The beauty and majesty of rainbows have inspired awe in humans for millennia, but it wasn’t until Isaac Newton’s groundbreaking work revealing the secrets of light that we truly began to understand how they come together. form.

In this excerpt from the new book “Beautiful Experiments: An Illustrated History of Experimental Science” (The University of Chicago Press, 2023), science writer Philip Ball explains how Isaac Newton’s ingenious experiment with prisms transformed our understanding light.

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