Herschel infrared light experiments, 1800

Herschel infrared light experiments, 1800

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This image is part of the sequence science and technology: Herschel infrared experiments

Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Herschel infrared light experiments, artwork. In 1800, the British astronomer William Herschel (1738-1822) carried out a series of experiments that led to his discovery of infrared light. Firelight (left) is being focused through a lens (centre). Thermometers (at right) were placed at the correct distance to detect the temperature increase due to the focusing of infrared light. The non-focused light from the fire has been blocked by the shield in front of the thermometers. This artwork (Plate XV) is the eighth of ten illustrating the third of Herschel's four papers on this topic (read 15 May 1800), published in volume 90 of 'Philosophical Transactions' (Royal Society of London).

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