An Account of Some Cases of the Production ofColours, Not Hitherto Described. Thomas Young.

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                                But it is still more satisfactory to observe its conformity 
to other facts, which constitute new and distinct 
classes of phenomena, and which could scarcely have 
agreed so well with any anterior law, if that law 
had been erroneous or imaginary. These are, the 
colours of fibres, and the colours of mixed plates. 
As I was observing the appearance of the 
fine parallel lines of light which are seen upon the 
margin of an object held near the eye, so as to intercept 
the greater part of the light of a distant luminous object,
and which are produced by the fringes, much broader 
and more distinct; and I soon found, that these broader 
fringes were occasioned by the accidental interposition of a 
hair. In order to make them more distinct, I employed 
a horsehair; but they were then no longer visible: with 
a fibre of wool, on the contrary, they became very large 
and conspicuous: and with a single silkworm’s thread,
their magnitude was so much increased, that two or 
three of them seemed to occupy the whole field of view.
They appeared to extend on each side of the candle, in 
the same order as the colours of thin plates, seen by 
transmitted light. It occurred to me, that their cause 
must be sought in the interference of two portions 
of light, one reflected from the fibre, the other bending round 
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Thomas Young
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An Account of Some Cases of the Production ofColours, Not Hitherto Described. Thomas Young., 1800. From The Royal Society, L&P/12/32



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