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1856 Map of the Lines of Equal Polarization in the Atmosphere

1856 Map of the Lines of Equal Polarization in the Atmosphere

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By: Alexander K. Johnston

Date: 1856 (published) Edinburgh

Dimensions: 20 x 24 inches (51 x 61 cm)

This map focuses on polarisation in the atmosphere and was created using the work of Sir David Brewster. It is from the second edition of Johnston's Physical Atlas of Natural Phenomena, published out of Edinburgh by William Blackwood & Sons in 1856.

Sir David Brewster studied how light is polarised as it travels through the atmosphere. He found that there are certain areas in the atmosphere where the light becomes more polarised in a particular direction. These areas are like patterns or lines on a map. His map shows these lines of equal polarization, meaning all the points along one line have light vibrating in the same direction. These lines help understand how light changes as it goes through the atmosphere and how it gets polarized.

By studying these lines, scientists can learn more about how light interacts with the Earth's atmosphere, which is helpful in many fields such as astronomy, weather forecasting, and understanding the behavior of light in general.

Alexander Keith Johnston's Physical Atlas of Natural Phenomena was amongst the most comprehensive geographic works focusing on natural science of its day. Johnston described the motivations and focus of his work in the preface as follows; The object originally contemplated in this work was to present, in a graphic form, a concise yet comprehensive view of the Physical Geography of the Globe, embracing under that term its superficial structure, the movements of its aerial and oceanic currents, and the distribution of organized existence on its surface. 

Accompanying the map is the original letterpress description from the atlas that discusses in detail the methodology, science, and theory the went into the cartographic work.

Condition: Map is in A+ condition presenting an attractive and vivid imprint on heavy paper with full margins on all sides. 

Inventory #12573

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