All was light: an introduction to Newton's opticks
Opticks, Newton's most popular book, is a complex work of genius and the fruit of forty years of thought and investigation. Newton devoted various periods of experimentation to this final expression of his life's work and drew on the results of successive interactions with other scientists and thinkers. This introduction to his book disentangles the different layers of Newton's thought processes in terms of his contemporary influences, and details the development of the final text. It explains problems that arose from Newton's changing ideas during the course of the book's long preparation, touching on such controversial issues of the time as the concepts of atomism, force, and the aether. The author also looks in detail at the way Newton has been interpreted both at home and abroad. This readable, non-mathematical book serves as an excellent introduction to Newton and the great achievement of Opticks and will fascinate students and general readers interested in natural philosophy and the history of science.
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experiment and polemic
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aberration aether Alan Shapiro Algarotti atoms attractive force beam of light blue bodies Boyle caused Christiaan Huygens chromatic aberration coloured rays corpuscles demonstrated Desaguliers Descartes Descartes's diffraction discovery dispersion distance dynamical edition electric English experimental explain geometrical geometrical optics glass gravity Guerlac heat Hooke's Huygens hypothesis ibid ideas interface Isaac later Leibniz lens less Letter Light and Colours light-particles mathematical mathematician mechanical medium Micrographia motion natural philosophy nature of light Newton Newton's rings Newtonian optical experiments optical force Optical Lectures Opticks particles perhaps phenomena physical Principia mathematica principle printed prism Proposition pulse Query 31 rainbow rays of light reflecting telescope reflection refrangibility repulsive Robert Hooke Royal Society Section XIV seems sGravesande Shapiro spectrum speculations supposed surface telescope text of Opticks theory of colours theory of fits theory of light thickness thin plates transparent velocity vibrations Voltaire Westfall white light