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Sandbows and Black Lights: Reflections on Optics

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Why are candle flames yellow? Why does ultraviolet light supposedly kill vampires? What about the monocle? Why was the monocle—a corrective lens that only corrects vision in a single eye—so popular among businessmen and politicians for so many years? Stephen R. Wilk answers all this and so much more in Sandbows and Black Lights.

This book is a collection of original essays on weird and unusual topics surrounding optics. Wilk uses the BBC's formula of "Education by Stealth" to explain unusual facets of science and technology through the matrix of interesting and cultural paths, all the while weaving in math equations in an accessible way. The first part of the book focuses on the history, the second moves to odd scientific approaches to visual phenomena, and the third part explains the unique use of optics in fiction, movies, and comic books over time. Chapters cover everything from endless corridors to the beam of light over treasure chests in movies.

Whether he is explaining a rare discovery or answering a seemingly unapproachable question, Wilk is able to lure readers in on every page. He has a unique ability to turn complex science into an engaging story, and this book is full of narratives on esoteric topics anyone will find intriguing. Sandbows and Black Lights provides an enticing and entertaining look at physical illusions in a whole new way.

Συγγραφέας: Wilk Stephen
Εκδότης: OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
Σελίδες: 216
ISBN: 9780197518571
Εξώφυλλο: Σκληρό Εξώφυλλο
Αριθμός Έκδοσης: 1
Έτος έκδοσης: 2021

Introduction
Part I: History
Chapter 1: Who Invented the Black Light?
Chapter 2: Revolutionary Optics-Jean-Paul Marat
Chapter 3: Globulism
Chapter 4: Acoustic Mirrors
Chapter 5: Friedrich Richard Ulbricht's Kugelphotometer
Chapter 6: The Monocle
Chapter 7: Fringe Science
Chapter 8: Light-as a Feather
Chapter 9: Lacemaker's Lamps
Chapter 10: Thoreau's Rainbow
Chapter 11: The Well-Tempered Spectrometer
Chapter 12: Sacred Sun
Chapter 13: Fiat Lux!
Chapter 14: Not Worth the Candle
Chapter 15: Why Are Candle Flames Yellow?
Part II: Weird Science
Chapter 16: Brown
Chapter 17: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Light
Chapter 18: Deck Prisms and Vault Lights
Chapter 19: Forty-Four Fewer Shades of Gray
Chapter 20: Barrel and Pincushion
Chapter 21: Preppy Physics
Chapter 22: The Sandbow
Chapter 23: Mistbow versus Glory
Chapter 24: Edible Optics
Chapter 25: Thoughtographs and the Stanhope Lens
Chapter 26: The Best Disinfectant
Chapter 27: Walter Darcy Ryan and His Electric Scintillator
Chapter 28: The Trilobite's Eye
Chapter 29: Infinitely Distant
Part III: Pop Culture
Chapter 30: I Was a Teenage Optical Engineer
Chapter 31: Killing Vampires Efficiently with Ultraviolet Light
Chapter 32: The Endless Corridor
Chapter 33: The Great 19th-Century Green Spectacle Craze
Chapter 34: Tanagra Theater and the Fishbowl Mermaid
Chapter 35: The Secrets of X-Ray Spex
Chapter 36: Fluorescent Paint before Day-Glo
Chapter 37: The First 3D Movies
Chapter 38: Perspective Machines, Zograscopes, Megalethoscopes, and Boites d'Optiques
Chapter 39: The Claude Lorrain Mirror
Chapter 40: How the Ray Gun Got Its Zap! Part II: Handheld Ray Guns
Afterword
Index

Stephen R. Wilk is an optical engineer and project manager at XENON Corporation. He has worked at research labs and small optics firms in the Greater Boston area for many years, and he has written nonfiction books and articles relating to physics, optics, general science, history, mythology, and popular culture. Wilk is perpetually intrigued by the unusual, and he has written about the physics of karate, the trial of an 18th century Lenape Sachem, edible optics, and the inventor of the black light. In addition to his work as a physicist and engineer, he has published several works of genre fiction.

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