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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 10, Iss. 12 — Dec. 1, 1971
  • pp: 2592–2594

The Beginnings of Photometry

W. E. Knowles Middleton  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 10, Issue 12, pp. 2592-2594 (1971)

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A brief account of the beginnings of photometry, with emphasis on some of the early attempts to quantify light that preceded the actual invention of useful photometers, is presented.

© 1971 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: September 1, 1970
Published: December 1, 1971

W. E. Knowles Middleton, "The Beginnings of Photometry," Appl. Opt. 10, 2592-2594 (1971)

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  1. For references to ancient physics, see G. Sarton, Introduction to the History of Science (3 vols. in 5, Carnegie Institution, Washington, D.C., 1927), Vol. 1.
  2. Ref. 1, pp. 721–722.
  3. Reproduced in Les manuscrits de Léonard de Vinci. Manuscrits C, E, & K de la bibliothèquede l’Institut, publiés en facsimilés phototypiques … par M. Charles Ravisson-Mollien (Paris, 1888).
  4. J. Kepler, Ad Vitellionem paralipomena, quibus astronomiae pars optica traditur, etc. [Appendix to Witelo, in which is treated the optical part of astronomy] (Frankfort, 1604), Chap. 1.
  5. Abbatis Francisci Maurolyci Photismi de lumine, etc. (Venice, 1575; 2nd ed., Naples, 1611). The 2nd ed. was translated into English by H. Crew (Macmillan, New York, 1940).
  6. F. Aguilonii … Opticorum libri sex (Antwerp, 1613).
  7. E. C. Watson, Am. J. Phys. 16, 183 (1948). [CrossRef]
  8. Ref. 6, p. 378.
  9. W. E. K. Middleton, Am. J. Phys. 31, 177 (1963). [CrossRef]
  10. Cosmotheoros, sive de terris coelestibus, etc. (The Hague, 1698), p. 136.
  11. R. P. François-Marie, Nouvelles découvertes sur la lumière pour la mesurer & en compter les degrés (Paris, 1700).
  12. A. Auzout, Mém. Acad. r. Sci. Paris 1666–1699, Vol. 7, part 1 (Paris, 1729), p. 55.
  13. J. J. d’O. de Mairan, Mém. Acad. r. Sci. Paris (1721), 8.
  14. J. W. T. Walsh, Photometry, 3rd ed. (Constable & Co., London, 1958), p. 11, note.
  15. Essai d’optique sur la gradation de la lumiére (Paris, 1729). Reprinted in the series “Les Maîtres de la pensée scientifique” (Gauthier-Villars, Paris, 1921). References are to this reprint.
  16. Ref. 15, p. 22.
  17. Smithsonian Physical Tables, 9th ed. (Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1954), p. 730.
  18. Ref. 15, p. 12.
  19. Ref. 15, pp. 16–24.
  20. See F. Perrin, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 38, 72 (1948). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  21. Ref. 15, pp. 63–103.
  22. Ref. 15, p. 127.
  23. P. Bouguer, Traité d’optique sur la gradation de la lumière, etc. (Paris, 1760). Translated by W. E. K. Middleton as Optical Treatise on the Gradation of Light, etc. (Univ. of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1961).
  24. See W. E. K. Middleton, Isis 51, 145 (1960). [CrossRef]
  25. Augsburg, 1760. Partly translated into German, with extensive notes, by E. Anding (Engelmann, Leipzig, 1892), [Ostwald’s Klassiker der exakten Wissenschaften, nos. 31 to 33].
  26. E. Mach, The Principles of Physical Optics, etc., translated by J. S. Anderson, A. F. A. Young (London, 1926, reprinted by Dover, New York, n.d.), pp. 14–19.

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