The nature of science through historical episodes: the case of the popularization of Newtonian optics

Cibelle Celestino Silva Breno Arsioli Moura About the authors

Despite the difficulty of precisely describing the nature of science, there is a widespread agreement concerning the necessity of incorporating into curricula some notions about how the scientific activity works. Studying the history of conceptual development and the process of acceptance of scientific ideas by the scientific community may help teachers to incorporate notions of nature of science in their classes. The present paper analyses the development and acceptance process of Newtonian optics during the eighteenth century in Europe, and emphasizes some aspects of nature of science that can be learned by the study of this historical episode.

nature of the science; history of physics; Newton; optics; 18th century

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