Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov – Oration on the Origin of Light. A New Theory of Colour – 02 On transparency
Type of Spiritual Experience
Density, hardness, the strength of the attractive forces between the atoms, does not affect the fact that diamond – compressed carbon is transparent. Thus the quality of transparency – allowing light to pass through - the sense of an object being transparent or opaque, is a function of an aggregate not a quality of this thing called ‘light’, whatever light may be
A description of the experience
Oration on the Origin of Light. A New Theory of Colour, Presented in a Public Meeting of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, July 1, 1756, by Mikhail Lomonosov Translated, by Henry M. Leicester [Professor of Biochemistry]; Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1970
Among known substances what is harder than the diamond?
What is more transparent?
Hardness requires sufficient material and narrow pores; transparency can scarcely be allowed to the constituent matter of the diamond if we assume that light extends by a flowing motion of the ether material. For from each point of the diamond's surface and of all the interior of its body to each point on the whole surface and in all the interior of its body light passes in a straight line. Hence in all these directions straight line pores extend into the whole diamond.
Assuming this, the diamond not only should consist of rarefied and friable material, but should everywhere be empty within. It follows from the hardness that the constituents of its particles cohere closely; from the transparency we conclude not only a friable nature, but almost emptiness surrounded by a fragile shell. Because these results contradict each other we must assume that the theory that light from the sun extends itself by a flowing motion of the ether is incorrect.