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About the Author: Bruce Watson

Bruce Watson is the author of "Light: A Radiant History from Creation to the Quantum Age" (Bloomsbury, Feb. 2016). Starting with creation stories and following the trail of luminescence through three millennia, "Light" explores how humanity has worshiped, captured, studied, painted, and finally controlled light. The book's cast of characters includes Plato, Ptolemy, Alhacen, Dante, Leonardo, Rembrandt, Galileo, Newton, Daguerre, Monet, Edison, Einstein... The American Library Association's Booklist called "Light: A Radiant History" "a dazzling book."

Watson is also the author of four other well-reviewed books, including "Freedom Summer: The Savage Season that Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy," "Sacco and Vanzetti: The Men, The Murders, and The Judgment of Mankind," and "Bread and Roses: Mills, Migrants, and the Struggle for the American Dream."

Watson has also written more than three dozen feature articles for Smithsonian. His work has appeared in the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, American Heritage, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Yankee, Reader’s Digest, and Best American Science and Nature Writing 2003.

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A Radiant History from Creation to the Quantum Age by

Goodreads rating: 3.76

Hardcover, Published in Feb 2016 by Bloomsbury USA

ISBN10: 1620405598 | ISBN13: 9781620405598

Page count: 304

Light begins at Stonehenge, where crowds cheer a solstice sunrise. After sampling myths explaining First Light, the story moves on to early philosophers' queries, then through the centuries, from Buddhist temples to Biblical scripture, when light was the soul of the divine.

Battling darkness and despair, Gothic architects crafted radiant cathedrals while Dante dreamed a "heaven of pure light." Later, following Leonardo's advice, Renaissance artists learned to capture light on canvas. During the Scientific Revolution, Galileo gathered light in his telescope, Descartes measured the rainbow, and Newton used prisms to solidify the science of optics. But even after Newton, light was an enigma. Particle or wave? Did it flow through an invisible "ether"? Through the age of Edison and into the age of lasers, Light reveals how light sparked new wonders--relativity, quantum electrodynamics, fiber optics, and more.

Although lasers now perform everyday miracles, light retains its eternal allure. "For the rest of my life," Einstein said, "I will reflect on what light is." Light explores and celebrates such curiosity.

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