Abstract

New direct measurement of high optical attenuation rates in polar bear hairs—2–8 dB/mm in the visible—and reanalysis of the data of Tributsch et al. [ Sol. Energy Mater. 21, 219 (1990)] seem to rule out the UV waveguiding proposed by Grojean et al. [ Appl. Opt. 19, 339 (1980)]. The case against fiber-optic polar bear hairs is summarized, and four conditions are given that any variation of the model of Grojean et al. would have to satisfy.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. D. M. Lavigne, N. A. Øritsland, “Ultraviolet photography: a new application for remote sensing of mammals,” Can. J. Zool. 52, 939–943 (1974).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  2. D. M. Lavigne, N. A. Øritsland, “Black polar bears,” Nature (London) 251, 218–219 (1974).
    [CrossRef]
  3. D. M. Lavigne, K. Ronald, “Solar heating of mammals: observations of hair transmittance,” Int. J. Biometerol. 22, 197–201 (1978).
    [CrossRef]
  4. R. E. Grojean, J. A. Sousa, M. C. Henry, “Utilization of solar radiation by polar animals: an optical model for pelts,” Appl. Opt. 19, 339–346 (1980).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. H. Tributsch, H. Goslowsky, U. Küppers, H. Wetzel, “Light collection and solar sensing through the polar bear pelt,” Sol. Energy Mater. 21, 219–236 (1990).
    [CrossRef]
  6. C. F. Bohren, J. M. Sardie, “Utilization of solar radiation by polar animals: an optical model for pelts; an alternative explanation,” Appl. Opt. 20, 1894–1896 (1981).
    [CrossRef]
  7. D. M. Lavigne, “Letter to the editor,” Sci. Amer. 259, 8 (1988).
  8. See, for example, Anonymous, “Furry funnels: transparency of polar bear hair,” Time 112, 82–83 (4, Dec.1978);B. Lopez, Arctic Dreams (Scribner’s, N.Y.1986) p. 85;S. D. Mirsky, “Solar polar bears,” Sci. Am. 258, 25–26 (1988).
  9. New England Science Center, Worcester, Massachusetts, http://www.nesc.org/publications/presskit/brochure.html (1997).
  10. E. G. Bendit, D. Ross, “Techniques for obtaining the ultraviolet absorption spectrum of solid keratin,” Appl. Spectrosc. 15, 103 (1961).
    [CrossRef]
  11. R. C. Hutchins, St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York 13617 (personal communication, 1997).

1990 (1)

H. Tributsch, H. Goslowsky, U. Küppers, H. Wetzel, “Light collection and solar sensing through the polar bear pelt,” Sol. Energy Mater. 21, 219–236 (1990).
[CrossRef]

1988 (1)

D. M. Lavigne, “Letter to the editor,” Sci. Amer. 259, 8 (1988).

1981 (1)

1980 (1)

1978 (2)

D. M. Lavigne, K. Ronald, “Solar heating of mammals: observations of hair transmittance,” Int. J. Biometerol. 22, 197–201 (1978).
[CrossRef]

See, for example, Anonymous, “Furry funnels: transparency of polar bear hair,” Time 112, 82–83 (4, Dec.1978);B. Lopez, Arctic Dreams (Scribner’s, N.Y.1986) p. 85;S. D. Mirsky, “Solar polar bears,” Sci. Am. 258, 25–26 (1988).

1974 (2)

D. M. Lavigne, N. A. Øritsland, “Ultraviolet photography: a new application for remote sensing of mammals,” Can. J. Zool. 52, 939–943 (1974).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

D. M. Lavigne, N. A. Øritsland, “Black polar bears,” Nature (London) 251, 218–219 (1974).
[CrossRef]

1961 (1)

Bendit, E. G.

Bohren, C. F.

Goslowsky, H.

H. Tributsch, H. Goslowsky, U. Küppers, H. Wetzel, “Light collection and solar sensing through the polar bear pelt,” Sol. Energy Mater. 21, 219–236 (1990).
[CrossRef]

Grojean, R. E.

Henry, M. C.

Hutchins, R. C.

R. C. Hutchins, St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York 13617 (personal communication, 1997).

Küppers, U.

