19th century, both the use and the improvement of reflectors were left mainly in British hands; but the gift of the " Crossley " instrument in 1895, to the Lick observatory, and its splendid subsequent performances in nebular photography, brought similar tools of research into extensive use among American astronomers; and they are now, for many of the various purposes of astrophysics, strongly preferred to refractors.
On the other hand, those substances which either are good reflectors or good transmitters, are not so luminous at the same temperature; for instance, melted silver, which reflects well, is not so luminous as carbon at the same temperature, and common salt, which is very transparent for most kinds of radiation, when poured in a fused condition out of a bright red-hot crucible, looks almost like water, showing only a faint red glow for a moment or two.
In an Italian translation of Euclid's Optica, with commentary, Egnacio Danti (1573), after discussing the effects of plane, convex and concave reflectors, fully describes the method of showing reversed images passing through an aperture in a darkened room, and shows how, by placing a mirror behind the aperture, unreversed images might be obtained, both effects being illustrated by diagrams. F.
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