Coronavirus (COVID-19) While museums are closed, the Science and Society Picture Library prints site is fully operational and we have added an FAQ page here.

'Opticks' by Sir Isaac Newton, English mathematician and physicist, 1704.

'Opticks' by Sir Isaac Newton, English mathematician and physicist, 1704.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 21cm x 32cm


Title page of this great work which explored the properties of light. Newton (1642-1727) found that by refracting light through a prism, white light was dispersed into its constituent colours. If one colour was selected and refracted through a second prism, no further colours were introduced, showing that colours were a property of light and not the prism. Newton's discovery that it was imposible to focus an image distinctly using a single lens led him to build the world's first reflecting telescope. He also discovered the three laws of motion, the theory of gravitation, the law of cooling, the binomial theorem and differential calculus. His work was unique, pointing physics in a new direction and giving mathematical expresion to physical phenomena.

Image Details

Image Ref.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

buy a print

Select size
Select finish
How many prints?

buy a framed print

buy a canvas

buy a framed canvas