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TO THE SECOND EDITION.

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THE former edition of this little work was given to the public in the shape of Lectures, as delivered, in compliance with the regulations of the Chair which the author then occupied, and without any expectation that its use would extend much beyond the circle of his immediate hearers. It has, however, found its way elsewhere

; and the author has been urged, by some of his fellow-labourers in other Universities, to reprint it.

With this request he could not but comply; and he trusts that the delay in acceding to it may be excused to those who made it, by the desire of the author to render the work more deserving of their favourable estimation.

In the present edition some account is given of the more important discoveries in Physical Optics, which have been made since the publication of the forIn preparing these additions, the author has

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The former edition of this little work was given to the public in the shape of Lectures, as delivered, in compliance with the regulations of the Chair which the author then occupied, and without any expectation that its use would extend much beyond the circle of his immediate hearers. It has, however, found its way elsewhere ; and the author has been urged, by some of his fellow-labourers in other Universities, to reprint it.

With this request he could not but comply ; and he trusts that the delay in acceding to it may be excused to those who made it, by the desire of the author to render the work more deserving of their favourable estimation.

In the present edition some account is given of the more important discoveries in Physical Optics, which have been made since the publication of the former. In preparing these additions, the author has

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derived much aid from the Repertoire d'Optique Mo. derne of the Abbè Moigno,—a work which contains a full analysis, and critical discussion, of most of the recent researches in Optics. He has also to acknowledge his obligations to M. Moigno, for the favourable introduction of the former edition of the present work, in the pages of the “Repertoire,” to the notice of Continental readers.

The form of Lectures has been abandoned; but the author fears that the style still retains more of the traces of the lecture-room than is consistent with a formal scientific treatise. His only aim has been to present, to those who were conversant with the elements of Mathematics, a clear and connected view of his attractive subject; and he has been compelled, by this limitation, to confine himself in many cases (as in all that relates to the Dynamics of Light) to a general account of methods, and of their results. Those who desire a more exact acquaintance with the science will, of course, study it in Sir John Herschel's Essay on Light, and in Mr. Airy's Tract on the Undulatory Theory of Optics.

TRINITY COLLEGE, DUBLIN,

March 18th, 1857.

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