The chief of his other contributions to optics was the explanation of the rainbow - an explanation far from complete, since the unequal refrangibility of the rays of light was yet undiscovered - but a decided advance upon his predecessors, notably on the De radiis visas et lucis (1611) of Marc-Antonio de Dominis, archbishop of Spalato.
B) - f S,u ds (along The new wave-surface is formed in such a position that the optical distance is constant; and therefore the dispersion, or the angle through which the wave-surface is turned by the change of refrangibility, is found simply by dividing (5) by the distance AB.
This shows that the connexion between the refrangibility of light and its wave-length does not obey any simple law, but depends on the nature of the refracting medium.
This, however, is not the case with ordinary refracting media, the refrangibility generally increasing more and more rapidly as the wave-length diminishes.
Such bodies show strong absorption bands in those colours which they reflect, while of the transmitted light that which is of a slightly greater wave-length than the absorbed light has an abnormally great refrangibility, and that of a slightly shorter wave-length an abnormally small refrangibility.
In 1758 he published an "Account of some experiments concerning the different refrangibility of light" (Phil.
Until Newton's discovery of the different refrangibility of light of different colours, it was generally supposed that object-glasses of telescopes were subject to no other errors than those which arose from the spherical figure of their surfaces, and the efforts of opticians were chiefly directed to the construction of lenses of other forms of curvature.
When in 1666 he made his discovery of the different refrangibility of light of different colours, he soon perceived that the faults of the refracting telescope were due much more to this cause than to the spherical figure of the lenses.
After devoting some time to the inquiry he found that by combining lenses formed of different kinds of glass the effect of the unequal refrangibility of light was corrected, and in 1733 he succeeded in constructing telescopes which exhibited objects free from colour.
Dollond admitted the accuracy of Euler's analysis, but disputed his hypothesis on the grounds that it was purely a theoretical assumption, that the theory was opposed to the results of Newton's experiments on the refrangibility of light, and that it was impossible to determine a physical law from analytical reasoning alone (Phil.
The principal experiments also indicate that it is the rays of highest refrangibility - the blue-violet and ultra-violet rays of the spectrum - which bring about the destruction of the organisms (figs.
Nay, I wondered, that seeing the difference of refrangibility was so great, as I found it, Telescopes should arrive to that perfection they are now at."
As the Rays of light differ in degrees of Refrangibility, so they also differ in their disposition to exhibit this or that particular colour.
To the same degree of Refrangibility ever belongs the same colour, and to the same colour ever belongs the same degree of Refrangibility.
And this Analogy 'twixt colours, and refrangibility is very precise and strict; the Rays always either exactly agreeing in both, or proportionally disagreeing in both.
The species of colour, and degree of Refrangibility proper to any particular sort of Rays, is not mutable by Refraction, nor by Reflection from natural bodies, nor by any other cause, that I could yet observe.
The principle that the refrangibility of light is altered by endon motion was enunciated by Christian Doppler of Prague in 1842.
C. Vogel's observations on the 9th of June 1871, of differences due to the sun's rotation in the refrangibility of Fraunhofer lines derived respectively from the east and west limbs.
This confirmed his previous conclusion that the rays increase in refrangibility from red to violet.