New Theory About Light and Colors by Isaac NewtonSir Isaac Newton, FRS , was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, and alchemist. His Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, published in 1687, is considered to be the most influential book in the history of science. In this work, Newton described universal gravitation and the three laws of motion, laying the groundwork for classical mechanics, which dominated the scientific view of the physical universe for the next three centuries and is the basis for modern engineering. Newton showed that the motions of objects on Earth and of celestial bodies are governed by the same set of natural laws by demonstrating the consistency between Keplers laws of planetary motion and his theory of gravitation, thus removing the last doubts about heliocentrism and advancing the scientific revolution.
In mechanics, Newton enunciated the principles of conservation of momentum and angular momentum. In optics, he invented the reflecting telescope and developed a theory of colour based on the observation that a prism decomposes white light into a visible spectrum. He also formulated an empirical law of cooling and studied the speed of sound.
In mathematics, Newton shares the credit with Gottfried Leibniz for the development of the differential and integral calculus. He also demonstrated the generalised binomial theorem, developed the so-called Newtons method for approximating the zeroes of a function, and contributed to the study of power series.
Newton was also highly religious (though unorthodox), producing more work on Biblical hermeneutics than the natural science he is remembered for today.
In a 2005 poll of the Royal Society asking who had the greater effect on the history of science, Newton was deemed much more influential than Albert Einstein.
Discovery YAFI -- Colours of Light
In the s, English physicist and mathematician Isaac Newton began a series of experiments with sunlight and prisms. He demonstrated that clear white light was composed of seven visible colors. By scientifically establishing our visible spectrum the colors we see in a rainbow , Newton laid the path for others to experiment with color in a scientific manner.
A Letter of Mr. Isaac Newton … containing his New Theory about Light and Colors
A Letter of Mr. To perform my late promise to you, I shall without further ceremony acquaint you that in the beginning of the year at which time I applied myself to the grinding of optic glasses of other figures than spherical I procured me a triangular glass prism to try therewith the celebrated phenomena of colours. And in order thereto having darkened my chamber and made a small hole in my window-shuts to let in a convenient quantity of the sun's light, I placed my prism at his entrance that it might be thereby refracted to the opposite wall. It was at first a very pleasing divertissement to view the vivid and intense colours produced thereby; but after a while, applying myself to consider them more circumspectly, I became surprised to see them in an oblong form, which according to the received laws of refraction I expected should have been circular. They were terminated at the sides with straight lines, but at the ends the decay of light was so gradual that it was difficult to determine justly what was their figure; yet they seemed semicircular. Comparing the length of this coloured spectrum with its breadth, I found it about five times greater, a disproportion so extravagant that it excited me to a more than ordinary curiosity of examining from whence it might proceed.
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A Letter of Mr. Isaac Newton, Professor of the Mathematicks in the University of Cambridge, containing his New Theory about Light and Colors.
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Barbara J. Week 6. Isaac Newton Newtons Answer to the foregoing Letter Newton , touching his theory of light and colours" by Isaac Newton; Letter to J. And in order thereto having darkened my chamber and made a small hole in my window shuts, to let in a convenient quantity of the sun's light, I placed my prism at his entrance, that it might be thereby refracted to the opposite wall.
The general aim of this paper is to elucidate some aspects of Newton's theory of light and colours, specially as presented in his first optical paper of This study analyzes Newton's main experiments intended to show that light is a mixture of rays with different refrangibilities. Although this theory is nowadays accepted and taught without discussion it is not as simple as it seems and many questions may arise in a critical study. Newton's theory of light and colour can be used as an example of the great care that must be taken when History of Science is applied to science teaching. An inadequate use of History of Science in education may convey to the students a wrong conception of scientific method and a mythical idea of science.