This book has been written for the many amateur astronomers who already own, or are intending to purchase, a refracting telescope or for the specialist who requires a particular refractor for serious astronomical applications or nature studies. The author celebrates the remarkable history and evolution of the refracting telescope and looks in detail at the instruments, their development and their use. He also compares different classes of refractors and the telescopes of each class that are sold by various commercial manufacturers.
From the reviews: "Dr. Neil English is no stranger to the astronomical community ! . His knowledge of telescope optics is highly respected, and here he endeavours to lay down all his knowledge in a concise and thorough manner. He opens the book with a wonderful overview of the history of the telescope ! . this book something you really want to own, as it's a guide not only to what is achievable by anyone with modest equipment, but also what to aspire to. Thoroughly recommended." (Nick Howes, Astronomy Now Online, May, 2011) "Neil English opens with a brief history of refractor design, including the contributions of Lippershey, Galileo and Huygens, amongst others. ! the text is clearly written and there's plenty of useful data in the appendix. ! it's a valuable resource for anyone thinking about buying a refractor or who wants to learn more about the history and development of this iconic scientific instrument." (Mark Parrish, BBC Sky at Night Magazine, June, 2011) "Having owned around a dozen refractors over the years--ranging from a 'lowly' 40mm refractor, through several antique examples to a go-to refractor--I was keen to read a book that promised to reinforce my love for 'the prince of telescopes'. ! An excellent, up-to-date book containing much more than I have outlined in this review. English communicates his passion for refractors, and the book comes to life with user accounts of refractors old and new." (Peter Grego, Popular Astronomy, July-August, 2011)
Acknowledgments.- Introduction.- About the Author.- Part 1: The Achromatic Refractor.- Chapter 1: The Refracting Telescope - A Brief History.- Chapter 2: The Classical Achromatic.- Chapter 3: Rich-Field Achromats.- Chapter 4: Long Focus Achromats.- Chapter 5: Big Guns.- Chapter 6: Going Retro.- Part II: The Apochromatic Refractor.- Chapter 7: The APO Revolution.- Chapter 8: Doublet Apos.- Chapter 9: Sports Optics.- Chapter 10: Triplet Apos.- Chapter 11: Four Element Apos.- Chapter 12: Refractor Kit.- Chapter 13: Observing Platforms.- Chapter 14: Testing your Refractor.- Chapter 15: Photography with your Refractor.- Chapter 16: Looking Back, Looking Forward.- Appendix A: Refractor Design Through the Centuries.- Appendix B: Double Star Tests for Refractors of Various Apertures.- Appendix C: Useful Formulae.- Appendix D: Glossary.- Index
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Dr. Neil English has a PhD in Biochemistry, and also a BSc in Physics & Astronomy. He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, and a regular contributor to Astronomy Now.