Skip to main content
Shopping cart: items Cart

The Rise of the Wave Theory of Light

Optical Theory and Experiment in the Early Nineteenth Century

"No one interested in the history of optics, the history of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century physics, or the general phenomenon of theory change in science can afford to ignore Jed Buchwald’s well-structured, highly detailed, and scrupulously researched book. . . . Buchwald’s analysis will surely constitute the essential starting point for further work on this important and hitherto relatively neglected episode of theory change."—John Worrall, Isis

498 pages | 116 line drawings | 6.00 x 9.00 | © 1989

History of Science

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Part 1 - Selectionism
1. The Optical Ray
2. The Concept of Polarization
3. Arago and the Discovery of Chromatic Polarization
4. Mobile Polarization
Part 2 - Fresnel, Diffraction, and Polarization
5. Fresnel’s Ray Theory of Diffraction
6. Huygen’s Principle and the Wave Theory
7. The Puzzle of Polarization
8. Transverse Waves
Part 3 - Controversy and Unification
9. A Case of Mutual Misunderstanding
10. Selectionists and Polarization after 1815
11. Fresnel’s Final Unification
12. The Emerging Dominance of the Wave Theory
Appendixes
Notes
References
Name Index
Subject Index

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press