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The Surprising Inspiration for the Prism Experiment

Altastrofae

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Today we are gazing through the looking-glass into the life of history's most renowned physicists, the father of gravity and the modern Newtonian physics, Sir Isaac Newton! :ticking:

If you are not already familiar, Newton not only discovered the gravity existed as an tangeable force, rather than simply a law of existence, but also discovered the core parts of white light and how to split white into its key components.

But just think about that for a second. Even if you're super well-versed in your field of study, you don't just wake up one morning with you Rarity smirk on saying ":darling: hmm... Y'know what, I'm going to bend light into 7 core pieces today, modernizing how 17th century scientist view light"

Well, the origins to this revolutionary proposition are more than fascinating to say the least. See, while Newton studied both college-level mathematics as well as physics, as most are aware, but he had a third interest— Alchemy!

"Oh oh! Like Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist?!" I hear you asking!

Well, yes technically, but Fullmetal's take on alchemy is heavily exaggerated to say the least...

Anywho, in the 17th century, Alchemy was a well-respected field of study, built around the idea that with the right recipes and metaphysical concoctions, you can break down a material into its core emalgumatons and reconstruct them to make new materials. One of these materials was the Philosopher's stone, created using what was presumed to be an odd chimera of Lead, Mercury, Sulfur, and Iron.

Now, Newton woke up one morning and thought, "If one can do such things with minerals, it would stand to reason that every complex thing is made of smaller things, so why shouldn't that be the case for light?"

So he toiled in his study for weeks, barely eating or bathing. In the end, a quartz pyramid he used for meditation had a beam of sunlight from the window strike through it. While this wasn't groundbreaking, it made him think. He realized that spectralized light mighg actually be light's core components. So he moved the prysm to a more controlled environment, then used a second one to try to do the same to each individual colour, which no one had been know to attempt before then. Sure enough, it didn't split. None of them did.

So, after further hypothesis were made, Newton attempted to recombine them into new light, or various other colours, seeing the results, as you'd do in any alchemic experiment. Eventually he got all the colours to combine back to white. He even discovered ultraviolet and infared light while making a thermograph of spectral light. He first called this light "dark light" because it was part of the light but he couldn't see it no matter how many alchemic methods he used.

All of this because of alchemy

Crazy right?

Keep shining your light on the world, my stars,

―Astro 



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