Motion Mountain: The Adventure of Physics: Light, Charges and Brains (Volume 3)

Dublin Core



New, expanded 2017 edition - more than 200 000 readers. This volume on electricity, magnetism and optics is written to be captivating on every page. It introduces fields, light and Maxwell's description of their motion, shows how animals, from sharks to people, make use of them in their senses and brains, and explains modern optical technologies. The working of the eye, the infrared pits of snakes, the many types of rainbows, the various types of mirages, the working of a needle compass, the appearance of lightning, the working of computers and mobile phones, and the making of X-ray images are all shown to be effects of electricity and magnetism. The meaning of Maxwell's equations is made as clear as possible, with as little math as possible. The types of lights and the electromagnetic effects in matter are introduced. The volume tells about the numerous optical fibers in your eyes, explains the three international light bulb scams of the past 20 years, explains how to measure the power of the Sun with closed eyes, introduces the tricky sides of three-dimensional interferometers, explores the Poynting vector field for a cable and a transformer, tells the story of the biggest disappointment of the television industry in the twentieth century, describes how yellow light improves tomato sales and pink light reduces crime, explains why wearing sunglasses can transform humans into apes, gives details about the solar spectrum, presents the 'floating bed' puzzle, shows how the human eye can invent colours that are not there, presents the many types of rainbows, shows an electric effect observed on many playgrounds, tells how to build the simplest possible radio control system, explains how to observe the polarization of light with the unaided human eye in the same way as honey bees do, poses the polarized car headlight problem, and much more


Christoph Schiller


Cut Rita Zahara


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Motion Mountain The Adventure of Physics Vol III.pdf



Christoph Schiller, “Motion Mountain: The Adventure of Physics: Light, Charges and Brains (Volume 3),” Open Educational Resource (OER) , accessed October 30, 2020,

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