# Ptolemy's search for a law of refraction: A case-study in the classical methodology of “saving the appearances” and its limitations

@article{Smith1982PtolemysSF, title={Ptolemy's search for a law of refraction: A case-study in the classical methodology of “saving the appearances” and its limitations}, author={Adrian F. M. Smith}, journal={Archive for History of Exact Sciences}, year={1982}, volume={26}, pages={221-240} }

It is generally accepted that, after an auspicious beginning with Euclid's formulation of the ray-concept and an equally auspicious sequel, during which both optics proper and catoptrics were put on a firm scientific footing, the early development of mathematical optics was cut short by Ptolemy's failure to find the sine-law of refraction.1 This failure, which apparently stemmed the growth of mathematical optics for some fifteen centuries, has long puzzled historians of science. We know for a…

## 25 Citations

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