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- The author of Skulls in the Stars is an associate professor of physics, specializing in optical science, at UNC Charlotte. The blog covers topics in physics and optics, the history of science, classic pulp fantasy and horror fiction, and the surprising intersections between these areas.
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Category Archives: Optics
It’s been some 5 years since I wrote my last “Optics basics” post! The goal of that series of posts was to introduce some of the most fundamental concepts in optics in a non-technical way, in part so I wouldn’t … Continue reading
A month ago, I shared the lengthy, odd and sometimes dramatic history of the illusion commonly known as “Pepper’s ghost,” which I believe is more properly called the “Pepper-Dircks ghost.” In researching this post, I uncovered a wealth of fascinating … Continue reading
My recent post on the Pepper-Dircks ghost didn’t include even close to all of the interesting tidbits it could have! There are so many things to learn from the story of the ghost, including some lessons about optics. For example: … Continue reading
My most recent blog post, concerning the history of the Pepper-Dircks Ghost, was extremely long but didn’t even include all the fascinating aspects of its history. For instance: the ghost was such an incredibly effective illusion that it even drew … Continue reading
It is often told that in the 1860s, John Henry Pepper used science and technology to invent a ghost. Or did he? This is the surprisingly tricky question that we will try to answer in this lengthy post. It is a … Continue reading
I have a lot of catching up to do in terms of popular science books, so I’ve recently been doing an intense amount of reading. A lot of my focus has been on reading books by people I’m acquainted with … Continue reading