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Physics in the Arts - 3rd Edition - ISBN: 9780128243473

Physics in the Arts

3rd Edition

Author: Pupa Gilbert
Hardcover ISBN: 9780128243473
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 1st January 2021
Page Count: 384
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Physics in the Arts, Third Edition gives science enthusiasts and liberal arts students an engaging, accessible exploration of physical phenomena, particularly with regard to sound and light. This book offers an alternative route to science literacy for those interested in the arts, music and photography. Suitable for a typical course on sound and light for non-science majors, Gilbert and Haeberli’s trusted text covers the nature of sound and sound perception as well as important concepts and topics such as light and light waves, reflection and refraction, lenses, the eye and the ear, photography, color and color vision, and additive and subtractive color mixing.

Additional sections cover color generating mechanisms, periodic oscillations, simple harmonic motion, damped oscillations and resonance, vibration of strings, Fourier analysis, musical scales and musical instruments.

Key Features

  • Offers an alternative route to science literacy for those interested in the visual arts, music and photography
  • Includes a new and unique quantitative encoding approach to color vision, additive and subtractive color mixing, a section on a simplified approach to quantitative digital photography, how the ear-brain system works as a Fourier analyzer, and updated and expanded exercises and solutions
  • Provides updated online instructor resources, including labs, chapter image banks, practice problems and solutions


Undergraduate students

Table of Contents

1. Light and Light Waves
2. Reflection and Refraction
3. Lenses
4. The Human Eye
5. Photography
6. Color and Color Vision
7. Additive Color Mixing
8. Subtractive Color Mixing
9. Color Generating Mechanisms
10. Sound Waves
11. Simple Harmonic Motion
12. Damping and Resonance
13. Vibration of Strings
14. Waves in Pipes
15. Superposition, beats, and Harmony
16. Musical Scales
17. Fourier Analysis
18. Musical Instruments
19. Sound Perception: Timbre, Loudness, and Pitch
20. The Ear
21. Solutions to Problems


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2022
1st January 2021
Academic Press
Hardcover ISBN:

About the Author

Pupa Gilbert

Pupa Gilbert

Pupa Gilbert is a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Physics at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and an amateur surrealist painter. She is a physicist with passionate loves for biology, geoscience, and modern art. She studied at the Sapienza University of Rome, worked as a staff scientist at the Italian National Research Council and at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne until she joined the University of Wisconsin in 1999. Her research focuses on biominerals, including coral skeletons, tooth enamel, nacre, and sea urchin spines. She studies them with spectromicroscopy methods at the Advanced Light Source in Berkeley, where she discovers the complex structures of the biominerals, and their formation mechanisms. She won several awards for her research and teaching, including the UW-Madison Distinguished Teaching Award in 2011, Radcliffe Fellowship 2014-15, and the David A. Shirley Award in 2018. She lives in Madison and Berkeley with her husband Ben.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

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