Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Optics
(1,238 words)

1. Ancient and medieval traditions

Optics (from the Greek optikós, “of/for sight”) was already developing into a sophisticated mathematical science in Hellenistic Greece, incorporating three branches of optics in the stricter sense: (1) the theory of sight, the eye, and light, including philosophical, physiological, and mathematical aspects (e.g. central perspective); (2) catoptrics (the theory of reflection on mirrored surfaces)…

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Epple, Moritz, “Optics”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 18 October 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_025019>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721



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