University of Cambridge > > Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series > Vikings in shades: navigating by skylight polarization

Vikings in shades: navigating by skylight polarization

Add to your list(s) Download to your calendar using vCal

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Mustapha Amrani.

Topological Dynamics in the Physical and Biological Sciences

The hypothesis that Vikings navigated at sea using ‘sunstones’ to detect the direction of skylight polarization has excited controversy for almost 50 years. It is possible to understand the necessary crystal optics, and light scattering in daylight, with only a minimum of linear algebra. In this talk I will describe the viking navigation hypothesis, and in doing so reveal the deeper and surprising relationship between polarization in birefringent crystals and in the blue sky, based on a topological understanding of the tensors involved in the propagation and scattering of light.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

Tell a friend about this talk:

This talk is included in these lists:

Note that ex-directory lists are not shown.


© 2006-2022, University of Cambridge. Contact Us | Help and Documentation | Privacy and Publicity