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Engraving of Isaac Newton and his notes burning

Engraving of Isaac Newton and his notes burning

H414/0072

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Isaac Newton. Engraving of Sir Isaac Newton (1642- 1727), English physicist and mathematician, discovering that his notes on optics are burning. This incident, in 1692, was blamed for a nervous breakdown that Newton suffered and his subsequent retirment for two years. The accident happened as Newton was preparing his book on light, Opticks (1704). Whilst attending a church service in Trinity College at Cambridge University, Newton's dog, Diamond, knocked over a lighted candle onto several years' notes on optical experiments. On discovering this, Newton alledgedly exclaimed "Oh Diamond, Diamond, little do you know the mischief you have done me".

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