Light, Color, and Vision
First Term Seminar 100-292
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 11:30AM, Fine Arts- Music 120
Course Material and Class Participant Web Page
Prof. Jonathan M. Smith
Monday, Tuesday: 10:30 – 11:30
Friday: 1:00 – 2:30 PM
The ubiquitous role of light, color and vision in our lives is investigated with a multidisciplinary approach. The course addresses fundamental principles of light from the integrated perspectives of chemistry, biology and physics. Areas of inquiry and discussion will include everything from the operation of laser-based scanners in the grocery store, to the underlying molecules that are responsible for the wide variety of color that our eyes perceive in art, to the vision process itself. As well, this course will touch upon light, color and vision in philosophy, literature, and art. Questions will be addressed such as: With the new technologies that provide a more “colorful” world of information, advertising, etc. do they actually provide a better quality of life? Laser technology provides everything from CD players to laser-guided weapons, is this all good?
Ball, Philip. Bright Earth: Art
and the Invention of Color.
Perkowitz, Sidney. Empire of
Light: a History of Discovery in Science and
Falk, David S.; Brill,
Pigment Molecular Web Pages:
Course Web Page:
Tentative Schedule: http://www.gac.edu/~jmsmith/light/schedule.html
Library Course page:
Chemistry of Dyes: http://www.chm.bris.ac.uk/webprojects2002/price/colour.htm
Molecular Models of Food Colors: http://people.ouc.bc.ca/woodcock/molecule/molfrag/mf008.htm
Color of Inorganic Compounds powerpoint: Color of Inorganic Compounds.html
Several components figure into the final grade including class participation and the writing of five short papers and a term paper as well as two presentations. The term paper will be written on selected topics ranging from the molecular make up of pigments to laser eye surgery. Additional shorter writing exercises will focus on writing about specific topics including such as “Lux et Veritas”, light as a metaphor.
Fall 2002 Class: