Light: A Very Short Introduction [#446]
Light: A Very Short Introduction [#446]

「光は粒子なのか、波なのか。」 20世紀の量子力学が解決してくれるまで、科学者を大いに悩ませ続けてきた疑問です。17世紀のホイヘンスやニュートンの取り組み以降の歴史を振り返り、電子レンジやDVD、レーザー光など身近な物への応用にも触れます。広く活用されている電磁放射、量子光源の通信や演算への応用といった光学の未来にも目を向けます。

  • Covers the physics of light, its historical development and significance, and its applications in modern science
  • Introduces the vast array of modern optical technologies, from long-distance communications, to DVD and CD readers and writers, to surgical tools
  • Looks at exciting new developments using quantum light sources and 'optical tweezers' to manipulate individual molecules

Light enables us to see the world around us. Our sense of sight provides us with direct information about space and time, the physical arrangement of the world, and how it changes. This almost universal shared sensation of vision has led to a fascination with the nature and properties of light across the ages. But the light we see is just a small part of the whole spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, ranging from radio waves to gamma rays.
In this Very Short Introduction Ian Walmsley discusses early attempts to explain light, and the development of apparently opposing particulate and wave theories by scientists such as Isaac Newton and Christiaan Huygens. He shows how light was recognized as an electromagnetic wave in the 19th century, and the development of the quantum mechanics view of wave-particle duality in the 20th century. He also describes the many applications of light, domestic and scientific, such as microwaves, DVDs, and lasers. We now use the whole range of electromagnetic radiation to peer both into the human body and deep into space. Turning to the future of optics, Walmsley concludes by looking at some of the most exciting new developments using quantum light sources in communications and computing.
"a solid little collection of material on the nature of light." - Popularscience.com


1: What is light?
2: Rays
3: Waves
4: Duality
5: Light matters
6: Light, space and time
7: Lighting the frontiers
8: Quantum Light
9: Twilight
Further Reading


Ian Walmsley is the Hooke Professor of Experimental Physics at the University of Oxford, where he is also the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and University Collections and a Fellow of St. Hugh's College. He has engaged in research in optical science and engineering for more than thirty years, and has published over 200 papers in ultrafast laser science, quantum optics and information processing and optical coherent control of matter. Prior to joining the University of Oxford, he was on the faculty of the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester, NY, USA, where he served also as the Chair of the Undergraduate Program, and as Director of the Institute.


ISBN : 9780199682690

Ian A. Walmsley
152 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions





Light: A Very Short Introduction [#446]

Light: A Very Short Introduction [#446]

Light: A Very Short Introduction [#446]