Newton's Opticks notes in flames, 1692

Newton's Opticks notes in flames, 1692

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Newton's Opticks notes in flames. Coloured historical artwork of the English physicist and mathematician Isaac Newton (1642-1727) discovering that his notes on optics are burning. This incident, at Trinity College, Cambridge University, in 1692, was blamed for Newton's nervous breakdown and retirement for two years. The work was intended for Newton's book on light, Opticks, eventually published in 1704. Newton's dog, Diamond, knocked a lighted candle onto several years worth of notes. Newton is said to have exclaimed: 'Oh Diamond, Diamond, little do you know the mischief you have done me'.

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