A New German Translation of Newton’s Opticks

A New German Translation of Newton’s Opticks

Volkmar Schüller

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Isaac Newton, <i>Opticks: or a Treatise of the Reflections, Refractions, Inflections and Colours of Light</i>, 1718

Isaac Newton's unique position in the history of physics rests on his Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy published in 1687 which has overshadowed his other important book, the Opticks. This book was not only of  fundamental importance for the development of the optical sciences, but it also determined the general development of the experimental physics. Above all in his Opticks Newton demonstrates, how a natural object, light in this case, can be investigated by means of experiments comprehensively and systematically. Because the German translation of Newton’ s Opticks published by William Abendroth 1898 does not meet the scientific standards requisite for a translation of a historical scientific text, Volkmar Schüller is working on a new German translation of the Opticks. This translation will take into account the different versions of the three English editions and the two Latin editions which Newton himself published as well as Newton’ s annotations in his personal copies.