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The achromatic telescopes: a European theme in the second part of the 18-th century. (Les lunettes achromatiques: un enjeu européen dans la deuxième moitié du 18e siècle.) (French. English summary)
Boll. Stor. Sci. Mat. 28, No. 2, 221-237 (2008).
This overview of the 18-th century invention and production of achromatic lenses in Europe focusses on the development of their theory. A brief recounting is given of the post-Newtonian roles of David Gregory, Chester Moor Hall, and Samuel Klingenstierna. Main attention is given to the development of early theories building on their work by John Dollond, Alexis Clairaut, and Leonhard Euler, with a mention of Roger Boscovich. Workers in Great Britain ostensibly had the upper hand in the production of high quality instruments thanks to the indigenous sources of flint-glass. The main contribution to this history given here is the emphasis given to Jean Le Rond d’Alembert’s extensive memoirs on the subject which appeared in the 1760s and which took issue with Euler’s theory on several points. In conclusion, mention is made of the high-quality theoretical work of the German optician Hans Boegehold that tends to be overlooked in modern accounts.
Reviewer: Albert C. Lewis (Austin)
Classification: A30 M50
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