Friday, September 16, 2005

The Global War On Error

The other day I discovered three serious typographical errors in the first chapter of volume one of The Infrared & Electro-Optical Systems Handbook ("Radiation Theory" by William L. Wolfe). In one case the formula was right but the numerical value was totally wrong; in a second case the numerical result was right but the formula was wrong; and in the third case there was confusion between an expression and a single constant in the expression.

Also, Dr. Wolfe attempted a literary allusion to Alice In Wonderland, but got the Queen of Hearts confused with Humpty Dumpty.

My confidence in the handbook now destroyed, I thought that it was wrong about a factor of pi in another equation. But after a lot of head-scratching I decided that this fifth thing was not a mistake.

I had some typos and omissions in my Ph.D. thesis, but I think that something that calls itself a handbook should be held to a higher standard.


At 4:16 AM, September 17, 2005, Blogger Kathryn said...

Who's the publisher? You should write and let them know.

At 4:03 PM, September 18, 2005, Blogger Richard Mason said...

"Copublished by the Environmental Research Institute of Michigan and SPIE Optical Engineering Press."


Post a Comment

<< Home