Sir Isaac Newton, 1642-1727. Opticks: or, A treatise of the reflextions,
refractions, inflexions and colours of light. Also two treatises of the
species and magnitude of curvilinear figures. London, Printed for Sam
Smith, and Benj. Walford, 1704. First edition, first issue, title page in
red and black within rules, 19 folding plates, tables.
Newton made an important discovery about the dispersion of light by proving
that colors were not produced by the prism but were separated by it. He
explained optical phenomena such as the rainbow and "Newton's rings"
(concentric bright colorings) and used the quantitative method in
experiments on diffraction. Newton did not accept Huygen's wave theory of
light but still advocated the corpuscular theory. The two treatises in
Latin at the end of the book advance Newton's claim as the discoverer of
calculus and refute that of Leibniz.