• Bernd Jähne


From the beginning of science, visual observation has played a major role. At that time, the only way to document the results of an experiment was by verbal description and manual drawings. The next major step was the invention of photography which enabled results to be documented objectively. Three prominent examples of scientific applications of photography are astronomy, photogrammetry, and particle physics. Astronomers were able to measure positions and magnitudes of stars accurately. Aerial images were used to produce topographic maps. Searching through countless images from hydrogen bubble chambers led to the discovery of many elementary particles in physics. These manual evaluation procedures, however, were time consuming. Some semi- or even fully automated optomechanical devices were designed. However, they were adapted to a single specific purpose. This is why quantitative evaluation of images never found widespread application at that time. Generally, images were only used for documentation, qualitative description and illustration of the phenomena observed.


Combustion Methane Dioxide Microwave Chlorophyll 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernd Jähne
    • 1
  1. 1.Scripps Institution of OceanographyUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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