History Of Optics Research Paper

Length: 5 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Physics Type: Research Paper Paper: #32784836 Related Topics: Physics, Albert Einstein, Kodak, History Of The Internet
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Scientific Principles: "Timeline in Optics"

It is very clear that Optics is the physical science that examines the source and broadcast of light, how it fluctuates, what effects it yields, and other marvels that are connected with this interesting science. Many science nerds may be unaware that there are two divisions of optics. One of those divisions is called the Physical optics. The physical optics is related to the properties and nature of light itself. Also, it is clear that the geometrical optics are what concentrates with the principles leading image-forming assets of mirrors, and lenses, other devices, for example optical data computers.

This "Timeline in Optics" puts the emphasis on important developments and events in the science of optics from prehistory to the start of the 21st century. It likewise consist of associated expansions in other fields (the evolution of processors) and interconnected highpoints in the human worldview.


People rely on optics all the time. People use digital cameras, the wireless mouse on the laptop, and even their Blu-ray disc of your favorite movie are all machineries allowed by the science of optics. Research shows that optics is considered to be the science of light. More specially, optics is a division of physics re-counting how light interacts and behaves with matter. From the initial time period in Alexandria (circa 300 BC) when people like Euclid talked about the laws of reflection in Optica, the science of optics has captivated and confronted civilization's most excellent minds (Fowles, 2009). The most primitive pioneers in optics grasped for the stars with complexity as they developed mirrors and crude lenses for their telescopes while other researchers put the emphasis on the secret microscopic world because of aberration-plagued compound optical systems that hindered initial microscopes.

At the moment, millions of the optically-challenged need be thankful to these pioneers for the contact lenses and spectacles, other advances that have progressed from modernizations dating back as early as 1303 when

A French physician, Bernard of Gordon, inscribed about the use of glasses as a way of adapting long-sightedness (hypermetropia) (Schwartz, 2008). From the latest compound optical microscope, allowing anatomists to describe the properties of blood cells, to the modern electron and scanning laser confocal microscopes and NASA's Hubble space telescope, the science of optics has helped us understand the world around us, our bodies, and the diseases we face in our daily lives.

Whether it is the ubiquitous television, disposable contact lenses, videos, fiber optics communications, Kodak instant photos, sunglasses, or the more current compact discs, and digital cameras, everyone reaps the harvest of seeds lodged by innovators in the optical sciences. Honor is rewarded to these heroes through short-lived biographies that recognize their incredible accomplishments and how they have affected the development of human kind.


From the start to 900 AD: Some thousands of years way after humans knew how to put on fire in order to brighten the night, Greek and Arab scholars started to put into words theories of how light is propagated, how it can be reproduced and diverted, and how it is perceived by the eyes of other people. By the time it was 300 BC, all of the Greek scholars had started to study and think about the optical marvel in sincere, producing theories in order to describe vision, color, light, and astral marvels. Then there were few other developments which were put together in optics all the way up until after 1000 AD. Nevertheless, the Arab scholar Alhazan, a.k.a. Abu Ali Hasan Ibn al-Haitham, piloted the first serious-minded study of lenses in Basra (Iraq) (Fowles, 2009).

1700-1799: During this time Isaac Newton who was in the lead of the scientific revolution which was generated by Copernicus came to an end and then right after the curtain closed on that the classic age of science opened up. The scientific technique was an official into a set of methods that would make scientific inquiry standardized. The grounds of chemistry, physics, and biology were created and, most prominently, scientists were as a final point able to start conducting their studies unchecked by church or state.

1867-1899: During this era, the exploration of James Clerk Maxwell's Electrodynamic Theory turned into the next...


