Light is the most important phenomena around us .It makes us see things of this world. How strange it is that light which removes darkness has itself been in dark for long. What is the nature of light? Is it a particle or wave?.
Although few ancient civilizations claim to have determined exact nature of light very long before. But, nothing conclusive scientific evidence was there. The first scientific work to determine the nature of light was done by Newton, as late as 17th century. Newton proposed his famous corpuscles theory. It said light consists of tiny corpuscles (energy packets) which travel in straight line. This was sufficient to explain the properties like rectilinear propagation, and formation of shadow. The phenomena of reflection and refraction was explained on the basis of elastic collision and attraction of light by dense medium particles respectively. It was widely accepted and applauded. At the same time a Dutch physicist who didn't agree with Newton suggested wave phenomena of light. Owing to small wavelength of light and large objects in our daily life, he said, these waves seem to travel in straight line and hence show particle nature. He also could explain all phenomenon of light which were explained by Newton or were known by that time. To the surprise, Huygens's work remained in dump as for more than a century because scientific community had great faith in Newton. .
The year 1801 A.D. (106 years after Huygen's death) came to light the phenomena of interference. The works of Thomas young to obtain maximum and minimum intensity of light on screen at different positions using a monochromatic light was the double slit experiment. Newton's theory failed to explain it as it was a wave phenomena. On the other hand Huygen's theory was more than sufficient. Thus came the rise of Huygen's theory and it was widely accepted.
A series if investigations in a row all supported by Huygens principle came to light.