Weather Fundamentals

Early Weather History

What did Sir Isaac Newton contribute to the science of meteorology?

In terms of meteorology, Sir Isaac Newton (1642–1727) is mostly a significant figure because the science of physics and his laws of motion are essential to an understanding of how weather works. Not many people know, though, that Newton also was into rainbows. He was the first to demonstrate how white light is broken up into its spectrum when it passes through a glass prism.

Benjamin Franklin is famous in weather lore for his experiments with lightning, but he also made other contributions to meteorology. (NOAA)

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