Read more...

 
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