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White Light Collection

"Unveiling the Mysteries of White Light: From Newton's Opticks to Modern Marvels" Step into the world as we explore its fascinating journey through history and science

Background imageWhite Light Collection: Light refraction

Light refraction
Refraction. Computer artwork of white light being refracted as it passes through an equilateral triangular prism. Light changes direction, or is refracted

Background imageWhite Light Collection: Newtons Opticks with colour Spectrum

Newtons Opticks with colour Spectrum
Opticks by the English physicist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), published in 1704 with a colour spectrum produced by a prism projected across the title page

Background imageWhite Light Collection: Illustration of Isaac Newtons prism experiment, showing white sunlight split by a prism into the co

Illustration of Isaac Newtons prism experiment, showing white sunlight split by a prism into the co

Background imageWhite Light Collection: Glass Prism refracting colour spectrum

Glass Prism refracting colour spectrum
Flint Glass Prism refracting the colour spectrum. Computer artwork. A narrow slit of light is focussed towards the prism which refracts the light into the colour spectrum

Background imageWhite Light Collection: Projecting a beam of sunlight (white light), 1872

Projecting a beam of sunlight (white light), 1872
3480084 Projecting a beam of sunlight (white light), 1872; (add.info.: Projecting a beam of sunlight (white light) passing through a hole in the blind of a darkened room through a triangular prism

Background imageWhite Light Collection: An engraving depicting the projecting of a beam of sunlight (white light) passing through a prism

An engraving depicting the projecting of a beam of sunlight (white light) passing through a prism
5311301 An engraving depicting the projecting of a beam of sunlight (white light) passing through a prism and breaking it down into it's separate colours

Background imageWhite Light Collection: Passing a ray of sunlight through a prism, 1878

Passing a ray of sunlight through a prism, 1878
3480085 Passing a ray of sunlight through a prism, 1878; (add.info.: Passing a ray of sunlight (white light) through a prism and breaking it down into its separate colours

Background imageWhite Light Collection: Descartes experiment showing refraction by a prism and the formation of colours from white light

Descartes experiment showing refraction by a prism and the formation of colours from white light, 17th century
5311537 Descartes experiment showing refraction by a prism and the formation of colours from white light, 17th century; Universal History Archive/UIG

Background imageWhite Light Collection: An engraving depicting the projecting of a beam of sunlight (white light) passing through a prism

An engraving depicting the projecting of a beam of sunlight (white light) passing through a prism
5311288 An engraving depicting the projecting of a beam of sunlight (white light) passing through a prism and breaking it down into it's separate colours

Background imageWhite Light Collection: An engraving depicting a demonstration of how white light is broken down into the spectrum

An engraving depicting a demonstration of how white light is broken down into the spectrum
5311269 An engraving depicting a demonstration of how white light is broken down into the spectrum and can be reconstructed into white light

Background imageWhite Light Collection: Refraction Shadow of the Moon

Refraction Shadow of the Moon
Carlo Kaminski

Background imageWhite Light Collection: The Attempted Assassination of Emperor Napoleon III (1808-73) by Felice Orsini (1819-59)

The Attempted Assassination of Emperor Napoleon III (1808-73) by Felice Orsini (1819-59) on the 14th January 1858
XIR170457 The Attempted Assassination of Emperor Napoleon III (1808-73) by Felice Orsini (1819-59) on the 14th January 1858, 1862 (oil on canvas) by Vittori Romano, H

Background imageWhite Light Collection: Diagram showing the decomposition of light - Structure of Solar rays

Diagram showing the decomposition of light - Structure of Solar rays
746737 Diagram showing the decomposition of light - Structure of Solar rays. 1855 (colour litho) by American School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info)

Background imageWhite Light Collection: 19th Century Flint Glass Prism L. tif C008 / 9532

19th Century Flint Glass Prism L. tif C008 / 9532
Computer artwork of 19th century flint glass prism c. 1790, mounted on a rotating brass stand, of a type used to repeat experiments by Sir Isaac Newton

Background imageWhite Light Collection: Magnesium ribbon burning

Magnesium ribbon burning. Image 3 of 3. Magnesium metal burns with a bright white flame. During the reaction, it forms white magnesium oxide

