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The Life of Isaac Newton by Richard S. Westfall

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5

Publication and Crisis

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE PAPER ON COLORS that Newton sent to the Royal Society early in 1672 in the form of a letter addressed to Henry Oldenburg did not contain anything new from Newton’s point of view. The occasion provided by the telescope had come at an opportune time. At Barrow’s behest, Newton had been revising Barrow’s lectures for publication during the winter. He had not found it a great chore to produce a succinct statement of his own theory buttressed by three prismatic experiments that he took to be most compelling. He thought it relevant to include a special discussion of how the discovery had led him to devise the reflecting telescope. The continuing correspondence provoked by the initial paper, which intruded intermittently ...

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