npsm 새물리 New Physics : Sae Mulli

pISSN 0374-4914 eISSN 2289-0041


Research Paper

New Physics: Sae Mulli 2017; 67: 1086-1094

Published online September 29, 2017

Copyright © New Physics: Sae Mulli.

Investigation of Newtonian Optics from Physics Education Perspectives

Bongwoo LEE*

Department of Science Education, Dankook University, Yongin 16890, Korea


Received: June 19, 2017; Revised: July 27, 2017; Accepted: August 8, 2017

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The purpose of this study is to explore Newton's optical achievements and investigate Newtonian optics from a physics education perspectives. Newton invented a reflective telescope and revealed that sunlight is a mixture of light with different colors. He proved his theory with the 'experimentum crucis’. He also supported the corpuscular theory of light and published his famous book 'Opticks' in 1704. This study presented the implications of education on the nature of light and discussed the inquiry in the textbook with the 'experimentum crucis'. This study also investigated the dispute on the particle and wave theory of light through a Newton ring, Newton’s scientific research method through a discussion of the hypothesis, and an acceptance process of science knowledge through the propagation of Newtonian optics. Additionally, methods to use Newtonian optics in elementary and secondary physics education were investigated.

Keywords: Newtonian optics, Nature of science, Corpuscular theory of light, Experimentum crucis, Scientific method

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