Challenging Perceptions (02:44)
This film will explore how Florence Nightingale’s Rose Diagram and Isaac Newton's prism drawing changed science and history.
Prism Experiments (01:31)
400 years ago, scientists believed white sunlight was pure; Newton challenged this notion in 1666. Marcus du Sautoy views his prism diagram at Oxford.
Light Spectrum Discovery (02:58)
Newton's prism diagram shows that refracted light does not change color—proving colors in white light are immutable. Learn how the image was pivotal in scientific history.
Investigating Light (03:16)
Newton studied how the mind controls vision. He fled the plague and embarked on a series of experiments in Woolsthorpe, including poking a needle into his eye to understand how it refracted light.
Recreating a Prism Experiment (03:03)
Newton’s refraction diagrams illustrate an obsession with scientific precision. An expert demonstrates how he discovered the color spectrum, leading to 20th century technological innovations.
Challenging Light Property Convention (02:43)
Newton developed his theory of refraction at Cambridge—during a time when scientists believed color was distorted white light. Learn how his color wheel diagram reflects 17th century beliefs in universal order.
Revolutionizing Optics Science (02:07)
In 1668, Newton used his refraction discovery to design a new telescope reflecting light. View a recreation of his early model at the Orion Optics Factory.
Refraction in Popular Culture (02:11)
Learn how Newton's prism diagram inspired Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" album cover.
Understanding Color Perception (03:37)
Newton believed each wavelength corresponded to a different color. A visual experiment in which a Rubik’s cube is illuminated by different colors shows how color is produced by the brain.
Prism Diagram Legacy (01:33)
Learn why Newton's light theory is relevant to science and technological innovation 300 years after discovering refraction.
Rose Diagram Introduction (01:16)
Learn how Florence Nightingale pioneered modern hospital practices and changed the British Army's attitude towards medical care after the Crimean War.
Representing Casualties (03:18)
Nightingale wrote a controversial report after serving as a nurse in the Crimean War. Learn how her Rose Diagram provides visual evidence that most soldiers died from infectious diseases.
Crimean War Field Hospital (04:02)
Learn how Nightingale improved sanitation and nutrition practices in Scutari during the first year. Despite her efforts, death rates from disease continued to rise.
Improving War Survival Rates (01:17)
After the British Sanitary Commission flushed out the putrid water system at Scutari Hospital, deaths from infectious disease were reduced by 99% within a year.
Hospital Sanitation Campaign (01:33)
After losing many soldiers to disease, Nightingale was determined to reform medical practices. She met with Queen Victoria's advisers, who ordered a confidential report.
Designing the Rose Diagram (04:41)
Learn how Nightingale drew on 18th century statistical charts for inspiration. Modern statisticians discuss why a radial graph is more visually effective than a bar chart for political decisions.
Epidemiology Message (03:36)
In October 1858, Nightingale leaked her report to the public; learn how the Rose Diagram showed lives could be saved through improved hospital sanitation and convinced Parliament to reform medical practices.
Achieving Medical Reform (02:03)
By capturing public imagination, Nightingale's Rose Diagram resulted in improved hospital sanitation and ultimately saved millions of lives worldwide.
Credits: Newton and Nightingale: Beauty of Diagrams (00:32)
Credits: Newton and Nightingale: Beauty of Diagrams
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