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Sir Isaac Newton

Book Overview: 

The famous physicist Sir Isaac Newton lectured on optics from 1670 - 1672. He worked on the refraction of light into colored beams using prisms and discovered chromatic aberration. He also postulated the corpuscular form of light and an ether to transmit forces between the corpuscles. His "Opticks", contains his postulates about the topic. This is the fourth edition in English, which Newton corrected from the third edition before his death.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Horizon, and the Refraction of the Rays at their Incidence on this Prism equal to that at their Emergence out of it, I observed with a Quadrant the Angle which the mean refrangible Rays, (that is those which went to the middle of the Sun's coloured Image) made with the Horizon, and by this Angle and the Sun's altitude observed at the same time, I found the Angle which the emergent Rays contained with the incident to be 44 deg. and 40 min. and the half of this Angle added to the Angle of Incidence 31 deg. 15 min. makes the Angle of Refraction, which is therefore 53 deg. 35 min. and its Sine 8047. These are the Sines of Incidence and Refraction of the mean refrangible Rays, and their Proportion in round Numbers is 20 to 31. This Glass was of a Colour inclining to green. The last of the Prisms mentioned in the third Experiment was of clear white Glass. Its refracting Angle 63-1/2 Degrees. The Angle which the emergent Rays contained, with the incident 45 deg. 50 min. The Sine. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Some months ago I started to seek out more work of great minds written 'from the horse's mouth.' This after reading 'The Autobiography of Ben Franklin.' What a treat. To have Ol' Ben describe in great detail his hopes and his setbacks has been a breakthrough read. To have these great minds reflect u

Read Cohen's Preface carefully, Einstein's Foreward is negligble.

I enjoyed Newton's precise use of language and his illustrations. Overall, the work was very accessible and must-read material for anyone interested in the history of science or anyone interested in gaining an appreciation of how scien

Fascinating and amazing

Well, naturally this largely went over my head. Listening to it on audio, mostly while I was working, did not make things any easier to follow. It is something you really ought to have in front you, in print. Even then, it's probably hard to keep track with. But nevertheless, there was some interest

Great to read this book, although some of the very mathematical parts were over my head. Especially enjoyed reading the details of the many experiments Newton conducted with prisms and lenses, and reading about his color wheel in his own words. Interesting to see how Newton's contributions to Color

This groundbreaking treatise on the nature of light was originally written in 1704 by Sir Isaac Newton. This particular book is based on the fourth edition, which was printed in 1730. Using practical and repeatable experiments, Newton demonstrates the nature of light and the origins of color. I'm no

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