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Plato made light the earthly counterpart of the Good; the early Christians believed the command "Let there be light" unleashed a power that shaped and energized the world. Park follows the connotations of spirituality and power attributed to light in religion, philosophy, art, and literature. At the same time he enables us truly to feel the excitement surrounding scientific discoveries and debates about the nature of light throughout history --Isaac Newton's scientific explanation of color and the raging battles between proponents of light as particles and light as a wave. Park traces the attempts to define light, beginning in the nineteenth century with the proposal that light is a wavemotion in a field that unites electricity and magnetism. How this theory was reconciled with the particle theory of light is one of many paradoxes that Park guides us in understanding.
Park writes eloquently of the physical, aesthetic, and spiritual aspects of light, making this book an invaluable guide for all readers wishing to explore the fascinating relationship between science and culture.
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