Posts tagged ‘Unweaving the Rainbow’

May 2, 2011

Scientific opinion has always been misrepresented…

by Lucas Wilkins

I found a poem about the apparent absolutism of science:

The Microbe is so very small
You cannot make him out at all,
But many sanguine people hope
To see him through a microscope

I do too, even though I feel my temperament is probably better described as melancholic

His jointed tongue that lies beneath
A hundred curious rows of teath;


February 18, 2011

Reunweaving The Rainbow

by Lucas Wilkins

(* Warning — Some readers may find this massively pedantic *)

A while ago I did some research into rainbows. I’d been reading about Newton and his rings, and thinking about what people say about him and his opinion on the number of colours in a rainbow. In which way these “principal colours” were important to him is a little unclear (“because they pass into one another by insensible gradation” !?!!?!, link), but it seems to me that he understood the relation between the continua of pitch and hue and their (somewhat arbitrary) relation to the respective discrete scales rather well. Anyway, I thought I would have a go at asking how many colours there are in a rainbow, perhaps there would be a sensible answer… I gave up pretty quickly, because I noticed something else.


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