Light (A Very Short Introduction) ★★✬☆☆

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Title: Light
Series: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Ian Walmsley
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Non-Fiction
Pages: 119
Words: 38.5K



Light enables us to see the world around us. Our sense of sight provides us with direct information about space and time, the physical arrangement of the world, and how it changes. This almost universal shared sensation of vision has led to a fascination with the nature and properties of light across the ages. But the light we see is just a small part of the whole spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, ranging from radio waves to gamma rays. In this Very Short Introduction Ian Walmsley discusses early attempts to explain light, and the development of apparently opposing particulate and wave theories by scientists such as Isaac Newton and Christiaan Huygens. He shows how light was recognized as an electromagnetic wave in the 19th century, and the development of the quantum mechanics view of wave-particle duality in the 20th century. He also describes the many applications of light, domestic and scientific, such as microwaves, DVDs, and lasers. We now use the whole range of electromagnetic radiation to peer both into the human body and deep into space. Turning to the future of optics, Walmsley concludes by looking at some of the most exciting new developments using quantum light sources in communications and computing.

My Thoughts:

Ahhhh, this started out SO good. Good old Ian was blabbing about Light and used an obviously technical term. He immediately went on to define that term in layman’s terms and I was sure this book was going to be great. He then proceeds to continue using the technical term and said terms increase more and more, just like in the other VSI books, and with no layman interpretation.

Then he spends the rest of the book talking about information technology and how it is using light. He does spend a chapter talking about Light as waves and particles but the tech side of things seemed to be his passion and so that is what he wrote about.

This series is produced by the Oxford University Press. As I was making my way through the book, I had to just stop for a minute and wonder what OUP was trying to accomplish with these. The only sane thing I could come up with was to soak the luckless jomokes who would shell out money for excrement like this. I was going to add to help puff up the publishing numbers of their more useless professors, but I don’t think most of these authors are professors at Oxford.

Insults aside, these do really border on the useless. The problem I have is that these are perfect, in terms of size and time, for what I want to commit to in terms of a non-fiction relationship. I’m that weak boyfriend who keeps crawling back even though I know Candy is out turning tricks once she knows she has me again. The OUP know they’re onto a good thing, so they’re not going to stop pimping out these books or trying to find new authors to degrade.

It really sounds horrible when I put it that way, doesn’t it? If I knew of some other “Introduction” type of series, I’d jump at it in a heartbeat because this series is crap.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

79 thoughts on “Light (A Very Short Introduction) ★★✬☆☆

                    1. I don’t know. I’ve never gotten into International Toilet Investigating myself. Always seemed a little esoteric for my tastes.
                      But here I am, wishing I HAD a knowledge of International Toilets. The things they don’t tell you in college.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    2. Ha! There’s not enough ego in this world to support 2 of me! Sometimes my ego is “almost” too big for me. But then I remember who I am and voila, no more problem.

                      Sometimes it is good to be king, but other times, it is better to be me.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. Truth? I don’t. In real life I’m a raging egomaniac with a disposition to abuse drugs and alcohol all the while making everyone else think it is their fault. And since all my body parts have ego’s just as big, they don’t get damaged. I”m pretty much Mr Invincible.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. While any movie with Michael Caine is a good movie, any blog with Michael Caine is not necessarily a good blog. Any blog with me involved IS a good blog. Ergo latinumus duxes, I am not Michael Caine.

                      Ha. Logic and pure awesomeness prove me right once again.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    5. You won’t catch me out that easy. I’m filled with the power of Fish Fillets at the moment and with some caramalized onion double gloucester cheese coming up. I am Nigh Invincible….

                      Liked by 1 person

                    6. As much as I want to say that he’ll get there eventually, I am inclined to agree with you. My own verbosity handicap helps me to empathize with him though. Why use 1 word when 10 will do? 😀 😀 😀

                      Liked by 1 person

                    7. Really? Japanese toilets might have them beat. Not only are they warm in winter, play soothing music or birdsong while you sit, but they also offer manga-printed toilet paper. One of those features is not true. Answers on a postcard to Toireto Housu, Oshiri 33, Japan.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    8. Ahhh, A TRUE TOILET MASTER HAS SPOKEN!!!
                      Let all the world be silent at his words of wisdom.
                      (and by that I mean, Ol’10, not me. I would never be silent. It would just be wrong!)

                      I’m guessing the “warm in winter” is the fake one. Do I get a prize if I’m right?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    9. Hey now, don’t drag Wendy’s into this. And beside, I, I mean, Michael Caine, no, Tabasco Man totally has a deal going on. I, eerrr, he gets all the free condiments he wants in exchange for patrolling the parking lots. Wendy doesn’t feel safe coming out of her own restaurant unless Tabasco Man is on duty…

                      Liked by 1 person

                    10. Not anymore. Dave Thomas pretended that Wendy was his daughter and had her professionally assassinated and then took over the business.
                      That is why she’s so afraid without the power of Tabasco Man backing her up…

                      Liked by 1 person

                    11. I give up. You’re worse than Delilah with your nagging. You are right. I am Michael Caine. And Bookstooge. And Dave Thomas. And Tabasco Man.

                      Plus, I might have some others tucked away for a rainy day….

                      Liked by 1 person

    1. Nope 😉
      I am trying to get more generalized “non-fiction” into my reading and these books are short and extremely general and should have fit the bill perfectly. Unfortunately, they tend to be written by people who don’t seem to know what real life is about or what normal people are interested in. It’s frustrating reading these with one set of expectations and the author practically doing everything he can do NOT meet those.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Unfortunately, and almost unbelievably, I think most of the authors in the Very Short Introduction series have even bigger egos then me. So I don’t see them tailoring their books for anybody but themselves. Shameful, isn’t it? 😉

          And thanks. I’m really working on becoming less verbose. It’s hard work!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! This is the type of information that more people should have. Kind of like a continuing highschool education. I’m not looking to be an expert, but just to have a little bit “more”. It is so frustrating to have a subject that “could” be made quite accessible to me be turned into someone’s pet hobby horse.

      I don’t even know where else to look, or even WHAT to look for elsewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. I gotta respect that. Some of my promiscuism leads me down what some might consider and dark, cold path. Enjoy your reading and I hope you find a good book about light! I read one that I can’t remember the name of to save my life . . .

            Liked by 1 person

            1. It’ not that I care so much about the subject of “light” in particular as I’m simply trying to get more general non-fiction knowledge into my bean.
              I’m pretty much looking for the non-fiction version of the Everyman’s Library of classics.


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