Light Fantastic

Light Fantastic is the title of a television documentary series that explores the phenomenon of light and aired in December 2004… Youtube

1/4 – Let There Be Light

The first episode shows how the desire, by Greek, Arab and Christian scholars to penetrate the divine nature of light led to modern science’s origins. The programme explores the contributions of Empedocles; Euclid; Al Hazen; Roger Bacon; Descartes and Isaac Newton.

2/4 – The Light of Reason

The second episode explores the link between the development of practical tools that manipulate light and the emergence of new ideas. The subject is examined through the work of Tycho Brahe; Galileo; Vermeer; Robert Hooke; William Herschel; Ole Rømer; Charles Darwin and Ernest Rutherford.

3/4 – The Stuff of Light

The Third episode charts the discovery of the true nature of light and the subsequent development of modern technology such as electricity and mobile phones. The pioneers are credited as James Clerk Maxwell; Joseph Swan William Armstrong; Thomas Edison; Wilhelm Röntgen; J.J Thompson; and Max Planck.

4/4 – Light the Universe and Everything

The final episode explores the relationship between light, the eye and the mind and the development of technologies such as photography and cinema. The achievements of John Dalton; Benjamin Thompson; Thomas Young; Lord Rayleigh; Joseph Priestley; Thomas Wedgwood; Eadweard Muybridge; Etienne Jules Marey and Albert Einstein are discussed.

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