Newton's missing experiment

V. Aboites


Some characteristics of Newton's philosophical method relevant to his works First Paper on Light and Colours (1672) y Opticks (1704) are discussed. It is shown from his prism experiments using different materials described in those works that it is possible that he may have carried out experiments with air prisms in water. This would have questioned the inductive conclusion that red rays are always less refracted than blue ones. Finally, and with a pedagogical intention, an experiment is reported to illustrate the result obtained depending on the material of the prism and of the medium.


Optics; light; colours; Newton experimental philosophy

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Revista Mexicana de Física E

ISSN: 2683-2216 (on line), 1870-3542 (print)

Semiannual publication of Sociedad Mexicana de Física, A.C.
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