Light Science Review

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LIGHT SCIENCE Physics and the Visual Arts, by Thomas D. Rossing and Christopher J. Chiaverina, Springer-Verlag, New York, 1999, ISBN 0-387-98827-0.

Like Seeing the Light, this book promises to be an Everyman’s guide to optics with particular attention to the visual arts. (A discussion of whether or not to restore the Mona Lisa is included!) A lot of ground is covered without rigorous mathematics. There is a 61 page appendix of demonstrations that the student can do at home. There are 225 illustrations, about 80 in color.

It is a much more up to date book than Seeing the Light, being published more than 10 years later. Photography, holography, and digital imaging each have their own chapters.

Both of the authors are Physics teachers, Rossing at Northern IllinoisUniversity, Chiaverina at New Trier High School in a suburb of Chicago. But the writing style is rather tedious, which is probably due more to Chiaverina rather than Rossing, since his Science of Acoustics book doesn’t bog down like this one. Still if you were to have one book on your shelf that answers questions in general optics this would be a good choice. A must get, although pricey!

-Ed Wesly