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Light and Color in the Outdoors


Light and Color in the Outdoors

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    Available in PDF Format | Light and Color in the Outdoors.pdf | English
    Marcel Minnaert(Author)
All of science springs from the observation of nature. In this classic book, the late Professor Minnaert accompanies the reader on a tour of nature's light and color and reveals the myriad phenomena that may be observed outdoors with no more than a pair of eyes and an enquiring mind. From the intriguing shape of the dapples beneath a tree on a sunny day, via rainbows, mirages, and haloes, the colors of liquid, ice, and the sky, to the appearance of the sun, moon, planets, and stars - Minnaert describes and explains them all in a clear language accessible to laymen. This new English edition is supplemented by 80 plates, over half of them in color, taken by the acclaimed photographer Pekka Parviainen, illustrating many of the phenomena - ordinary and exotic - discussed in the book.

"Minnaert's book is a gem!...It is a wonderful book that should be known by everyone who has an interest in the natural visual world." Am. J. Phys."...just about everything imaginable that refracts or reflects light or shows color...a marvelous book, one that I highly recommend to every observer" Sky & Telescope

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*An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

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Flowing Text / Pages Pages
Printable? Yes

Book details

  • PDF | 472 pages
  • Marcel Minnaert(Author)
  • Springer; 1st ed. 1993. 3rd printing edition (30 Mar. 1995)
  • English
  • 4
  • Science & Nature

Review Text

  • By Occasional Thinker on 22 September 2004

    First published in 1937, but extensively updated since and including 49 superb photographs in full colour, this book is a marvellous resource for the occasional observer of optical events. The rainbow is perhaps the most spectacular, and familiar. But you may be like me, and be astonished by the variety of other events you can look out for - alerted by Minnaert's lucid and charming writing. Moonbows, dewbows, sub-suns, green sun, blue sun, dozens of cloud-related events such as nuctilucent clouds, lots of landscape-related events such as how the yellow-green of a field of young corn when looking toward the sun, becomes bluish when looking in the opposite direction. The stripes on a freshly mown lawn that disappear when you look for them at right angles. The mirages you can see above tarmac roads. The width of bright sunlight on the horizon at sea - and what it can tell you about the waves or the curvature of the earth. All explained in plain language, with diagrams and quite often quotations from poems and other literature to add to an atmosphere of great enjoyment.

  • By A reader in England on 5 November 2014

    Marcel Minnaert's work is rightly regarded as a classic: it is quite a dense work, with an astonishing amount of material in it--rainbows and reflections and shadows, and lots more.As well as the usual division into chapters, there are smaller units--273 in all. Each of these smaller units has its own heading: "Images of the sun" (No. 1) "Mirages above cold water" (No.43) "Will-o'-the-wisps" (No. 273)Scientific explanations are provided (where known) for each phenomenon looked at. For those with a mathematical bent, the appropriate equations are provided (sines, cosines, and so on.)There are also regular quotations by Victorian art critic John Ruskin, and others. Goethe is another whose quotes appear more than once in this book.The colour photos--most of them by Finnish photographer Pekka Parviainen--are glorious. The book concludes with tips for those who wish to do their own photography of colour and light effects outdoors. This section was written before the invention of digital cameras, but it should be possible to adapt the advice given.Because Minnaert's book is so densely packed with material, I chose to read it a little at a time, inbetween other (lighter) reading. In a few weeks or months time, I shall read it again, making notes.I like this book very much. All we need now is a companion volume on Sound and Smell in the Outdoors!

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