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Mapping the Spectrum: Techniques of Visual Representation in Research and Teaching (Hardback)
  • Mapping the Spectrum: Techniques of Visual Representation in Research and Teaching (Hardback)
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Mapping the Spectrum: Techniques of Visual Representation in Research and Teaching (Hardback)

(author)
£150.00
Hardback 576 Pages / Published: 07/03/2002
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Ever since the boom of spectrum analysis in the 1860s, spectroscopy has become one of the most fruitful research technologies in analytic chemistry, physics, astronomy, and other sciences. This book is the first in-depth study of the ways in which various types of spectra, especially the sun's Fraunhofer lines, have been recorded, displayed, and interpreted. The book assesses the virtues and pitfalls of various types of depictions, including hand sketches, woodcuts, engravings, lithographs and, from the late 1870s onwards, photomechanical reproductions. The material of a 19th-century engraver or lithographer, the daily research practice of a spectroscopist in the laboratory, or a student's use of spectrum posters in the classroom, all are looked at and documented here. For pioneers of photography such as John Herschel or Hermann Wilhelm Vogel, the spectrum even served as a prime test object for gauging the color sensitivity of their processes. This is a broad, contextual portrayal of the visual culture of spectroscopy in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The illustrations are not confined to spectra - they show instruments, laboratories, people at work, and plates of printing manuals.The result is a multifacetted description, focusing on the period from Fraunhofer up to the beginning of Bohr's quantum theory. A great deal of new and fascinating material from two dozen archives has been included. A must for anyone interested in the history of modern science, or in research practice using visual representations.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198509530
Number of pages: 576
Weight: 1058 g
Dimensions: 247 x 176 x 37 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Mapping the Spectrum is a major contribution to the growing body of studies on science as practice, mainly because of its emphasis on visual representation. * Joseph Wahelder, Ambix *
well researched and profusely illustrated book. * Joseph Wahelder, Ambix *
The beautiful illustrations are a visual pleasure ... Mapping the Spectrum is a must for historians of science. In addition, it can be great fun for scientists who are interested in the sunny side of their field, before the computer transformed it to such an extent that its origins are almost unrecognizable. * Angewandte Chemie *
[Hentschel] surveys and orders his topic with the same diligence and scrutiny that 19th-century spectroscopists employed in their field. * Angewandte Chemie *
... a fascinating and satisfying book ... incorporating some 140 illustrations, copious footnotes and a leisurely, multi-threaded analysis dominated by abundant historical examples ... The book makes valuable reading both for its analytical perspectives and for the historical tapestry of individuals and techniques that it interrelates. * British Journal for the History of Science *
Physicists, chemists and astronomers, as well as historians and philosophers of science and ideas, and the intelligent layman will all find much that is thought provoking and fascinating in this book, which also includes an extensive bibliography. * Astrophysics and Space Science *

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