Background imageWhite Light Collection: Green, red and blue coloured disks showing the subtractive process

Green, red and blue coloured disks showing the subtractive process, the three filters contain pigments which absorb some of the colours in the white light passing through

Background imageWhite Light Collection: Prism refracting white light C018 / 8603

Prism refracting white light C018 / 8603
A glass prism demonstrating internal refractions of white light into the colour spectrum. This splitting of light into the spectrum is a result of the different amounts of refraction of the different

Background imageWhite Light Collection: Sparkler

Sparkler burning to produce a silver flame

Background imageWhite Light Collection: Star child, conceptual image

Star child, conceptual image
MODEL RELEASED. Star child. Conceptual image of a sleeping childs face glowing with a pale light against a background of stars. This image can represent a child dreaming of travelling to the stars

Background imageWhite Light Collection: 19th Century Flint Glass Prism P. tif C008 / 9533

19th Century Flint Glass Prism P. tif C008 / 9533
Computer artwork of 19th century flint glass prism c. 1790, mounted on a rotating brass stand, of a type used to repeat experiments by Sir Isaac Newton

Background imageWhite Light Collection: Spectrum of visible light

Spectrum of visible light
Spectrum of white light, horizontal display. White light, such as sunlight, is composed of all the colors of light in the visible spectrum

Background imageWhite Light Collection: Light passing through prism

Light passing through prism
A prism demonstrating refraction and reflection effects. A beam of white light strikes the prism, refracting onto the right hand face

Background imageWhite Light Collection: Newtons colour disc

Newtons colour disc. Image 1 of 2. This piece of apparatus is used to demonstrate colour mixing. The disc is spun and, if the speed of rotation is fast enough

Background imageWhite Light Collection: Betelgeuse emission spectrum

Betelgeuse emission spectrum
Sirius emission spectrum. This multicoloured band is obtained by recording what wavelengths of light (each seen as a different colour) are emitted by the star Betelgeuse (Alpha Canis Majoris)

Background imageWhite Light Collection: Omicron Ceti emission spectrum

Omicron Ceti emission spectrum. This multicoloured band is obtained by recording what wavelengths of light (each seen as a different colour) are emitted by the star Omicron Ceti (Mira Ceti)

Background imageWhite Light Collection: Pleiades emission spectra

Pleiades emission spectra. These multicoloured bands are obtained by recording what wavelengths of light (each seen as a different colour) are emitted by each star in the open cluster Pleiades


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"Unveiling the Mysteries of White Light: From Newton's Opticks to Modern Marvels" Step into the world as we explore its fascinating journey through history and science. Isaac Newton's groundbreaking experiment with a prism, depicted in an illustration, revealed the true nature of white sunlight split into a mesmerizing spectrum of colors. The glass prism, known for its ability to refract light, played a crucial role in this discovery. Delving deeper into the concept of refraction, we encounter intriguing phenomena like the shadow cast by the moon during an eclipse. This natural occurrence showcases how light bends and interacts with different mediums. Beyond scientific exploration lies artistry intertwined with historical events. The oil painting depicting Felice Orsini's attempted assassination of Emperor Napoleon III transports us to a moment where shadows and light intertwine dramatically. Intricate diagrams shed light on the structure of solar rays and their decomposition process when passing through various filters. A 19th-century flint glass prism takes center stage as it continues to captivate scientists and enthusiasts alike. Witnessing magnesium ribbon burning illuminates not only our surroundings but also our understanding of chemical reactions that generate intense white light. The subtractive process comes alive through green, red, and blue colored disks containing pigments that selectively absorb certain colors from white light passing through them. This revelation highlights how color perception is shaped by what is absorbed or reflected within our visual field. Finally, we are enchanted by a prism refracting pure white light—a breathtaking display that reminds us of its timeless allure even in modern times. And who can resist being mesmerized by sparklers igniting brilliant bursts against dark skies? White light holds endless wonders waiting to be unraveled—its beauty transcending time while continuously inspiring both scientific inquiry and artistic expression throughout centuries past and present.