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reading guide

International Light Day is an international event administered by UNESCO's International Basic Science Program (IBSP) held on May 16 of each year, in commemoration of the first laser light emission on May 16, 1960, obtained by Theodore Maiman with a ruby ​​laser.

In this guide, we present a selection of works related to light in different fields and themes.

Biblioteca del Campus de Terrassa, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC), 2021

Del fuego al láser: qué es la luz y cómo se genera / Marc Figueras AtienzaLight has become omnipresent in our lives. Light enables us to see things around us, to read these words... If it is daytime, everything is often flooded with sunlight; at night, we are surrounded by many devices that also create light. How is light produced? This is the question this book intends to answer by identifying and describing the mechanisms and processes through which light can be made, and how the various types of light sources that currently exist work, with a special emphasis on laser light and its unique features.Find ithere.

Dibujar la luz / Peter Boerboom y Tim ProetelDrawing light on paper actually consists of shading a surface to create a visual illusion of brightness: creating realistic lighting using shading techniques is a challenge. In this book, Peter Boerboom and Tim Proetel collect about 150 examples that reveal several techniques and graphic resources (from drop-shadows and gradients to contrasts and perspective) that enable us to draw the illusion of light. A compendium aimed at beginners to advanced professionals that will undoubtedly become a reference book.Find ithere.

El poder secreto de la luz / Mansukh PatelThrough an amazing and moving account of one man's journey to find peace and freedom, Mansukh Patel introduces us into the fascinating world of light and its power to transform us. As we move forward in this captivating story, we discover the powers of light and, basically, the power in each one of us to achieve courage and fulfillment.This marvellous blend of practical spirituality, techniques, and scientific fact reveals the transforming power of light, and the stirring background behind the light that rules the Universe.Find ithere.

El Mundo o el Tratado de la luz / René DescartesThe Copernican Revolution prompted a drastic change in scientific thought that took place during the 17th century (Scientific Revolution), and provided a new framework for understanding our cosmos. In ‘The World or the Treatise on Light’, Descartes makes a serious attempt to create and spread a global philosophical movement that would confront the Aristotelian believes (which supported a ‘traditional’ view of the world), and in which all phenomena in the universe can be explained by means of principles of matter and energy, without taking hidden forces into account. This work could only be published posthumously in 1664, and thus represents a milestone in the History of Science, and an enormous philosophical challenge. Find ithere.

El Pionero de la luz : Alhacén y su libro de la óptica / María Luisa Calvo PadillaAmongst the celebrations considered by the United Nations for declaring 2015 as the International Year of Light, one held special significance: acknowledging the appearance of the ‘Book of Optics or Kitab-al-Manazirby’ by the Arab scientist Ibn al-Haytham (who is better known as Alhazen), approximately one millennium ago. The first edition ever to come out in Europe from the Latin version of this great work dates back to the thirteenth century. After that, other translations were completed over the centuries. The book published nowis aboutAlhazen’s life, his work, the Latin edition of the ‘Book of Optics’ published in 1572 by the German scientist Friedrich Risner, and the impact of its legacy on the subsequent development of science in the West.Find ithere.

Random light beams : theory and applications / Olga KorotkovaThis book discusses light matter interactions, and concentrates on the various phenomena associated with beam-like fields. It explores natural and man-made light fields and gives an overview of recently introduced families of random light beams. It outlines mathematical tools for analysis, suggests schemes for realization, and discusses possible applications.Find ithere.

The Nature of light & colour in the open air / M. MinnaertThis is a book for astronomers, physicists, and geographers. But also for artists and photographers and for anyone else who would like to know more about how to observe and understand the strange behavior of light and color in nature.The author shows just how, when, and under what conditions to observe the fata morgana, the scintillation of stars and planets, apparent motion in shadows and objects due to air currents, color changes due to refraction and reflection, illusions of motion and direction, effects of rapidly moving spokes, the changes in color and light due to eclipses of the sun and moon, magnificent colors on a frozen window pane, or an extended body of water, the deceptive appearance of objects beneath the surface of water, and many other such phenomena.Find ithere.

