Date Announced: 13 May 2021
BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA — Discovering Light: Fun Experiments with Optics, a co-publishing effort between SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, the Optical Society Foundation (OSAF), and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) is available as an open access, downloadable eBook via the SPIE Digital Library. A print version of the book will be available in mid-June.
Originally published in Spanish by CSIC and Catarata Books in 2018 for a general audience as well as secondary-education-level students, Discovering Light is a collaboration by 14 young scientists — including project editor María Viñas-Peña — who met as researchers at Spain's Institute of Optics (IO-CSIC). This new version of Discovering Light represents the first non-Spanish translation of the book.
Section titles range from the basic "What is light?" "Optical instruments," and "Safety Rules for the Use of Laser Pointers," to the more expansive "Light in Nature," "Light-based Technologies," and "The Human Eye: A Biological Camera." Content includes a variety of easy-to-follow experiments related to different optical phenomena and technologies.
"Light is an element that draws together many areas of human knowledge from physics, chemistry, and biology, to astronomy, engineering, and art," said Viñas-Peña. "It's an integral part of our lives, both via natural light phenomena as well as within the many devices we use today. Working on this project, my co-authors and I wanted to answer basic questions about light and demonstrate fun ways to engage with it in a way that would excite and inspire others to explore the topic.
"We have been teaching optics to the general public and high-school students for more than 10 years, and that experience was the seed for this book. Translating this book into English will help it reach a broader international audience, and the open access eBook will make it highly accessible to a general audience as well as to new generations of optics and photonics students."
"Editorial CSIC is a publishing house that promotes free access to scientific knowledge in Spain in multiple disciplines through its research teams," noted CSIC Editorial Director Pura Fernández. "In this book, Descubriendo la luz, the exciting world of optics and photonics is explained through stimulating experiments that all readers can perform to understand the phenomena related of light present in our daily lives."
"There's nothing better to spark curiosity than the simplicity, beauty, and intriguing nature of light interacting with everyday life," said OSA Foundation Executive Director Chad Stark. "We are proud to support this initiative and excited about its impact."
"For us, it has been rewarding to not only work with the authors on this wonderful project, but also to partner with CSIC and the OSA Foundation," said SPIE Director of Publications and Platform Patrick Franzen. "Discovering Light will be a terrific resource for the international optics and photonics research community, and we hope that everyone will take advantage of the open access eBook option."
About the International Day of Light
The International Day of Light, celebrated on 16 May, is a global initiative highlighting to the citizens of the world the importance of light and light-based technologies in their lives, for their futures, and for the development of society. The 2021 campaign for the day of light is a pledge to support evidence-based science worldwide. Learn more about the Trust Science pledge at trust-science.org
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