Royal Society's 350th anniversary year begins

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Sir Isaac Newton's landmark account on how white light is comprised of the colours of the spectrum and Professor Stephen Hawking's early writing on black holes are among 60 papers to be put online.

More esoteric writings include a paper written by leading 18th century scientists confirming Mozart as a child genius, and a gruesome 1666 account of an early blood transfusion.

Asked to name his favourite, Lord Rees, president of the Royal Society, and a professor of cosmology and astrophysics at Cambridge University, said: "Given my own interest I would highlight Newton's paper about white light and prisms."

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