In 1760 the first edition of the Traite d’optique sur la gradation de la lumiere of Pierre Bouguer was published posthumously. Bouguer (1698-1758), French mathematician, professor of hydrography, and author of works on the theory of navigation, can also be considered the inventor of photometry, and the Traite was his definitive word on the subject. It has become one of the classic treatises of science, but even in French has long been unavailable. The last part of the work is remarkable for having anticipated the modern theory of the visibility of objects in a horizontal direction through the atmosphere.
Dr. Middleton’s translation is accompanied by explanatory notes and a biographical and critical introduction. The book will be of interested to those working in the field of optics and to students of the history of science.
About the author
W.E. Knowles Middleton was associated with the National Research Council from 1946 until 1963. He is the author of The History of the Barometer, The Experimenters: A Study of the Accademia del Cimento, Physics at the National Research Council of Canada, 1929-1952 (WLU Press, 1979), Lorenzo Magalotti at the Court of Charles II (WLU Press, 1980), and Radar Development in Canada: The Radio Branch of the National Research Council 1939-1946 (WLU Press, 1981). He has received honorary degrees from Boston University and McGill University.