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Bow-shaped caustics from conical prisms: a 13th-century account of rainbow formation from Robert Grosseteste’s De iride

Abstract:

The rainbow has been the subject of discussion across a variety of historical periods and cultures, and numerous optical explanations have been suggested. Here, we further explore the scientific treatise De iride [On the Rainbow] written by Robert Grosseteste in the 13th century. Attempting to account for the shape of the rainbow, Grosseteste bases his explanation on the optical properties of transparent cones, which he claims can give rise to arc-shaped projections through refraction. By sta...

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Publication status:
Published
Peer review status:
Peer reviewed

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Publisher copy:
10.1364/AO.56.00G197

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Institution:
University of Oxford
Oxford college:
Pembroke College
Role:
Author
More by this author
Institution:
University of Oxford
Division:
MSD
Department:
Experimental Psychology
Role:
Author
More by this author
Institution:
University of Oxford
Division:
MPLS
Department:
Engineering Science
Role:
Author
More from this funder
Name:
Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University
Funding agency for:
Smithson, H
Grant:
Visiting Fellowship
More from this funder
Name:
Arts and Humanities Research Council
Grant:
AH/N001222/1
More from this funder
Name:
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Funding agency for:
Harvey, J
Publisher:
Optical Society of America
Journal:
Applied Optics More from this journal
Volume:
56
Issue:
19
Pages:
G197-G204
Publication date:
2017-06-30
Acceptance date:
2017-04-12
DOI:
EISSN:
2155-3165
ISSN:
1559-128X
Pubs id:
pubs:689753
UUID:
uuid:0d45941b-684c-4b17-94e0-68c3477e8b0d
Local pid:
pubs:689753
Source identifiers:
689753
Deposit date:
2017-04-18

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