MAT 265: Open Projects in Optical/Motion - Computational Processes Resources


History of Vision Technology


Classical antiquity refers to the golden age of Greco-Roman civilization that lasted approximately from 800 B.C. to 500 A.D. The birth of philosophy in ancient Greece played an important role in the development of science of optics. Ancient Greek and Roman philosophers developed optics as one of the branches of the natural sciences. Understanding mechanisms of vision and light was very important to Greek and Roman philosophers because vision was considered the most important sense, and the idea of curing an eye disease was considered even more miraculous than it is today. Because Greek and Roman philosophers were also highly religious, they attempted to explain vision not just rationally but in a manner that was compatible with their religious and spiritual ideas. Some of the ancient theories of vision and optics described below sound very strange to us when we study them, but to Greeks and Romans of the time, these theories were remarkable achievements of their philosophers as they brought them closer to understanding their world. (More)
A Natural History of Vision
Photography and Science

Photography and Science
Kelley Wilder

ballistic experiment 1888
beauties of Nature: Etienne-Jules Marey
Emil Zettnow
X-Ray diffraction of a Gold Sputter
Lichtenberg figures -- Arthur von Hippel
Nine hours of light
Dye destruction print -- Daro Montag


The word photography derives from the Greek words phos (genitive: photos) light, and gráphein, to write. The word was coined by Sir John Herschel in 1839.
History of Photography
History of Photography (BOOK)

Early Photography

Kepler on the camera eye
Jupiter - Henry Brothers
Albrecht Meydenbauer
Eadweard Muybridge Animal Locomotion

Monochrome process

The first permanent photograph (later accidentally destroyed) was an image produced in 1826 [5] by the French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. His photographs were produced on a polished pewter plate covered with a petroleum derivative called bitumen of Judea.

Color process

The first color photo, an additive projected image of a tartan ribbon, was taken in 1861 by the Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell. Several patentable methods for producing images (by either additive or subtractive methods, see below) were devised from 1862 on by two French inventors (working independently), Louis Ducos du Hauron and Charles Cros.


The discovery of infrared radiation is ascribed to William Herschel, the astronomer, in the early 19th century. Herschel published his results in 1800 before the Royal Society of London. Herschel used a prism to refract light from the sun and detected the infrared, beyond the red part of the spectrum, through an increase in the temperature recorded on a thermometer. He was surprised at the result and called them "Calorific Rays". The term 'Infrared' did not appear until late in the 19th century.

Infrared Theory
History of Infrared Thermography

Tomography and CT scan

CT was discovered independently by a British engineer named Sir Godfrey Hounsfield and Dr. Alan Cormack. It has become a mainstay for diagnosing medical diseases. For their work, Hounsfield and Cormack were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in 1979.

CT scanners first began to be installed in 1974. Currently, 6,000 scanners are in use in the United States. Because of advances in computer technology, CT scanners have vastly improved patient comfort because they are now much faster. These improvements have also led to higher-resolution images, which improve the diagnostic capabilities of the test. For example, the CT scan can show doctors small nodules or tumors, which they cannot see on an x-ray.
Brief History of CT


MRI, as with all medical imaging techniques, is a relatively new technology with its foundations beginning during the year of 1946. Felix Bloch and Edward Purcell independently discovered the magnetic resonance phenomena during this year, and were later awarded the Nobel Prize in 1952. Up until the 1970s MRI was being used for chemical and physical analysis. Then in 1971 Raymond Damadian showed that nuclear magnetic relaxation times of tissues and tumors differed motivating scientists to use MRI to study disease. With the advent of computed tomography (using computer techniques to develop images from MRI information) in 1973 by Hounsfield, and echo-planar imaging (a rapid imaging technique) in 1977 by Mansfield, many scientists over the next 20 years developed MRI into the technology that we now know today.
History of MRI


German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen is usually credited as the discoverer of X-rays because he was the first to systematically study them, though he is not the first to have observed their effects. He is also the one who gave them the name "X-rays", though many referred to these as "Röntgen rays" for several decades after their discovery and to this day in some languages, including Röntgen's native German.
X-rays were found emanating from Crookes tubes, experimental discharge tubes invented around 1875, by scientists investigating the cathode rays, that is energetic electron beams, that were first created in the tubes. Crookes tubes created free electrons by ionization of the residual air in the tube by a high DC voltage of anywhere between a few kilovolts and 100 kV. This voltage accelerated the electrons coming from the cathode to a high enough velocity that they created X-rays when they struck the anode or the glass wall of the tube. Many of the early Crookes tubes undoubtedly radiated X-rays, because early researchers noticed effects that were attributable to them, as detailed below. Wilhelm Röntgen was the first to systematically study them, in 1895.
History of X-Ray
A Brief History of X-Rays