Opticks (4th Ed)/The First Book/Part I/Axioms

Opticks (4th Ed) by Isaac Newton
The First Book: Part I - Axioms


A X. IEdit

The Angles of Reflexion and Refraction, lie in one and the same Plane with the Angle of Incidence.

A X. IIEdit

The Angle of Reflexion is equal to the Angle of Incidence.

A X. IIIEdit

If the refracted Ray be returned directly back to the Point of Incidence, it shall be refracted into the Line before described by the incident Ray.

A X. IVEdit

Refraction out of the rarer Medium into the denser, is made towards the Perpendicular; that is, so that the Angle of Refraction be less than the Angle of Incidence.

A X. V.Edit

The Sine of Incidence is either accurately or very nearly in a given Ratio to the Sine of Refraction.

Whence if that Proportion be known in any one Inclination of the incident Ray, 'tis known in all the Inclinations, and thereby the Refraction in all cases of Incidents on the same refracting Body may be determined. Thus if the Refraction be made out of Air into Water, the Sine of Incidence of the red Light is to the Sine of its Refraction as 4 to 3. If out of Air into Glass, the Sines are as 17 to 11. In Light of other Colours the Sines have other Proportions: but the difference is so little that it seldom be considered.

Suppose therefore, that RS [in Fig. I.] represents the Surface of stagnating Water, and that C is the point of Incidence in which any Ray coming in the Air from A in the Line AC is reflected or refracted, and I would know whither the Ray shall go after Reflexion or Refraction: I erect upon the Surface of the Water from the point of Incidence the Perpendicular CP and produce it downwards to Q, and conclude by the first Axiom that the Ray after Reflexion and Refraction, shall be found somewhere else in the Plane of the Angle of Incidence ACP produces. I let fall therefore upon the Perpendicular CP the Sine of Incidence AD; and if the reflected Ray be desired, I produce AD to B so that DB be equal to AD, and draw CB. For this Line CB shall be the reflected Ray: the Angle of Reflexion BCP and its Sine BD being equal to the Angle and Sine of Incidence, as they ought to be by the second Axiom, But if the refected Ray be desired, I produce AD to H, so that DH may be to AD as the Sine of Refraction to the Sine of Incidence, that is, (if the Light be red) as 3 to 4; and about the Center C and in the Plane ACP with the Radius CA describing a Circle ABE, I draw a parallel to the Perpendicular CPQ, the line HE cutting the Circumference in E, and joining CE, this Line CE shall be the Line of the refracted Ray. For if EF be let fall perpendicularly on the Line PQ, this Line EF shall be the Sine of Refraction of the Ray CE, the Angle of Refraction being ECQ; and this Sine EF is equal to DH, and consequently in Proportion to the Sine of Incidence AD as 3 to 4.

In like manner, if there be a Prism of Glass (that is, a Glass bounded with two Equal and Parallel Triangular ends, and three plain and well polished Sides, which meet in three Parallel Lines running from the three Angles of one end to the three Angles of the other end) and if the Refraction of the Light in passing cross this Prism be desired: Let ACB [in Fig. 2] represent a Plane cutting this Prism transversly to its three Parallel lines or edges there where the Light passeth through it, and let DE be the Ray incident upon the first side of of the Prism AC where the Light goes into the Glass; and by putting the Proportion of the Sine of Incidence to the Sine of Refraction as 17 to 11 find EF the first refracted Ray. Then taking this Ray for the Incident Ray upon the second side of the Glass BC where the light goes out, find the next refracted Ray FG by butting the Proportion of the Sine of Incidence to the Sine of Refraction as 11 to 17. FOr if the Sine of Incidence out of Air into Glass be to the Sine of Refraction as 17 to 11, the Sine of Incidence out of Glass into Air must on the contrary be to the Sine of Refraction as 11 to 17, by the third Axiom.

Much after the same manner, if ACBD [in Fig. 3] represent a Glass spherically convex on both sides (usually called a Lens, such as is a Burning-glass, or Spectacle-glass, or an Object-glass of a Telescope) and it be required to know how Light falling upon it from any lucid point Q shall be refracted, let QM represent a Ray falling upon any point M of its first spherical Surface ACB, and by erecting a Perpendicular to the Glass at the point M, find the first refracted Ray MN by the Proportion of the Sines 17 to 11. Let that Ray in going out of the Glass be incident upon N, and then find the second refracted Ray Nq by the proportion of the Sines 11 to 17. And after the same manner may the Refraction be found when the Lens is convex on one side and plane or concave on the other, or concave on both sides.