How did the wave theory of light take shape in the mind of Christiaan Huygens?

Annals of Science 37 (2):179-187 (1980)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In 1672, inspired by the wave theory of Ignace Gaston Pardies, Christiaan Huygens made his first attempt to explain the sine law of refraction, but in 1673 he abandoned his plans owing to difficulties concerning double refraction. Huygens was able to explain double refraction on 6 August 1677 after his discoveries of the axis of symmetry of the crystal and of ‘Huygens's principle’. On 6 August 1679, he wrote: ‘I have found the confirmation of my theory of light and of refraction’, and then described an ‘experimentum crucis’ to decide between his theory and a rival hypothesis. A study of caustics may have led Huygens to the discovery of ‘Huygens's principle’



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 84,179

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Leonhard euler's wave theory of light.Kurt Møller Pedersen - 2008 - Perspectives on Science 16 (4):pp. 392-416.
Christiaan Huygens's Attitude toward Animals.Nathaniel Wolloch - 2000 - Journal of the History of Ideas 61 (3):415-432.
La philosophie naturelle de Christiaan Huygens.Gianfranco Mormino - 2007 - Early Science and Medicine 12 (2):236-237.


Added to PP

28 (#446,693)

6 months
4 (#200,235)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references