Willkommen! and welcome to this

  Mie Translation Project
coordinated by Arturo Quirantes (aquiran@ugr.es)





PROJECT STATUS (as of January 21, 2007):

 Others (french, italian, dutch, finnish, esperanto, klingon...): Waiting for volunteers


 - Mie Theory 1908-2008. A conference to commemorate Gustav Mie and Mie’s Theory by bringing together scientists from different disciplines to discuss the latest developments in the practical application of light scattering.  Halle, Germany 15-17 September 2008 (yes, right after ELS-XI)  More Information at the Conference website





What is the Mie Translation Project?

It is an attempt to translate Mie´s classical 1908 paper on light scattering to as many of the major languages as possible.


Why?  What´s the problem with the original version?

Absolutely none, as long as you can read German.  As most scientists do not, having it translated into your own language can be interesting.


How did you come with the idea?

IIRC, it started with a conversation between Thomas Wriedt and I a couple years ago.  Nothing came out of it, but as the 100th aniversary of Mie´s paper came near, I remembered it and retrieved a translation I did in the 90s during my PhD thesis (not that I needed then, it was just fun to do).  It didn´t come out as easy as it sounds.  Converting from WordPerfect to Word alone was a difficult task, no matter what you hear about import filters.  The original figures were in bmp format, and some couldn´t even be read.  Moreover, scanning a graphic is harder that it seems.  Even a fraction of a degree of misalignment is clearly visible in the digital version.  I had to digitally retouch some of the graphics, so you might find slight differences if you compare them with the original figures.  On the plus side, the now look great!


Do we really need a translation?

Not really.  There are good books regarding Mie scattering (Kerker, van de Hulst, Bohren-Huffman...).  On the other hand, our knowledge about Mie scattering comes filtered (no matter how well) by other people, some of which might not even had read Mie paper. Good that we now know about the convergence procedures of Bessel functions, Wiscombe criteria and all that jazz.


We do quote Mie´s achievements and praise him, but on a distance. We do not pay attention to the original source.  And I have always think that information is like water: if you want it purest, go to the source.  There is only one Mie scattering paper.  The original one, which reflects his thoughts and achievements on the subject of light scattering by spherical particles.  Don´t you feel curious about what Mie theory was like in the good ol´ times, when computers were just a word, Wiscombe was not even born and everything was to be carried out by paper and pencil?   No computer simulations, no Abramowitz-Stegun, no satellite data.  A man and his brain.


Before I get too romantic, here´s another reason.  Gustav Mie wrote his classical paper (Contributions to the optics of turbid media, particularly of colloidal metal solutions) in 1908.  His famous paper is now one hundred years old.  The 11th edition of the Electromagnetic+Light Scattering Conference, to be held in September 2008 in England, will remember him.  And before you ask "why is a spherical-LS paper relevant to us, nonspherical scientists", may I remember you the last line of Mie´s 1908 paper:  For the sake of completeness of the theory, it is absolutely necessary to investigate also the behavior of ellipsoidal particles.  We are somehow following his steps.


Ok, you got me interested.  How do I contribute?

First, see the "project status" section above.  If your language is not listed above, then it´s waiting for you.  You can translate it all yourself, or you can take part of just a fraction of the paper, as you choose.  Please let me know about your interest at aquiran@ugr.es so we don´t have several


In order to ease your workload, I have put online a copy of the spanish version in Word format, so you can just change the spanish words for your translation.  Otherwise, you can find some files with the equations (in gif and eps formats), and of the figures (gif format).  PLEASE NOTE: Not all of the paper´s equations are numbered.


When you´re finished, please pass it to me on pdf format.  It´s easy, particularly as Word and OpenOffice documents can be exported to Adobe without much of a problem.  Be warned that sometimes the "translation" into pdf is not without problems: a line goes in the next page, so the layout changes, and so on.  I have a similar problem, which drove me nuts till I changed the pdf settings to "high quality".  The pdf file became an exact copy of the original ... and even got smaller in size!


I can tell from experience that translating Mie´s paper is a very relaxing experience.  Just try!


Well, I can only read English or German, so you don´t need me.  Do you?

Stange as it might seem, yes, I do want you.  There are several English translations, but I have some doubts about its correctness.  Plus, the don´t have the fancy equations (one of them does not even include the figures), so maybe a good translation into English, by a someone from the LS community, will be a good idea. As for German, perhaps somebody wants to make a good copy using the Word template I have used.


What about publication and copyright?

Well, publication would be a nice idea.  If I can get somebody interested in publication (maybe as a special issue to be presented at ELS-XI), great.  In any case, we will still have the pdf files available to evetybody.


Concerning author rights, it´s clear that everybody must be credited for his/her work.  On the other hand, it is my wish to make the full set of translations freely available.  That seems hard to do as we´ve been grown accustomed to an all-or-nothing modelf of reserved rights.  I would like to use a Creative Commons license, particularly the Attribution-Nomcommercial-Share Alike version: you can share and re-mix the work, as long as a) give credit to the original author, b) use it for nocommercial purposes, and c) share your own work the same way as we do.


Please consider that I´m not a lawyer.  I´m just trying to use common sense and translating it i.  You did it so you credit from it, and if there´s ever money to be done you´ll get your part.  Not that I expect this translation project to turn into a million-dollar venture, but you never know.  As usual, any suggestion welcome.


What about translating other works?  What about the paper from ...?

Well, if somebody is interested in translating other papers (particularly from, say, French or German into English), fine.  I didn´t consider it, so I´m afraid I cannot help you with the equations or graphics.  If you do, please let me know and I´ll put it on the web, too.


Can I criticize the lousy way you´re handling this project?

Sure!  Just drop me a line at aquiran@ugr.es