Working papers and experimental observations relating to optics including polarisation, photometry, spectra and the characteristics of light, [1840-1875]
Archive Reference: K/PP107/4/1-7
Archive Reference: K/PP107/4/1-7
Experimental notes by Charles Wheatstone, principally concerning the practical implications of reflecting and refracting surfaces in motion, comprising proposals to measure the velocity of light; experiments designed to investigate the phenomenon of the electric spark and electrical light; proposals to measure small intervals of time and human perception of rapidly moving points of light; the duration of luminous discharges including meteors; optical phenomena associated with a revolving cube; brief descriptions of experiments involving light houses performed in Ireland, with diagrams and sketches.
Observations on the consistency of various colours, notably including the isolation of colours by chemical means; colours of gold alloys; the colours of solid bodies; alterations in the colour of various liquids under different lighting conditions; brief reflections on the theoretical explanation for solar absorption spectra and experiments to determine the absorption spectra of numerous compounds; commonplaces and extracts from published works on the subject of colour.
Notes on the colouration of various compounds, including correspondence between George Gabriel Stokes (1819-1903), Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, University of Cambridge, and Charles Wheatstone, especially listing publications on the subject of colour, 1862-1873; descriptions of experiments involving the combination of colours, 1874; observations on salts of cobalt and chromium in solution; sulphates and chlorides of copper; reflective qualities of transparent liquids and crystals; observations on the optical properties of films on metallic plates; effects of coloured films on the base of a prism; experiments involving fluorescence; papers entitled 'miscellaneous observations on colours', including the spectra of metals in solution and under combustion, experiments to measure absorption employing gelatine, and pre-Newtonian theories of colour.
Notes compiled by Charles Wheatstone on colour, notably including experimental observations on the colouration of metallic salts and various dyes including Magdala or Naphthaline Red, Golden Roseine and Humboldt Blue, fluorescence, surface films on glass and metals, and the effects of acids on the colouration of sulphates and carbonates, 1873-1874; proposed improvements to the spectroscope; brief observations concerning sunlight, prismatic analysis and the spectra of rock crystal; reflections on the optical phenomenon known as 'Newton's rings'.
Experimental and theoretical observations, chiefly concerning the polarisation of light, including experiments made with an electromagnet; striation in luminous tubes; a general description of absorption spectra; inventory of apparatus necessary to show the law of rotation of the plane of polarisation and outline description of polarising apparatus and polarimeter; consequences of the mixture of polarised light from different sources; notes on interference; criticism by Charles Wheatstone of then current theories to explain the phenomenon of aberration; experimental notes on the refraction of light through filters; proposal for a version of the telegraph able to utilise the phenomenon of optical polarisation; draft of paper 'Experiments on the Successive Polarization of Light with the Description of a new Polarizing Apparatus', published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, 1871. With equations, sketches and chromatograms.
Working notes compiled by Charles Wheatstone, principally concerning refraction of light, especially experiments utilising Iceland spar (calcite), mica, quartz and lamina of selenite or hydrated calcium sulphate (gypsum), as media for refraction; axes of elasticity in crystals; polarising prisms; convex lenses; notes entitled 'experiments with the reflecting apparatus'; experiments concerning reflecting surfaces including internal reflection within glass; specifications for proposed refractometer; description of Charles Wheatstone's 'wave apparatus', constructed by Elliot Brothers, opticians, London. With equations, diagrams and sketches.
Notes on optics, notably including description of lunar halo, 1850; outline of the function of the eidotrope, a kind of projection device; brief observations on the operation of the human eye, and on binocular vision. With diagrams and equations.