Arthur Zajonc is a physicist and educator whose research investigates the His books include Catching the Light: The Entwined History of Light and Mind;. To quantum physicist Max Planck, light consisted of discrete particles or photons. Arthur Zajonc, Author Bantam Books $ (0p) ISBN CATCHING THE LIGHT: The Entwined History of Light and Mind. User Review – Kirkus. Brilliant study of the relationship between two fields usually kept miles.

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Inthe surgeons Moreau and LePrince wrote about their successful operation on an eight-year-old boy who had been blind since birth because of cataracts. When the boy’s eyes were healed they removed the bandages and, waving a hand in front of the child’s physically perfect eyes, asked him what he saw.

What he saw was only a varying brightness in front of him. However, when allowed to touch the hand as it began to move, he cried out in a voice of triumph, “It’s moving! Light and eyes were not enough to grant him carching. How, then, do we see?

Catching the Light: The Entwined History of Light and Mind – Arthur Zajonc – Google Books

What’s the difference between seeing and perception? From ancient times to the present, from philosophers to quantum physicists, nothing has so perplexed, catchinng fascinated, so captivated the mind as the elusive definition of light. In Catching the LightArthur Zajonc takes libht on an epic journey into history, tracing how humans have endeavored zjonc understand the phenomenon of light. Blending mythology, religion, science, literature, and painting, Zajonc reveals in poetic detail the human struggle to identify the vital connection between the outer light of nature and the inner light of the human spirit.


He explains the curiousness of the Greeks’ blue and green “color blindness”: Odysseus gazing longingly at the “wine-dark sea”; the use of chloros green as the color of honey in Homer’s Odessey ; and Euripides’ use of the color green to describe the hue of tears and blood. And Zajonc goes on to show how our quest for an understanding of light, as well as the conclusions we zajonnc, reveals as much about the nature of our own psyche as it does about the nature of light itself.

For the ancient Egyptians the nature of light was clear–it simply was the gaze of God. In the hands of the ancient Greeks, light had become the luminous inner fire whose ethereal effluence brought sight.

Home – Arthur Zajonc

In our contemporary world of modern quantum physics, science plays the greatest part in our theories of light’s origin–from scientific perspectives such as Sir Isaac Newton’s “corpuscular theory of light” and Michael Faraday’s “lines of force” to such revolutionary ideas as Max Planck’s “discrete motion of a pendulum” the basis of quantum mechanicsAlbert Einstein’s “particles of light” and “theory of relativity,” and Niels Bohr’s “quantum jumps.

For the physicist Richard Feynman, a quantum particle travels all paths, eventually distilling to one path whose action is least–the most beautiful path of all. Whatever light is, here is where we will find it. With loght clarity and unmatched lyricism, Zajonc illuminates the profound implications of the relationships between the multifaceted strands of human experience and scientific endeavor.


A fascinating search into our deepest scientific mystery, Catching the Light is a brilliant synthesis that will both entertain and inform. As crammed with culture catchnig an overcrowded museum storeroom.

Catching the Light

It is at once a riveting story, literate and beautifully precise. What more could one ask for in a marriage between science and art? Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford.

It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Academic Skip to main content. Choose your country or region Close. A beautifully composed meditation. IB Physics Study Guide: Reassembling the Social Bruno Latour.

Arthur Zajonc

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