Matthew Marone
Department of Physics
Mercer University

Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Willet Science Center 101

"Newton's Theory of Colors"

Abstract:  “I procured me a Triangular glas-Prisme, to try therewith the celebrated Phenomena of Colour.”  So begins Newton’s famous letter published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society No.80, (19 Feb. 1671/72).  We will examine the original publication and discuss the experiments that led to Newton’s theory of light and colors.  Few modern day physics students would dare to question the great Newton.  However, when his work was first published it was the source of a great deal of controversy.  We can learn something about how science works by going back and reading the works refuting his theory as well as those praising his accomplishments. Newton was able to answer his critics and invented a new type of telescope along the way.

Please join us for light refreshments outside WSC 109 at 4:15.

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