Empire of Light: A History of Discovery in Science and Art (Compass Series) Paperback
by Sidney Perkowitz
This remarkable little find was mostly a treat to read. It covers exactly what it sets out to do…talk about light. It gives great historical accounts of how light has been interpreted throughout history. This includes the classical physics interpretation of light as wave and the modern, quantum theory dealing with light as photons. This book left me wondering more about photons, but as far I can tell, that’s where modern physics is today. Apparently physicists still have some unsolved issues regarding light.
The book definitely leans very heavily towards the scientific side of light and the inclusion of art is casually tossed in about %10 of the time. The author turns to Van Gogh for many of his artistic examples. If you have studied physics in high school most of the material will come back quickly. The author has a nice way of revealing concepts and telling stories to the reader, his writing is fluid and the chapters are grouped into well organized topics.