All Was Light: An Introduction to Newton's Opticks by A. Rupert Hall

By A. Rupert Hall

Opticks, Newton's most well-liked ebook, is a posh paintings of genius and the fruit of 40 years of suggestion and research. Newton dedicated a variety of sessions of experimentation to this ultimate expression of his life's paintings and drew at the result of successive interactions with different scientists and thinkers. This advent to his ebook disentangles the various layers of Newton's concept procedures when it comes to his modern impacts, and info the improvement of the ultimate textual content. It explains difficulties that arose from Newton's altering principles through the process the book's lengthy education, bearing on such debatable problems with the time because the techniques of atomism, strength, and the aether. the writer additionally seems intimately on the means Newton has been interpreted either at domestic and overseas. This readable, non-mathematical e-book serves as a superb creation to Newton and the nice fulfillment of Opticks and should fascinate scholars and normal readers attracted to normal philosophy and the heritage of technological know-how.

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Extra resources for All Was Light: An Introduction to Newton's Opticks

Sample text

It is possible that one or both of these senior scholars urged Newton to the study of the writings of René Descartes, which he Page 36 certainly undertook at this time; More's had been the leading influence in making them known in England, and in Cambridge particularly.  247–8).  5.  abc the raised image of the 'thread' as seen through the prism (PQ), the blue (ab) more refracted than the red (bc).  28.  The middle colours of the spectrum are of mean velocity.  248).  The idea that the surfaces of bodies appear of a certain colour because they reflect it preferentially was expressed earlier by Boyle.

Newton did not use this experiment in print, but the diaphragm idea was used again in the well­known 'crucial experiment'.  Occasionally he mentions the use of an assistant (compare Mills 1981).  A further difficulty impeding the repetition of Newton's optical experiments was the limited availability of glass of even fair optical quality: in Italy—and perhaps elsewhere—suitable prisms were not easy to obtain.  32–3).

136).  422–34).  And that this may be done I have good reason to beleive, because ever since I became first acquainted with these Principles, I have with constant successe in the events made use of them for this purpose.  In this restricted claim Newton was amply justified by his writings; this limited science of colour was fully mathematical in the first sense stated above.  131).  In Opticks this identity of reflection and refraction is justified experimentally; in Principia mathematica Book I, Section 14, it is demonstrated dynamically.

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