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From Sight to Light
Author: A. Mark Smith

ISBN: 9780226174761
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 480
Published: 17 December 2014
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 6.0 x 9.0 x 3.8
Description:
From its inception in Greek antiquity, the science of optics was aimed primarily at explaining sight and accounting for why things look as they do. By the end of the seventeenth century, however, the analytic focus of optics had shifted to light: its fundamental properties and such physical behaviors as reflection, refraction, and diffraction. This dramatic shift?which A. Mark Smith characterizes as the ?Keplerian turn"?lies at the heart of this fascinating and pioneering study.

Breaking from previous scholarship that sees Johannes Kepler as the culmination of a long-evolving optical tradition that traced back to Greek antiquity via the Muslim Middle Ages, Smith presents Kepler instead as marking a rupture with this tradition, arguing that his theory of retinal imaging, which was published in 1604, was instrumental in prompting the turn from sight to light. Kepler's new theory of sight, Smith reveals, thus takes on true historical significance: by treating the eye as a mere light-focusing device rather than an image-producing instrument?as traditionally understood?Kepler's account of retinal imaging helped spur the shift in analyti...

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