© 1972

Photochemistry of Vision

  • Editors
  • Herbert J. A. Dartnall

Part of the Handbook of Sensory Physiology book series (SENSORY, volume 7 / 1)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XII
  2. Edwin W. Abrahamson, S. M. Japar
    Pages 1-32
  3. R. A. Morton
    Pages 33-68
  4. Edwin W. Abrahamson, John R. Wiesenfeld
    Pages 69-121
  5. H. J. A. Dartnall
    Pages 122-145
  6. William A. H. Rushton
    Pages 364-394
  7. C. D. B. Bridges
    Pages 417-480
  8. P. A. Liebman
    Pages 481-528
  9. W. R. A. Muntz
    Pages 529-565
  10. John N. Lythgoe
    Pages 604-624
  11. Richard M. Eakin
    Pages 625-684
  12. Timothy H. Goldsmith
    Pages 685-719
  13. Tomiyuki Hara, Reiko Hara
    Pages 720-746
  14. Back Matter
    Pages 747-847

About this book


Radiation can only affect matter if absorbed by it. Within the broad range of 300-1000 nm, which we call "the visible", light quanta are energetic enough to produce excited electronic states in the atoms and molecules that absorb them. In these states the molecules may have quite different properties from those in their dormant condition, and reactions that would not otherwise occur become possible. About 80 % of the radiant energy emitted by our sun lies in this fertile band, and so long as the sun's surface temperature is maintained at about 6000° C this state of affairs will continue. This and the transparency of our atmosphere and waters have allowed the generation and evolution of life. Before life began the atmosphere probably also transmitted much of the solar short-wave radiation, but with the rise of vegetation a new product - oxygen - appeared and this, by a photochemical reaction in the upper atmosphere, led to the ozone layer that now protects us from the energetic "short-wave" quanta that once, perhaps, took part in the generation of life-molecules. Light is an ideal sensory stimulus. It travels in straight lines at great speed and, consequently, can be made to form an image from which an animal can make "true", continuous and immediate assessments of present and impending events.


Lichtsinn Photochemie assessment chemistry evolution

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Kerckhoff-Institut der Max-Planck-GesellschaftBad NauheimGermany
  3. 3.Department of OphathalmologyNew York University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Department of ZoologyUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  5. 5.Medical Research Council’s Vision Unit, School of Biological StudiesThe University of SussexFalmer, BrightonUK
  6. 6.Department of ZollogyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  7. 7.Department of BiophysicsUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  8. 8.Department of BiologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  9. 9.Department of BiologyNara Medical UniversityKashihara, NaraJapan
  10. 10.Division of Pure PhysicsNational Research CouncilOttawaCanada
  11. 11.Department of Anatomy, School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  12. 12.Department of ZoologyThe University of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK
  13. 13.Laboratory of Experimental PsychologyThe University of SussexFalmer, BrightonUK
  14. 14.Trinity CollegeCambridgeUK
  15. 15.Department of Zoology and Comparative Physiology, Queen Mary CollegeUniversity of LondonLondon E. 1UK
  16. 16.Department of Physical ChemistryThe University of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  17. 17.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceOsaka UniversityToyonaka, OsakaJapan

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Photochemistry of Vision
  • Editors Herbert J.A. Dartnall
  • Series Title Handbook of Sensory Physiology
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1972
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-540-05145-9
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-642-65068-0
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-642-65066-6
  • Series ISSN 0072-9906
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XII, 848
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Zoology
    Medicine/Public Health, general
  • Buy this book on publisher's site