OSA Foundation, SPIE and CSIC co-publish English translation of Discovering Light

The general-interest book on optics is published ahead of 2021’s International Day of Light

WASHINGTON- Discovering Light: Fun Experiments with Optics, a co-publishing effort between the Optical Society Foundation (OSAF), SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) is available as an open-access, downloadable eBook. A print version of the book will be available in mid-June.

Originally published in Spanish by CSIC and Catarata Books in 2018 for a general audience as well as secondary-education-level students, Discovering Light is a collaboration by 14 young scientists – including project editor and 2019 OSA Ambassador María Viñas-Peña -who met as researchers at Spain’s Institute of Optics (IO-CSIC). This new version of Discovering Light represents the first non-Spanish translation of the book.

Section titles range from the basic “What is light?” “Optical instruments,” and “Safety Rules for the Use of Laser Pointers,” to the more expansive “Light in Nature,” “Light-based Technologies,” and “The Human Eye: A Biological Camera.” Content includes a variety of easy-to-follow experiments related to different optical phenomena and technologies.

“Light is an element that draws together many areas of human knowledge from physics, chemistry, and biology, to astronomy, engineering, and art,” said Viñas-Peña. “It’s an integral part of our lives, both via natural light phenomena as well as within the many devices we use today. Working on this project, my co-authors and I wanted to answer basic questions about light and demonstrate fun ways to engage with it in a way that would excite and inspire others to explore the topic. Translating this book into English will help it reach a broader international audience, and the open access eBook will make it highly accessible to a general audience as well as to new generations of optics and photonics students.”

“Editorial CSIC is a publishing house that promotes free access to scientific knowledge in Spain in multiple disciplines through its research teams,” noted CSIC Editorial Director Pura Fernández. “In this book, Descubriendo la luz, the exciting world of optics and photonics is explained through stimulating experiments that all readers can perform to understand the phenomena related of light present in our daily lives.”

“There’s nothing better to spark curiosity than the simplicity, beauty, and intriguing nature of light interacting with everyday life,” said OSA Foundation Executive Director Chad Stark. “We are proud to support this initiative and excited about its impact.”

“For us, it has been rewarding to not only work with the authors on this wonderful project, but also to partner with CSIC and the OSA Foundation,” said SPIE Director of Publications and Platform Patrick Franzen. “Discovering Light will be a terrific resource for the international optics and photonics research community, and we hope that everyone will take advantage of the open access eBook option.”

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