German physicist Heinrich Hertz, in 1884, make Maxwell's theory clear by utilizing another way of deriving a new sequence of equations. Ever since Hertz's calculations turned out to be too hard to understand, this game him much more backing for the theory from other physicists. However, the critical test was to figure out if electromagnetic waves were able to move at the speed of light, as Maxwell had foretold. Starting around 1885 to 1889, a series of experiments that were able to prove the theory as legit were performed by Hertz. In 1888, he was able to portray that electricity is able to be communicated by means of electromagnetic waves, that these waves did, in reality, move at the speed of light, and like known transverse waves (for example heat and light) they could be concentrated, opposed, reflected, and diverted (Darrigol, 2012). All through his experiments, Hertz unintentionally perceived the photoelectric effect, a marvel in which definite metals turn out to be electrified when unprotected to light. Even though he didn't carry on to research it, other inventers did and right at the start of a new century, it would generate however another transformation in the idea of light.

1900-1933: From this period, the last century of the second millennium started out with a development that histrionically altered scientists' accepting of the basic properties of energy and matter. A new accepting that matter and energy were equal and that, at the submicroscopic level, the guidelines that ruled their actions were completely different than those of the greater world altered Newton's decrees of physics. German physicist Max Planck published a controversial theory, in 1900, recommending that atoms did not issue their energy in an continuous flow, as scientists thought, even so in separate packets he named quanta (singular, quantum) (Fowles, 2009). Even though the physics public all together looked like they were unimpressed by Planck's idea and hesitant of its repercussions, one German hypothetical physicist -- Albert Einstein -- accepted Planck's idea a step more.

In 1905, there was a paper published, and in this document, Einstein proposed that light is made up of energy "atoms" that, under most situations, perform like a wave. By means of this thought, he did something old-style physics had not been able to do; he effectively clarified the photoelectric effect, for which he established the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics (S, 2007).

With more and more powerful telescopes, space scientist continued to recognize more objects in the sky, from asteroids to galaxies that were distant. In 1930, Pluto was enhanced to the list of recognized planets in the solar system. Even though the relatively new medium of radio grew in regard and ease of use for the duration of the first three decades, another wireless vehicle was in progress. In 1926, John Baird, a Scottish engineer, established the first functioning example for television -- radio with an interpretation.

1934-1966: The mid-twentieth century was engrossed with World War II and its aftereffects. The ensuing Cold War that went on among the United States and the Soviet Union put the research emphasis on nuclear technologies that were already on the rise since WWII in addition to the race to take over outer space. However, the science of optics did not stop but did the opposite by evolve at an abrupt step.

A diversity of extremely particular microscopes were established during these decades. The first transmission electron and scanning electron microscopes were constructed in the 1930s, causing it to be likely to look at descriptions at much higher resolves than had been likely with light microscopes. All through the 1950s and 60s, both kinds of electron microscopes were advanced, commercialized, and made extensively accessible. Field-emission microscopes, technologically advanced in 1937, prepared it to be possible to look at matter at the level considered to be atomic. Light microscopes sustained to be advanced and both still and motion cameras for microscopes were technologically advanced to be able to record images.

After World War II, television came of age, intensely altering the way in which people gotten information and show business. Even though a color standard was accepted in 1952, most TV stations did not started distribution. In color until the 1960s, when color TV sets became more affordable. The first electronic computers were developed, setting the stage for the digital revolution that would occur in the last three decades of this century.

1967 to 2003 -- During this time, video games are developed, NASA started going to the moon, robots were created and being sent back and forth to Mars, and personal computers take-off on a whole new digital direction like never before. At this point, fiber optics and lasers produce new media…

Sources Used in Documents:


Darrigol, O. (2012). A History of Optics from Greek Antiquity to the Nineteenth Century. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 1 edition.

Fowles, G.R. (2009). Introduction to Modern Optics (Dover Books on Physics). New York City: Dover Publications; 2 edition.

J.Valasek. (1997). Introduction to Theoretical and Experimental Optics. Journal of Optics, 23(9), 34-45.

S, F.L. (2007). Introduction to Optics. Lansing: Prentice Hall.

Cite this Document:

"History Of Optics" (2015, August 16) Retrieved January 29, 2023, from

"History Of Optics" 16 August 2015. Web.29 January. 2023. <

"History Of Optics", 16 August 2015, Accessed.29 January. 2023,

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