The Wonders of light / Marta García-Matos, Lluís TornerDiscover the spectacular power of light with this visually stunning celebration of the multitude of ways in which light-based technology has shaped our society. Marta García-Matos and Lluís Torner, from the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), present sixteen beautiful, straightforward chapters which demonstrate the science behind the fascinating and surprising ways in which light can be harnessed and used, from displays, solar cells, and the Internet to advanced quantum technologies. ‘The Wonders of Light’ is perfect for anyone interested in photons, the coldest places in the Universe, optical tweezers, illumination, laser surgery, optogenetics, new materials and technological advances, and more.Find ithere.

Teorías sobre la naturaleza de la luz / Antonio Ferraz FayosThe research which has been shaped in this book is defined by a system in which History, Science, and Gnoseology are the main references. The book provides a sketch that involves a system of relationships between these three fields of work, each one of them seen from a unique perspective. The first pages deal with the History of Science; chapter II stands up for the reciprocal relationship between History of Science and Gnoseology and its consequences; chapter III explains the approach and paths taken to start the research, and justifies the scientific method followed during the research process.Find ithere.

Visual transduction and non-visual light perception / Joyce Tombran-TinkThis book reveals not only how the eye evolved into an organ of vision, but also describes how molecular mechanisms of key molecules operate in the phototransduction cascade. In this groundbreaking text, experts also explain mechanisms for sensing radiation outside of the visible wavelengths. Comprehensive and penetrating, the book brings together the mechanisms of the visual transduction cascade and is an invaluable text for everyone conducting research in the visual system.Find ithere.

Capturar la luz : historia de la luz y de la mente / Arthur ZajoncWhat is light? From the glories of heaven to the fires of hell, no question has so fascinated, so mystified, so captivated the human imagination through the centuries as the wondrous powers of light. Now, in this extraordinary and brilliant book, Arthur Zajonc invites us to take part in a dazzling and unforgettable quest - an inquiry into the fundamental nature of light in our history, our world, and our lives. From biblical times to the world of modern optics, ‘Catching the Light’ is a brilliant synthesis of history, science, religion, and art that brings together the multifaceted strands of human experience to light the way to a new understanding of ourselves and our cosmos.Find ithere.

Una historia de la luz / Jan NěmecNěmec’s ‘A History of Light’, which is considered to be a contemporary classic in his country, depicts the fascinating life of photographer František Drti­kol in the first half of the 20th century. The novel moves between imagination and non-fiction. Who was František Drti­kol?A dandy from a small mining town, a world-famous photographer whose business went bankrupt, a master of the nude who never had much luck with women, a mystic and a Buddhist who believed in communism, a man of many contradictions.

Descubrimiento de la luz : experimentos divertidos de óptica / Sara Aissati AissatiWhat is light? What are their properties? What is an optical instrument? How is the eye an optical instrument? How do you explain the process of vision? How do the optical technologies we use every day work? Where can you find optics and light in nature? This book, written by a team of young scientists, intends to answer these and other questions, as well as bring the reader closer to the exciting world of Optics and Photonics.Find ithere.

Diccionario de la luz / Elisa Valero RamosFrom the myth of Prometheus, who defied the gods by stealing fire and giving it to humanity as civilisation, to the latest scientific discoveries, humankind has not ceased to make attempts to learn how to harness light, and understand its principles and how to use them. Light, with its variations, has determined and shaped human evolution from all points of view, thus, the symbolic significance it has held for humanity, from ancient times to the present. Only by studying and completing our understanding of light, will we manage to place it at the service of arts and science.Find ithere.

Digital lighting and rendering / Jeremy BirnCrafting a perfect rendering in 3D software means nailing all the details. And no matter what software you use, your success in creating realistic-looking illumination, shadows and textures depends on your professional lighting and rendering techniques. This is a new edition, lavishly illustrated, by Pixar's Jeremy Birn.Find ithere.

Historia de la luz : el primitivo deslumbramiento ante la luz / Susana GallardoLight (natural and artificial) is as necessary for us as the air we breathe. Without light there would be no life on Earth and our eyes would be useless. But, what is light? It cannot be touched, but we can block its way and cast a shadow on a surface. We even know that light travels faster than sound, which is clear on stormy days, when one can see and hear that lighting is much faster than thunder.Find ithere.

