White Light

By Bernie Bell

I was watching an episode of The Antiques Road Trip, in which Paul Laidlaw was visiting Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire – the home of Isaac Newton – and the guide there told Paul the tale of Isaac Newton’s  experiments with white light…..

In his notes Newton mentions that, when he carried out his experiments to split light the distance he used was 22 feet.  According to the National Trust Guide, it was only recently when another film crew were working there, that someone noticed that, in the room which was Newton’s bedroom/study/laboratory, the distance from the window to the opposite wall is….22 feet!

Picture it……a darkened room, with a narrow opening letting in sunlight, a prism, a rainbow on the opposite wall.  As Paul Laidlaw said, “That wall, right there.”

Before Newton’s experiments, white light was seen as being pure, and perfect – and it is. It is perfect – the perfection of one thing, containing many.

Part of that perfection is the fact that it holds the colours of the rainbow……. And, for some,  the chakras….

After the programme finished, I was thinking and thinking about this.  White light is pure, in itself, yet it holds so much – including

the basic colours from which many colours can be produced.

And then, of course I was thinking of Scotland’s own James Clerk Maxwell and his experiments and discoveries relating to, among other things, light.  Maxwell’s Waves.


And all this, from watching an episode of Antiques Road Trip!

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