Newton's Rings Apparatus

Newton's Rings Apparatus

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Description
“Newton’s Rings” refers to the interference pattern created by the reflection of light between a spherical surface and an adjacent flat surface. Robert Hooke mentioned the phenomenon in his Micrographia (London, 1664), and Isaac Newton discussed it at length in his Optics (London, 1704). By the early nineteenth century, Newton’s Rings were routinely included in accounts of natural philosophy.
Joseph Henry, the physicist who served as founding Secretary of the Smithsonian, purchased this example for the Institution. The “Ed LUTZ, Paris” inscription is that of Édouard Lutz, an optical instrument maker who was in business ca. 1870-1896.
Ref: Édouard Lutz, Catalogue des Instrumens d’Optique (Paris, 1872). Here (p. 26), the “Appareil de Newton” cost 20 fr.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
Newton's rings apparatus
date made
1870s
maker
Lutz, Edouard
place made
France: Île-de-France, Paris
Measurements
overall: 2 in x 3 1/8 in x 3 in; 5.08 cm x 7.9375 cm x 7.62 cm
ID Number
PH.315381
catalog number
315381
accession number
219902
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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