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Color and Light in Nature Paperback – June 11, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0521775045 ISBN-10: 0521775043 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (June 11, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521775043
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521775045
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 9.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #382,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Why is the sky blue? Why do mountains glow in the dark? Is the darkest always before the dawn?

An ideal reference to have on hand in answering questions such as these, Color and Light in Nature is an endlessly fascinating exploration of phenomena that are familiar to us all, but that even trained scientists take for granted. Take the question of why stars twinkle, for instance: twinkling, astronomers Lynch and Livingston observe, is strongest with stars that are low in the sky, and then on a clear and windy night, when starlight passing through the atmosphere encounters little pockets of turbulence that bend its rays "momentarily away from our eyes." Sunlight undergoes similar distortions, yielding mirages, "blinks," sundogs, halos, rainbows, "mountain light," and other wonders of nature, all of which the authors describe and explain in clear and accessible prose.

Lynch and Livingston encourage their readers to seek out and study these phenomena for themselves, writing, for instance, "No effort should be spared to witness at least one total eclipse in your lifetime." They go on to make a good case for why that should be so, and why the workings of light and color should be of interest to students of science. Their book is a lively companion and teacher. --Gregory McNamee

Review

"This magnificent collection of photographs of every imaginable optical phenomenon in the atmosphere deserves to be widely distributed..." Meteorological and Atmospheric Physics

"[Lynch and Livingston] take the reader through hundreds of light and colour phenomena visible in the sky overhead, ranging from the straightforward to the exotic. Each account is succinct and lucid, illustrated by both diagrams and photographs, some stunning in their beauty....The balance of description and physical explanation is excellent. Many teachers as well as a good many naturalists will find the book to be a highly useful and comprehensive treatment of a beautiful subject, one that can be used to enliven dry classroom discussions of optics, light and colour." Nature

"...a remarkable exposition of the many optical phenomena that delight and intrigue the eye of an observant person....delightful volume....It will certainly appeal to all readers interested in understanding color and light in nature." Choice

"...impressive book....Lynch and Livingston deserve the thanks of the scientific community for re-opening our eyes to the wonderful world around us." American Scientist

"Those who may be inspired for the first time to become careful observers of color and light in nature will enjoy reading about the green flash, supernumerary rainbows, mirages, the moon illusion, Haidinger's brush, earthshine, and many other topics presented in this book." American Journal of Physics

"...the up-to-date research, new ideas, beautiful pictures, and excellent explanations make Color and Light in Nature the new classic." Science

"This book is about seeing the world with the naked eye... From mirages to white water to comet showers, it is all here.... This is the kind of book that makes you pay a lot more attention to your surroundings as you walk." E-Streams

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 7 customer reviews
The photography is beautiful.
A Reader
The book also makes a nice gift for people who enjoy nature and would like to know how it "works".
Assaf Tal
I recommend this title for Directors of Photography as well as anyone captivated by light.
j david pope

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Under Exposed on May 13, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading this book, you will never look at the sky or the sea in the same way again. Accompanied by beautiful photographs, including some rare sights in the sky, the book systematically covers atmospheric phenomena related to light and colour. For photographers it's a great book that will help you understand light effects in nature. The book is resplendent in the spirit of science: the topics are classified by the type of explanation for them: shadows, reflection, refraction and so on. This makes perfect, natural sense and really holds the book together. Some of the explanations include modest equations, tables and so on, but the text is always lively and readable. If you're scared of mathematics, buy it for the pictures. But be warned: this book will inspire you to go to Antarctica, chase solar eclipses, buy a telescope, and demand a window seat on every plane you fly for the rest of your life.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Assaf Tal on May 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is intended for people who are intrigued or awed by the way light is expressed in nature. It describes many natural phenomena involving light, including shadows, the color of the sky, clouds, mirages, halos, rainbows, the effects of ice in the atmosphere and much more. The intended audience in my eyes consists mainly of people who like physics but the beautiful color full-page pictures and tips on taking them also make this book a great resource for anyone interested in photography. Even physics students can benefit from this book (although it is intended for laymen, so no equations are used) - the book shows them interesting manifestations of optics in nature. The book also makes a nice gift for people who enjoy nature and would like to know how it "works". Highly recommended!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ken on March 16, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A wonderful book illustrating and describing numerous natural optical effects. Simply a must have on your shelf to whip out whenever something unusual plays out in your field of view. Entertaining to just take down and read as well.
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By liz4tax on June 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very nice pictures and explanations of things you see everyday but may not have noticed and things you may have never seen until you know what to look for.
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