Isaac Newton communicated with his peers through the mail. He was a prolific letter writer and corresponded with numerous scientists and intellectuals. Newton's letters were often highly technical and discussed his scientific research and findings. In addition, he used notes to exchange ideas and collaborate with other scientists, including Robert Boyle, Christiaan Huygens, and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Mails were Newton's Tools for Thought.
In 1672, Newton first presented his theory of light and color in a letter to the Royal Society, in which he described how a prism could be used to split white light into its component colors. This letter sparked a debate among scientists, with Robert Hooke among those who challenged Newton's theory. In response to Hooke's criticism, Newton wrote a series of letters that refined and clarified his theory. These letters allowed him to consider and articulate his ideas carefully, responding to Hooke's criticisms and providing new evidence to support his theory. Newton developed and refined his ideas about light and color, ultimately leading to his groundbreaking work on optics and his book Opticks published in 1704. Full Story
Many of Newton's letters have been preserved and are still available today, providing valuable insights into his scientific thinking and the scientific community of his time. Newton's correspondence offers a fascinating glimpse into the intellectual world of the 17th and 18th centuries. Moreover, it demonstrates the critical role that letters played in the scientific and academic communities of the time.