Download Light Years and Time Travel: An Exploration of Mankind's by Brian Clegg PDF

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By Brian Clegg

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"This immensely likeable paintings of dad technology strains 'man's enduring fascination with light,' from Aristotle's plans for a loss of life ray (burning enemy ships with a tremendous array of mirrors) to a contemporary scan that turns out to have despatched Mozart's fortieth Symphony speedier than mild, and therefore again via time. Clegg is excellent at explaining the weird houses of light."
-The Guardian

"A attention-grabbing ebook on a desirable topic. It brings jointly all facets of sunshine in an strange and compelling manner."
-Sir Patrick Moore

"Light's homes frequently look mysterious to the purpose of being unfathomable. but during this awesome e-book, Brian Clegg manages to give an explanation for them throughout the lives of these so fixated with mild that they've formed our belief of it. . . . Clegg's obtainable writing variety manages to encapsulate the lives of light's disciples with funny and engaging anecdotes . . . fairly awesome!"
-New Scientist

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Additional resources for Light Years and Time Travel: An Exploration of Mankind's Enduring Fascination With Light (1st Edition)

Sample text

30 Copyright © 2005 IOP Publishing Ltd. CHAPTER 2 SPECTROSCOPY If the light emitted by the Sun or by an incandescent lamp is incident onto a glass prism, we see—just as Newton did—the colours displayed in a sequence from violet to red; Newton called this the ‘spectrum’. The word has remained to indicate the image obtained by decomposing any light with a prism or any other more complex apparatus. When the intensity varies gradually from one colour to another, we speak of a ‘continuous spectrum’.

The wave theory becomes predominant pro tempore Both wave and corpuscular theories, although seemingly incompatible, gave rise to a series of heated scientific quarrels between their respective supporters, until the experiments and the theoretical considerations of T Young (1773– 1829), E L Malus (1775–1812), L Euler (1707–1783), A Fresnel (1788–1827), J Fraunhofer (1787–1826) and others, confirmed the first theory. Leonard Euler—the great Swiss mathematician, a member of the Science Academies of Poland and Russia—captured the attention of Europe with a series of letters, published in 36 editions and nine languages, written between 1760 and 1762 to the German princesses of Anhalt-Dessau who asked him his opinion on every aspect of science.

Eventually, in 1907, Arthur William Conway (1875–1950) a mathematical-physics professor in Dublin, gave the right explanation according to which the atom produces spectral lines one at a time, so that the production of the complete spectrum depends on the presence of a large number of atoms. According to Conway, to generate a spectral line the atom should be in an abnormal or disturbed state. This situation, in which a single electron situated within the atom is stimulated to produce vibrations of the frequency corresponding to the spectral line in question, does not endure indefinitely, but lasts only a time sufficient to enable the electron to emit a train of vibrations.

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