This book explores the captivating colors that appear in Earth’s atmosphere—coronas, glories, halos, rainbows, dawn, and dusk. It invites the reader to observe these ephemeral appearances with renewed attention and understanding. In addition, it introduces us to little-known key experiences in Goethe’s life that were intimately related to his scientific pursuits and his deep experience of color.
Following the holistic phenomenological method developed by Goethe in his theory of colors, this book bridges the expanse between human experience and the physics of atmospheric colors. The unfolding descriptions take on an artistic quality, through which our experience of the color phenomena is deepened as our scientific insight becomes enriched.
This book will prove helpful to scientists looking for a fresh approach to optics or an introduction to Goethe’s phenomenological science; to teachers looking for new ways to present optics lessons; and to anyone who loves colors and wishes to deepen their relationship to them.
Originally published in German in 2011 as Höfe, Regenbögen, Dämmerung.
Johannes Kühl, physicist and leader of the Science Section at the Goetheanum, was born in 1953 in Hamburg, Germany. He studied physics in Hamburg and Göttingen, finishing with research in fluid dynamics at the Max Plank Institute. After a year of research at the Science Section at the Goetheanum, he taught physics, chemistry and mathematics at the original Waldorf School in Stuttgart Uhlandshöhe. Since 1996, he has been the leader of the Science Section at the Goetheanum and a member of the collegium for the School of Spiritual Science. Since high school, core areas of interest for him have been modern physics and optics, as well as Goethean science. He has given numerous lectures and seminars on these themes and finally put some of his thoughts into his book, Rainbows, Halos, Dawn and Dusk.