La luz : ciencia y magia/ Fil HunterAn amazing and magical resource on photographic lighting that has been talked about in the community and recommended for years. It introduces a logical theory of photographic lighting so if you are starting out in photography, you will learn how to predict results before setting up lights. This is not primarily a how-to book with only set examples for you to copy. Rather, this book provides you with a comprehensive theory of the nature and principles of light to allow you to use lighting to express your own creativity. Numerous photographs and illustrations provide clear examples of the theories, while sidebars highlight special lighting questions.

La luz : ciencia y tecnologíaLight is crucial to understand what surrounds us. Light is a basic component of the Universe, and even, some of its fundamental elements such as life, would not be possible if light did not exist. On the occasion of the International Year of Light, this book aims to explain the different principles of what we know about the properties of light and its interaction with other objects or elements, with special emphasis on technological advances and applications.The book portrays the relationship between light and the Universe, life, vision, molecules, the atmosphere, matter, illumination, communication, nanoscience, and energy.Find ithere.

Las moléculas : cuando la luz te ayuda a vibrar / José Vicente García RamosMolecules change their vibration speed in response to the stimuli they receive when they interact with light. This process has benefited the development of Raman Spectroscopy, which is a technique used to identify molecules and study chemical bonding and intramolecular bonds, as well as to characterize materials, measure temperature, and find the crystallographic orientation of a sample. It is also used to obtain biomedical imaging and for medical diagnosis. Outside research and medical laboratories, new evolutions of Raman Spectroscopy are applied to art analysis, for example, in the identification of the pigments found in a work of art.. We truly live in a world full of molecules; this book will make readers realize the extent to which they live among molecules on a daily basis as well as the effectiveness and practical usefulness of spectroscopic techniques not only in the fields of science, but also in other types of non-scientific areas.Find ithere.

Light : introduction to optics and photonics / Judith Donnelly, Nicholas MassaOffering a comprehensive treatment of the subject as well as key applications, and employing minimal math, LIGHT: Introduction to Optics and Photonics was written with readers in mind. Key topics include light, diffraction, refraction, and polarization, optics, photonics, lasers and laser applications, laser safety and fiber optics.The text begins with an overview of laser safety, followed by chapters on light production physics, geometric and wave optics, and laser physics. The remaining chapters cover types and applications of laser, fiber optics, imaging, holography, precision optics manufacturing, and biophotonics.Find ithere.

Las Matemáticas de la luz / Manuel de León y Ágata TimónThere are fewer things in our universe more fascinating than light. The nature of light and vision has always been one of the most appealing and powerful topics in our history. Light is also one of the main driving forces behind countless technological advances in a great variety of fields such as Medicine, Communication Technology, Culture and the Entertainment Business in the 21st century. This book takes us into a historical journey while analysing and describing how Mathematics (especially Geometry) has usually shaped the different theories humankind has developed with the aim to understand not only what light is, but also how vision is produced.Find ithere.

Pequeña biografía de la luz / Alejandro PedregosaThe LightThose blinding lights from childhood on the whitewashed facades.That light coming from those games played on those unpaved and thirsty streets.The light of memory, in the hearts, and amidst the raindrops.The light from the singing birds, from the trees,In the bright sunny mornings in Spring.This book speaks of that and those lights, smoothly basting the words together.‘A Short Biography of the Light’ is a poetry book by Alejandro Pegregosa, full of poetic maturity.

La tienda de las curiosidades sobre el color /Mark Fairchild, Manuel MelgosaWhy is color? Is there a best colour for sunglasses? Why is the sky blue? Can dogs see colours the same way humans do? Why do flowers have different colours? Why can’t we see colours at night? Why do some people get red-eye in photographs? How many colours and shades of colours exist in the world? These are just some of the sixty-four questions this book provides answers to. ‘The Color Curiosity Shop’ is an interactive, multiple-medium resource illuminating the relationships between scientific endeavors and everyday experiences. The theme is colour: a topic of near-universal experience and fascination; everything in the book is explained scientifically and in an enjoyable way.Find ithere.

