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Applied Optics

Applied Optics

APPLICATIONS-CENTERED RESEARCH IN OPTICS

  • Vol. 37, Iss. 15 — May. 20, 1998
  • pp: 3198–3200

Is Polar Bear Hair Fiber Optic?

Daniel W. Koon  »View Author Affiliations


Applied Optics, Vol. 37, Issue 15, pp. 3198-3200 (1998)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/AO.37.003198


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Abstract

New direct measurement of high optical attenuation rates in polar bear hairs—2–8 dB/mm in the visible—and reanalysis of the data of Tributsch et al. [Sol. Energy Mater. 21, 219 (1990)] seem to rule out the UV waveguiding proposed by Grojean et al. [Appl. Opt. 19, 339 (1980)]. The case against fiber-optic polar bear hairs is summarized, and four conditions are given that any variation of the model of Grojean et al. would have to satisfy.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(060.0060) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics and optical communications
(060.2290) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber materials
(120.5820) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Scattering measurements
(120.7000) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Transmission
(160.2290) Materials : Fiber materials
(170.3660) Medical optics and biotechnology : Light propagation in tissues
(300.1030) Spectroscopy : Absorption

Citation
Daniel W. Koon, "Is Polar Bear Hair Fiber Optic?," Appl. Opt. 37, 3198-3200 (1998)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ao/abstract.cfm?URI=ao-37-15-3198


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References

  1. D. M. Lavigne and N. A. Øritsland, “Ultraviolet photography: a new application for remote sensing of mammals,” Can. J. Zool. 52, 939–943 (1974).
  2. D. M. Lavigne and N. A. Øritsland, “Black polar bears,” Nature (London) 251, 218–219 (1974).
  3. D. M. Lavigne and K. Ronald, “Solar heating of mammals: observations of hair transmittance,” Int. J. Biometerol. 22, 197–201 (1978).
  4. R. E. Grojean, J. A. Sousa, and M. C. Henry, “Utilization of solar radiation by polar animals: an optical model for pelts,” Appl. Opt. 19, 339–346 (1980).
  5. H. Tributsch, H. Goslowsky, U. Küppers, and H. Wetzel, “Light collection and solar sensing through the polar bear pelt,” Sol. Energy Mater. 21, 219–236 (1990).
  6. C. F. Bohren and J. M. Sardie, “Utilization of solar radiation by polar animals: an optical model for pelts; an alternative explanation,” Appl. Opt. 20, 1894–1896 (1981).
  7. D. M. Lavigne, “Letter to the editor,” Sci. Amer. 259, 8 (1988).
  8. See, for example, Anonymous, “Furry funnels: transparency of polar bear hair,” Time 112, 82–83 (4, Dec. 1978); B. Lopez, Arctic Dreams (Scribner’s, N.Y. 1986) p. 85; S. D. Mirsky, “Solar polar bears,” Sci. Am. 258, 25–26 (1988).
  9. New England Science Center, Worcester, Massachusetts, www.nesc.org/publications/presskit/brochure.html (1997).
  10. E. G. Bendit and D. Ross, “Techniques for obtaining the ultraviolet absorption spectrum of solid keratin,” Appl. Spectrosc. 15, 103 (1961).
  11. R. C. Hutchins, St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York 13617 (personal communication, 1997).

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