The Neural Control of Vision

J. The Processing of Color

Newton's prism experimentIt used to be thought that white light is equal to purity. When Newton came along in 1672 and proved that white light is a mixture of colored lights, he created a great fury as it went contrary to the beliefs of the times. Goethe, the German poet, was outraged and attacked Newton viciously. The well-known experiment of Newton's appears in Figure 42. The prism breaks down the light from the sun into the components of the rainbow, but when a narrow ray of light is passed through another prism there is no further breakdown.