Il·luminatomia /Carnovsky, Kate DaviesThis book takes a closer look at the layers that make up the human body in a range of captivating multi-coloroured spreads coupled with clear, concise text. You can discover the secrets of the human body in a kaleidoscope of colour, using a magic three-colour lens to x-ray the body from head to toe. Together,Kate DaviesandCarovskyhave produced a phenomenal science lesson and one with the most stylish and edgy design. ‘Illumanatomy’ is their second book: with an alluring interactive element and succinct, accurate factual information, this book appeals to biologists and those who have an appetite for learning.Find ithere.

¿Cómo funcionan nuestras gafas? / SergioBarberoYou may need to wear glasses to read these words or, maybe you have had to use them to reach the bookshop or the library where you found this book. However, if this is not the case, you can consider yourself a lucky person since more than half the population in most developed countries need to wear glasses nowadays. Glasses appear to be simple objects that do not require advanced technologies to be made; however, their design, particularly in some types of lenses such as the progressive ones (which have three prescriptions in one pair of glasses), is part of one of the most complex areas of research, especially in the fields of Medicine and Mathematics. This book talks about myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia or astigmatism, and provides significant keys to how Science has managed to study these vision conditions and improve the quality of life of the people who suffer from them over the years.Find ithere.

Seeing the light: optics in nature, photography, color, vision and holography / David S. FaltkThe most complete and lucid nonmathematical study of light available. Chapters are self-contained, making the book flexible and easy to read. Coverage includes such non-traditional topics as processes of vision and the eye, atmospherical optical phenomena, color perception and illusions, color in nature and in art, Kirilian photography, and holography. Includes experiments that can be carried out with simple equipment. Chapters contain optional advanced sections, and appendixes review the mathematics for quantitative aspects. Illustrated, including a four-color insert.Find ithere.

Handbook of visual optics / Pablo ArtalHandbook of Visual Optics offers an authoritative overview of encyclopedic knowledge in the field of physiological optics. It builds from fundamental concepts to the science and technology of instruments and practical procedures of vision correction, integrating expert knowledge from physics, medicine, biology, psychology, and engineering. The chapters cover all aspects of modern study and practice, from optical principles and optics of the eye and retina to novel ophthalmic tools for imaging and visual testing, devices and techniques for visual correction, and the relationship between ocular optics and visual perception.Find ithere.

Basic optical engineering for engineers and scientists / Haiyin SunThe text briefly introduces the most basic optics before describing various optical components, optical devices and systems, lasers, laser optics and devices, optic fibers, opto-electrical devices, optical designs, and optical assemblies. The performance specifications of some optical components representing today's technologies are also provided. Rather than present manual numerical calculations and raytracing, the book describes how to use computers and optical software to perform these tasks.Find ithere.

Optics of human eye / David A. Atchinson and George SmithThe book is divided into a number of short chapters with each chapter dedicated to a single theme. For ease of reference, the most commonly useful topics are at the beginning and topics with narrower appeal are placed towards the end. The book is divided into 5 sections, covering: basic optical structure of the human eye, image formation and refraction of the eye, interactions between light and the eye, considering transmission, reflection and scatter in the media of the eye and at the fundus, aberrations and retinal image quality and depth of field topics and age related changes in the optics of the eye.Find ithere.

Optics for technicians / Max J. RiedlThis book is an introduction to optics and optical fabrication that provides technicians with simple explanations supported by illustrations and diagrams. Detailed examples and calculations are also included.The behaviour and performance of optical elements as individual components and as members of complete systems are discussed and evaluated. Further topics include the manufacturing, testing, and mounting of optical elements; two-element systems; optical coatings; and aberrations.Find ithere.

Optics using Matlab / Scott W. TeareOptics using MATLAB provides a functional overview of developing code using MATLAB that can be used to enhance and increase understanding optics topics through the use of visualization tools. The book ties a number of optical topics to programming activities with MATLAB. It is divided into three sections. Part I focuses on a wide range of basic programing fundamentals using MATLAB. Part II provides a review of a selected topics in optics and demonstrates how these can be explored using MATLAB scripts. Part III discusses how to use MATLAB to improve the usability of custom programs through graphical user interfaces and incorporating other programming languages. Find ithere.

