read online Textbooks A History of Optics from Greek Antiquity to the Nineteenth CenturyAuthor Olivier Darrigol –

We generally learn optics with a few paragraphs about early, failed, theories, and then get to the revealed truth Darrigol actually takes us through the evolution of optical theory, including the disagreements and the ebbs and flows of prevailing beliefs.The struggle to understand even the observed features of optics, such as the law of refraction , gave many smart minds grief for centuries Corpuscles and waves struggled for dominance Attempts to devise a description of ether that would lead to the observed behavior of light gave fits to generations of scientists Oddly, given how much of the book is devoted to attempts to understand ether, the Michelson Morley experiment, exalted by physicists for finally disproving its existence, is dispatched in one sentence by Darrigol The book contains many quotes from original sources, which can be archaic or dry Early on there is a lot of geometry and, later, a lot of equations It is not easy reading, nor a book for someone not deeply interested in optics The journey is slow, but you will learn a lot if you take it This is often called Snell s Law , though Darrigol doesn t use the term. A history of optics from greek antiquity to the nineteenth century Olivier Darrigol.After reading multiple separate papers on the subject, the global view of Darrigol in this book, gives you an excelent, systematic and coherent approach. Very good This book is a long term history of optics, from early Greek theories of vision to the nineteenth century victory of the wave theory of light It shows how light gradually became the central entity of a domain of physics that no longer referred to the functioning of the eye it retraces the subsequent competition between medium based and corpuscular concepts of light and it details the nineteenth century flourishing of mechanical ether theories The author critically exploits and sometimes completes the specialized histories that have flourished in the past few years The resulting synthesis brings out the actors long term memory, their dependence on broad cultural shifts, and the evolution of disciplinary divisions and connections Conceptual precision, textual concision, and abundant illustration make the book accessible to a broad variety of readers interested in the origins of modern optics