Friday, 28 January 2011

Color and Light in Nature

by David K. Lynch and William Livingston

Speaking of Saffron Walden library. A few years ago there was a book sale and I bought this book for something like two quid. (Now, Amazon sells the very same book for $218.) It is one of the best and prettiest science books I’ve ever held in my hands, let alone owned. It holds the answers to many if not all questions one can ask about the world as seen by naked eye. And then some more.

  • Why the low sun is flattened?
  • What are the “ghostly, indistinct little bits of ‘something’ drifting lazily across your field of view”? (Floaters)
  • How to photograph spider webs?
It has exactly the right amount of physics — mostly diagrams, a few tables and, refreshingly, no equations; beautiful photographs throughout; and very accessible writing, with occasional gems like this:
Well-chronicled in the (difficult to find) little book Die Dämmerungserscheinungen, the explanation of alpenglow is straightforward.
You just can’t make this stuff up.

1 comment:

  1. ok, this one definitely doesn't go to a charity shop when we leave :)