27.08   The Experiment
18.08   Invitation to the Vernissage
29.06   Conference program (last update 10.09)

On the occasion of the 200-year celebration of Goethe's Theory of Colour the question is asked, how Goethe might have methodologically defended his convictions on optics, if the means of the modern physical optics would have been available to him.

In the exhibition, which is experimental laboratory at the same time, a series of optical and partially interactive exhibits are shown. Actual developments of the experiments of Newton and Goethe are demonstrated. They clarify, under which optical conditions complementary-colored spectra can be realized simultaneously. Highlight of this experimental performance will be the demonstration of an inverted form of Newton’s "experimentum crucis".

An international scientific workshop on the topic "The Generalization of Newton’s Experimentum Crucis" gives the opportunity to study the experiment in detail, to discuss and to ask about its physical and epistemological significance.


Newton's Experimentum Crucis. Right: reproduction from the 1721 original. Left: the black-white inversion of the image corresponding to the real experimental setup: Splitting of the white light in a carefully darkened space (Newton). The corresponding original image may be interpreted as the splitting up of a "shadow-ray" in a bright environment (Goethe).