Fits, Passions and Paroxysms


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Table of Contents

Preface; Abbreviated references; Frequently cited writings by Newton; Part I. Physics and Method: Newton's theories of coloured bodies and fits: 1. Historical and philosophical background; 2. Newton's rings; 3. The colours of natural bodies; 4. The theory of fits; Part II. Physics and Chemistry: the theory of coloured bodies, the chemists' revolt and absorption spectroscopy: 5. The glory years: 1704–1777; 6. The chemistry of light in France: 1776–1790; 7. The chemical philosophy in Britain: 1785–1815; 8. Debate and absorption spectroscopy in France: 1791–1816; 9. Absorption spectroscopy in Britain: 1822–1833; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.

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Shapiro reviews the formulation and reception of Newton's theories on the structure of matter and on fits.


..".an impressive examination of the dispute over Newton's mathematical and corpuscular explanationof light transmission for the next two centuries...this book is such a display of scholarship and formidable analysis of archival sources that it might serve as a model for the refraction of an idea over two centuries." Larry Stewart, Albion

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