'Opticks: Or a Treatise of the Reflections, Refractions, Inflections & Colours of Light' by Sir Isaac Newton (Author), I. Bernard Cohen (Author), Albert Einstein (Author), Sir Edmund Whittaker (Author)
"Recommended to all scientists." — Journal of Royal Naval Scientific Service
"The publishers do us a service by issuing this reprint." — The Institute of Physics
"An underpinning for the entire edifice of physics." — Scientific American
A comprehensive survey of eighteenth-century knowledge about all aspects of light, Opticks also offers countless scientific insights by its distinguished author. One of the most readable of all the great classics of physical science, this volume will impress readers with its surprisingly modern perspectives. In language that lay readers can easily follow, Sir Isaac Newton describes his famous experiments with spectroscopy and colors, lenses, and the reflection and diffraction of light. Book I contains his fundamental experiments with the spectrum, Book II deals with the ring phenomena, and Book III covers diffraction. The work concludes with "Queries" — speculations concerning light and gravitation. Opticks is introduced with a Foreword by Albert Einstein.
Sir Isaac Newton, FRS , was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, and alchemist. His Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, published in 1687, is considered to be the most influential book in the history of science. In this work, Newton described universal gravitation and the three laws of motion, laying the groundwork for classical mechanics, which dominated the scientific view of the physical universe for the next three centuries and is the basis for modern engineering. Newton showed that the motions of objects on Earth and of celestial bodies are governed by the same set of natural laws by demonstrating the consistency between Kepler's laws of planetary motion and his theory of gravitation, thus removing the last doubts about heliocentrism and advancing the scientific revolution.
In mechanics, Newton enunciated the principles of conservation of momentum and angular momentum. In optics, he invented the reflecting telescope and developed a theory of colour based on the observation that a prism decomposes white light into a visible spectrum. He also formulated an empirical law of cooling and studied the speed of sound.
In mathematics, Newton shares the credit with Gottfried Leibniz for the development of the differential and integral calculus. He also demonstrated the generalised binomial theorem, developed the so-called "Newton's method" for approximating the zeroes of a function, and contributed to the study of power series.
Newton was also highly religious (though unorthodox), producing more work on Biblical hermeneutics than the natural science he is remembered for today.
In a 2005 poll of the Royal Society asking who had the greater effect on the history of science, Newton was deemed much more influential than Albert Einstein.