Rainbow, Halos, Dawn and Dusk. The appearance of colour in the atmosphere and Goethe’s Theory of Colours

By Johannes Kühl. 183 pages, paperback, with full color images. ISBN 978-0932776-48-8. Adonis Science Books, www.adonispress.org, $30.
Elemente der Naturwissenschaft 104, 2016, S. 93-95 | DOI: 10.18756/edn.104.93


This book explores the captivating colours that appear in the atmosphere of the earth: coronas, glories, halos, rainbows, dawn and dusk. It invites the reader to observe these ephemeral appearances with renewed attention and understanding. In addition, it introduces us to little-known key events in Goethe’s life that were intimately related to his scientific pursuits and his deep experience of colour. The text moves fluently between natural observations and suggested experiments while the photographs encapsulate the best examples of these. We can constantly relate our own experiences in nature to what is exemplified here. Anything not immediately familiar in the discussion is compensated for by the quality of the pictures and the memories of one's own atmospheric and colour impressions. The book’s aim is to be a bridge, or many coloured bow, spanning the physics of atmospheric colour and a spiritual approach to them. I believe nature observers, thinkers, and scientists will all be rewarded by the multifaceted approach used here. [...]