Óptica / Eugene HechtThis new edition ofOpticsprovides students with the most up-to-date coverage of Optics. Responsive to students' needs, the focus of the revision was to fine-tune the pedagogy, modernize the discourse, and update the content. This book continues the gradually modernizing treatment of the previous edition by imparting an appreciation of the central role of atomic scattering, providing an understanding of the insightful perspective offered by the Fourier Theory, and by, from the outset, explicating the underlying quantum mechanical nature of light.Find ithere.

Clinical visual optics / Ronald B. RabbetsThe fourth edition of this classic textbook has been brought thoroughly up to date with revised chapters on Ocular Aberrations. New contributors have been added and the book has been completely redesigned using colour to offer a more accessible layout and enhance the many illustrations. The new companion website has valuable additional resources including a simulation of subjective refraction video clips showing clinical procedures and extra appendices to the book. Find ithere.

La luz: vida, ciencia, progreso / Benito Valdés CastrillónThis book covers very relevant and significant aspects of the topic of light in fields such as Science and Technology. Some of the chapters in this book come from lectures and conferences given by several prestigious lecturer researchers and professors. The collaboration of the Andalusian Academies of Sciences in the book’s edition has enriched both the objectives and the significance of this publication.The topics are approached from a perspective that matches the goals of the International Day of Light declared by UNESCO.Find ithere.

Unidad Didáctica Ciencia con luz propia. Aplicaciones tecnológicas de la luz / José Antonio García García, coord.What is light? What are our eyes like? Do we actually see what we intend to see? These are some of the questions this book provides answers to. This publication, in which several professors and researchers from CSIC and from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya have participated, has been coordinated by professor José Antonio García García, from University of Granada. The book contains ten chapters in which we can find exercises, anecdotes, and examples, as well as other types of supplementary materials such as films, journals, and webpages that offer the necessary tools to support the researchers' work, and help increase students’ interest in Science (one of our main goals).Find ithere.

Innovación docente interdisciplinar en la universidad / José Juan Castro Torres, coord.This project’s main goal is to improve the teaching-learning process in theoretical practical classes as well as the development of transversal competencies such as communication skills, and teamwork by means of including active teaching methodologies in class, and encouraging students to become involved in interdisciplinary activities. Find ithere.

Polarised light /Dennis H. GoldsteinPolarized light is a pervasive influence in our world--and scientists and engineers in a variety of fields require the tools to understand, measure, and apply it to their advantage. Offering an in-depth examination of the subject and a description of its applications, Polarized Light, Third Edition serves as a comprehensive self-study tool complete with an extensive mathematical analysis of the Mueller matrix and coverage of Maxwell's equations.Find ithere.

Light scattering by small particles /H. C. van der HulstThe measurement of light scattering of independent, homogeneous particles has many useful applications in physical chemistry, meteorology and astronomy. There is, however, a sizeable gap between the abstract formulae related to electromagnetic-wave-scattering phenomena, and the computation of reliable figures and curves. Dr. van de Hulst's book enables researchers to bridge that gap. The product of twelve years of work, it is an exhaustive study of light-scattering properties of small, individual particles, and includes a survey of all the relevant literature.Find ithere.

Polarised light and the Mueller matrix approach /José J. Gil Pérez, Razvigor OssikovskiAn Up-to-Date Compendium on the Physics and Mathematics of Polarization Phenomena.Polarized Light and the Mueller Matrix Approach thoroughly and cohesively integrates basic concepts of polarization phenomena from the dual viewpoints of the states of polarization of electromagnetic waves and the transformations of these states by the action of material media. Through selected examples, it also illustrates actual and potential applications in materials science, biology, and optics technology.Find ithere.

Els Òptics de la Barcelona del segle XIX : un ofici entre la ciència i l'espectacle/Cèlia Cuenca CórcolesIn the same way we nowadays go into an Apple store to check out the latest update in the MacBook or the smoothness of fluidity of the new touch screens, going into Dalmau's shop allowed people to learn about the new and latest inventions of the 19th century, a time when all our current gadgets, devices and shows werecreated.Find ithere.

Most of the books are available in one of the libraries of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya or in other Catalan universities and can be lent to members of the university community.