Continue my news about Newton
May 29, 2007 7:25pm CST
VOICE ONE: Newton spent time studying light and colors. He used a three-sided piece of glass called a prism. He sent a beam of sunlight through the prism. It fell on a white surface. The prism separated the beam of sunlight into the colors of a rainbow. Newton believed that all these colors -- mixed together in light -- produced the color white. He proved this by letting the beam of rainbow-colored light pass through another prism. This changed the colored light back to white light. VOICE TWO: Newton\'s study of light led him to learn why faraway objects seen through a telescope do not seem sharp and clear. The curved glass lenses at each end of the telescope acted like prisms. They produced a circle of colored light around an object. This created an unclear picture. A few years later, Newton built a different kind of telescope. It used a curved Isaac Newton invented a telescope that used a mirror instead of a lens. To this day, they are call Newtonian telescopes. mirror to make faraway objects seem larger. Light reflected from the surface of the mirror, instead of passing through a curved glass lens. Newton\'s reflecting telescope produced much clearer pictures than the old kind of telescope. (Music) VOICE ONE: Years later, the British astronomer Edmund Halley visited Newton. He said he wanted Newton\'s help in finding an answer to a problem no one had been able to solve. The question was this: What is the path of a planet going around the sun? Newton immediately gave Haley the answer: an egg-shaped path called an ellipse. Halley was surprised. He asked for Newton\'s proof. Newton no longer had the papers from his earlier work. He was able to recreate them, however. He showed them to Halley. He also showed Halley all his other scientific work. VOICE TWO: Halley said Newton\'s scientific discoveries were the greatest ever made. He urged Newton to share them with the world. Newton began to write a book that explained what he had done. It was published in sixteen eighty-seven. Newton called his book "The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy." The book is considered the greatest scientific work ever written. VOICE ONE: In his book, Newton explains the three natural laws of motion. The first law is that an object not moving remains still. And one that is moving continues to move at an unchanging speed, so long as no outside force influences it. Objects in space continue to move, because nothing exists in space to stop them. Newton\'s second law of motion describes force. It says force equals the mass of an object, multiplied by the change in speed it produces in an object. His third law says that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. VOICE TWO: From these three laws, Newton was able to show how the universe worked. He proved it with easily understood mathematics. Scientists everywhere accepted Newton\'s ideas. The leading English poet of Newton\'s time, Alexander Pope, honored the scientist with these words: "Nature and nature\'s laws lay hid in night. God said, --\'Let Newton be!\' - and all was light.