Old 03-08-2013, 11:00 PM #1
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Default What Better Way To Understand Something Than To Study The History Of It!

The journey of the mystery of light begins in Sicily over 2k years ago. The Greek philosophers were the 1st to question the nature of light & how we see it. The 1st comprehensive theory of light & vision was contributed to Empedicles. He theorized that we see objects because light streams out of our eyes & touches them. ...he also jumped into a volcano to prove he was a God

Later on, Euclid came along & stated "why do objects so far away seems so small in comparison with objects near our eye?" For instance, the height of a distant column, which we know in our minds is bigger than our finger, looks to our eyes to be exactly the same as a finger held near our eye. Euclid came up with the elegant idea that the eye, the top of the finger, & the top of the column must all lie on the same line, & for that to be true, light rays must travel a straight line!

Then along came a caliph called Al-Hakm. Al-Hakm wanted to control everything. The caliph ordered ibn Al-Haytham (alhazen) to stop the Nile flooding. Alhazen failed, & was thrown into confiment. Prior to this dilema, Alhazen made his living by copying the work of Euclid & selling them. Alhazen noticed something. His eyes hurt looking into the sun after sitting in the dark. It seemed improbable to Alhazen that if rays were emitted from our eyes, they would cause him such pain. Alhazen's new idea was that light rays travel in space in straight lines towards our eyes. But Alhazen thought to himself, if light is independant of the eye, how do objects redirect the light into our eyes when we see them? Alhazem realizes there was a clue in the way mirrors worked. The angle at which a ray hits a mirror is the same as the angle at which it's reflected. He theorized that light must bounce off everything! The caliph died, & Alhazen was freed. He then created a 7 volume text on light, & vision which made the entire modern science of optics possible.

Color: Two centuries after Alhazen's death, militant Christianity mobilized against Islam in the Meditterean & used Alhazen's breakthroughs to further a Christian knowledge of light. At this time, color was being studied. Roger Bacon, a 13th century Fransiskan Fryer, studied the work of Alhazen. Bacon began studying the effective glass on light, & colors. Bacon discovered how curved glass can change the figure, shape, & size of the figures we looked at. Bacon also noticed water droplets exhibit the same color you see in a rainbow. He showed this by taking a drink of water, & spitting it out in light to create an artificial rainbow. Bacon was arrested after denying the exhistance of miracles & explaing everything happens because of natural laws.

Intro to the prism: Descartes had studied light as well. He stated that colors were produced by slowly, & quickly spinning. -A mere distortion of white light. Newton came along & wanted to prove him wrong. Newton took a wooden needle & placed it between his eyeball & his bone. When pushed, he got colored circles that followed the order of rainbows. Newton used a prism to show that Descartes was wrong about light & color. He invented a new word for the sun's image. He called it "spectrum." Descartes got all mad & stated the prism was modifying the white light. Newton told him to stfu, & proved him wrong by experimentation. Newton took a board & placed it on the spectrum of colors. He drilled a hole where red was, ...& only red went through... Prisms don't change colors, they analyze them.

1st Person To Accurately Measure The Stars: Northern Europe, 1500's. Tycho Brahe was studying Astrology. He flattered the king of Denmark with his predictions, so the King gave him the island Ven on which to build an observatory of the stars. At some point in time, Tycho noticed a comet! He began to track this comet. The Church asserted as absolute truth, that God had put the earth at the center of the universe, & around it, a series of spheres, he placed the moon, the sun, the planets, & ultimately the stars. These spheres were inpenetrable & nothing could move through them. Yet Tycho was about to challenge this. Tycho saw that the comet moved slower than the moon, so it must be farther away. He blew his relation with the King & was kicked off the island of Ven.

Galileo's Telescope: As glass changes direction, it refracts. T'was the summer of 1609, & the spy glasses were a popularity. However, the spy glass could only show things upside down, & only magnify 2-3x. Galileo, on the other hand, used a strong concave lens which he put near his eye, & then at a determined distance further off along the tube, a convex lens. Now the image was right side up & could magnify 8-9x. He wanted to sell his telescope to the Veniscian Government, but first he had to convince them he wasn't a charlotten! He brought skeptics up to the top of a bell tower in Venice to prove his telescope by obverving familiar sites of the city. His telescope proved true...

What's your story?! I would like to put together a short story for kids on light, specifically the history as I think that is the BEST way to understand anything.

If anyone could give me pointers, please do. ^^^^^ is very disorganized. I want a way to connect the dots...

Last edited by LightFantastic; 03-08-2013 at 11:06 PM.
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