Rainbows, Halos, Dawn, and Dusk

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Rainbows, Halos, Dawn, and Dusk explores the captivating colors that appear in the atmosphere of the Earth—coronas, glories, halos, rainbows, dawn, and dusk. It invites readers to observe these ephemeral appearances with fresh attention and understanding. Moreover, 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 broad gap between human experience and the conventional physics of atmospheric colors. The unfolding descriptions here assume an artistic quality through which our experience of color phenomena is deepened, while at the same time our scientific understanding is enhanced.

This book should prove helpful to scientists looking for a new 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 the colors of nature and wishes to deepen their relationship to them.

This book was originally published in German as Höfe, Regenbögen, Dämmerung (Freies Geistesleben, 2011).

About the Author

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.

Additional information

Weight 16 oz
Dimensions 6.5 × 0.5 × 9.5 in


Laura Liska, Norman Skillen




May 2016






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