H. Tributsch, H. Goslowsky, U. Küppers, H. Wetzel, “Light collection and solar sensing through the polar bear pelt,” Sol. Energy Mater. 21, 219–236 (1990).
[CrossRef]

Lavigne, D. M.

D. M. Lavigne, “Letter to the editor,” Sci. Amer. 259, 8 (1988).

D. M. Lavigne, K. Ronald, “Solar heating of mammals: observations of hair transmittance,” Int. J. Biometerol. 22, 197–201 (1978).
[CrossRef]

D. M. Lavigne, N. A. Øritsland, “Ultraviolet photography: a new application for remote sensing of mammals,” Can. J. Zool. 52, 939–943 (1974).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

D. M. Lavigne, N. A. Øritsland, “Black polar bears,” Nature (London) 251, 218–219 (1974).
[CrossRef]

Øritsland, N. A.

D. M. Lavigne, N. A. Øritsland, “Black polar bears,” Nature (London) 251, 218–219 (1974).
[CrossRef]

D. M. Lavigne, N. A. Øritsland, “Ultraviolet photography: a new application for remote sensing of mammals,” Can. J. Zool. 52, 939–943 (1974).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Ronald, K.

D. M. Lavigne, K. Ronald, “Solar heating of mammals: observations of hair transmittance,” Int. J. Biometerol. 22, 197–201 (1978).
[CrossRef]

Ross, D.

Sardie, J. M.

Sousa, J. A.

Tributsch, H.

H. Tributsch, H. Goslowsky, U. Küppers, H. Wetzel, “Light collection and solar sensing through the polar bear pelt,” Sol. Energy Mater. 21, 219–236 (1990).
[CrossRef]

Wetzel, H.

H. Tributsch, H. Goslowsky, U. Küppers, H. Wetzel, “Light collection and solar sensing through the polar bear pelt,” Sol. Energy Mater. 21, 219–236 (1990).
[CrossRef]

Appl. Opt. (2)

Appl. Spectrosc. (1)

Can. J. Zool. (1)

D. M. Lavigne, N. A. Øritsland, “Ultraviolet photography: a new application for remote sensing of mammals,” Can. J. Zool. 52, 939–943 (1974).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Int. J. Biometerol. (1)

D. M. Lavigne, K. Ronald, “Solar heating of mammals: observations of hair transmittance,” Int. J. Biometerol. 22, 197–201 (1978).
[CrossRef]

Nature (London) (1)

D. M. Lavigne, N. A. Øritsland, “Black polar bears,” Nature (London) 251, 218–219 (1974).
[CrossRef]

Sci. Amer. (1)

D. M. Lavigne, “Letter to the editor,” Sci. Amer. 259, 8 (1988).

Sol. Energy Mater. (1)

H. Tributsch, H. Goslowsky, U. Küppers, H. Wetzel, “Light collection and solar sensing through the polar bear pelt,” Sol. Energy Mater. 21, 219–236 (1990).
[CrossRef]

Time (1)

See, for example, Anonymous, “Furry funnels: transparency of polar bear hair,” Time 112, 82–83 (4, Dec.1978);B. Lopez, Arctic Dreams (Scribner’s, N.Y.1986) p. 85;S. D. Mirsky, “Solar polar bears,” Sci. Am. 258, 25–26 (1988).

Other (2)

New England Science Center, Worcester, Massachusetts, http://www.nesc.org/publications/presskit/brochure.html (1997).

R. C. Hutchins, St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York 13617 (personal communication, 1997).

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Figures (2)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Optical transmission of polar bear hair from Ref. 5. Legend: transverse light transmission through tuft of hair; light reflection off tuft of hair; axial light transmission along single hair (fiber-optic coupling); and light reflection off polar bear pelt, after Ref. 4. All the data were normalized to 100% at 700 nm in Ref. 5.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Optical loss of polar bear hair, calculated from data of Fig. 1. Legend: loss for transverse transmission through tuft of hair; loss for light reflected off tuft of hair; loss for axial transmission along hair; loss for light reflected off polar bear pelt, after Ref. 4; loss for axial transmission along single hair, this paper, normalized to a 2.3-mm-long hair; and axial loss in keratin, after Ref. 10, normalized to a 2.3-mm-thick section. Curves are normalized to 90, 80, 40, and 82%, respectively, at 700 nm.

Equations (1)

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loss = - 10   log I / I 0 ,

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