Treatise on Light

Christiaan HUYGENS (1629 - 1695), translated by Silvanus P. THOMPSON (1851 - 1916)

Treatise on Light was published in 1690 and is probably the largest scientific volume on light published before Newton's Opticks. The book explains how light travels (i.e., that it has a certain velocity), and what happens when it hits a surface (refraction and reflection). A large portion of the book is devoted to the double refraction occurring in Iceland chrystal, and all drawn conclusions are proved geometrically.

Christiaan Huygens (1629 - 1695) was a prominent physicist and astronomer. His main discoveries are the centrifugal force, collision laws for bodies and the argument that light consists of waves. He was a contemporary of Galilei and Descartes, and a member of the French Royal Society since 1663. (Summary by Availle)

Genre(s): *Non-fiction, Nature, Science

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 Preface and Note by the Translator Availle
00:09:27
Play 01 I: On Rays Propagated in Straight Lines, Part 1 Availle
00:23:13
Play 02 I: On Rays Propagated in Straight Lines, Part 2 Availle
00:21:10
Play 03 II: On Reflexion Availle
00:12:14
Play 04 III: On Refraction, Part 1 Availle
00:13:04
Play 05 III: On Refraction, Part 2 Availle
00:23:38
Play 06 IV: On the Refraction of the Air Availle
00:13:42
Play 07 V: On the Strange Refraction of Iceland Chrystal, Part 1 Availle
00:22:17
Play 08 V: On the Strange Refraction of Iceland Chrystal, Part 2 Availle
00:40:05
Play 09 V: On the Strange Refraction of Iceland Chrystal, Part 3 Availle
00:29:05
Play 10 V: On the Strange Refraction of Iceland Chrystal, Part 4 Availle
00:26:12
Play 11 VI: On the Figures of the Transparent Bodies, Part 1 Availle
00:21:42
Play 12 VI: On the Figures of the Transparent Bodies, Part 2 Availle
00:27:32