A History of Luminescence: From the Earliest Times Until 1900 (Dover Phoenix Editions)

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9780486442587: A History of Luminescence: From the Earliest Times Until 1900 (Dover Phoenix Editions)
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From sources ranging from the sun to the tungsten filament, incandescence has served as the universal method of illumination for many centuries. The hot light of "incandescence" varies markedly from that of cold light or "luminescence." Examples of the latter can be found in the dim glow of phosphorus; the phosphorescence of certain solids after exposure to sunlight; the transitory fluorescence of many substances, excited by exposure to various kinds of radiation, visible or invisible; the aurora borealis and the electroluminescence of gases carrying an electric current, as in neon signs; the triboluminescence of broken or rubbed crystals; and the bioluminescence of many living organisms, such as the firefly and glowworm.
This comprehensive source of information traces the discovery and the thoughts regarding these weak lights without heat, from the earliest times until the end of the nineteenth century. By employing the authors' own words whenever possible, it offers coherent presentations of contemporary beliefs about not only luminescence, but also regarding fire, heat, and light in general. The work presents historians of science with a wealth of information on theories of light and fire--in addition to older views on every kind of luminescence, whether of inorganic or organic origin--and will prove similarly valuable to physicists, chemists, biologists, and engineers.

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