|Full Name||Sir Isaac Newton|
|DOB||January 4, 1643|
|Demise||March 31, 1727|
Isaac Newton is widely regarded as one of history’s greatest mathematicians and physicists, as well as one of science’s most influential figures. Newton formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation in the Principia, which dominated scientific thought until the theory of relativity overtook it. Newton used his mathematical description of gravity to derive Kepler’s laws of planetary motion, account for tides, comet trajectories, equinox precession, and other phenomena, proving the heliocentricity of the Solar System.
Isaac Newton demonstrated that the same concepts could be used to explain the motion of objects on Earth and heavenly bodies. The geodetic observations of Maupertuis, La Condamine, and others later corroborated Newton’s deduction that the Earth is an oblate spheroid, persuading most European scientists of Newtonian mechanics’ superiority over older systems. Isaac Newton invented the first functional reflecting telescope and created a complex color theory based on the discovery that a prism splits white light into the visible spectrum’s colors. In 1704, he published his highly influential book Opticks, which collected his work on light. He also devised an empirical law of cooling and performed the first theoretical computation of sound speed.
Isaac Newton Early Life
Isaac Newton was the only child of a wealthy local farmer named Isaac, who died three months before his birth. Newton, a premature infant who was born tiny and feeble, was not expected to live.
His mother, Hannah Ayscough Newton, remarried and moved in with a wealthy pastor, Barnabas Smith, when he was three years old, leaving young Newton with his maternal grandmother. Newton was reunited with his mother when he was 12 years old, after her second husband died. She took her three tiny children from a previous marriage with her.
On the suggestion of his uncle Rev William Ayscough, who had studied there, he was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge, in June 1661. He began as a subsizar, paying his way through the college by performing valet duties, until he was awarded a scholarship in 1664, guaranteeing him four more years to complete his MA. At the time, the college’s teachings were based on Aristotle’s, which Newton supplemented with modern philosophers like Descartes and astronomers like Galileo and Thomas Street, through whom he learned of Kepler’s work.
He returned to Cambridge in April 1667 and was elected a Trinity fellow in October. Fellows were needed to become ordained priests, though this was rarely enforced during the restoration years, and a declaration of Church of England compliance was acceptable. However, by 1675, the matter could no longer be overlooked, and his unusual beliefs had become a roadblock.
Isaac Newton Scientific Revolution & Discoveries
The Scientific Revolution of the 17th century was already in full swing when Isaac Newton arrived in Cambridge. Most European intellectual circles were familiar with the heliocentric theory of the universe, which was proposed by astronomers Nicolaus Copernicus and Johannes Kepler and later revised by Galileo. René Descartes, a philosopher, has begun to develop a new view of nature as an elaborate, impersonal, and lifeless mechanism.
Isaac Newton was taught the normal curriculum during his first three years at Cambridge, but he was captivated by the more advanced science. He spent all of his spare time reading modern thinkers. Newton preserved the second collection of notes, named “Quaestiones Quaedam Philosophicae,” at this time. The “Quaestiones” show that Newton established a new view of nature that laid the foundation for the Scientific Revolution.
Isaac Barrow gave British mathematician John Collins the unaccredited copy in June 1669. Barrow identified the author to Collins as “Mr. Newton… quite young… but of amazing genius and proficiency in these matters” in August 1669. For the first time, Newton’s work was brought to the notice of the mathematical community. Barrow quit his Lucasian position at Cambridge shortly after, and Newton took over.
Newton achieved breakthroughs in the fields of optics, motion, and mathematics. Newton proposed that white light was made up of particles and that it was made up of all the colors in the spectrum. His seminal physics book, Principia, covers practically all of the fundamental notions of physics, save energy, and finally aids him in explaining the laws of motion and the theory of gravity.
Isaac Newton returned home from Trinity College between 1665 and 1667 to resume his private studies while the institution was closed due to the Great Plague. Newton had his renowned inspiration of gravity with the falling apple at this time. Newton was seated under an apple tree when a fruit fell and hit him on the head, prompting him to come up with the idea of gravity, according to mythology. While there is no proof that the apple hit Newton in the head, he did witness an apple fall from a tree and wondered why it fell straight down rather than at an angle. As a result, he began to study motion and gravity ideas.
Principia is often considered to be the most significant book in physics, maybe not all of science. Its release pushed Newton to international prominence almost instantly.
With three basic but important rules of motion, Principia provides a precise quantitative description of bodies in motion:
A stationary body will stay stationary unless an external force is applied to it.
Force is equal to mass times acceleration, and a change in motion is proportional to the force applied.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
In a 1679 letter to Royal Society members thanking them for their achievements, Hooke raised the issue of planetary motion, claiming that a formula involving the inverse squares could explain the attraction between planets and the geometry of their orbits. Hooke put his case for planetary motion proof in a conversation with fellow Royal Society members Christopher Wren and Edmond Halley in early 1684. Wren and Halley both thought he was onto something, but they both insisted on a mathematical demonstration.
On March 20, 1727, Newton died in his sleep in London. He was given a state funeral attended by nobility, scientists, and philosophers, and he was buried beside kings and queens in Westminster Abbey. He is also the abbey’s first scientist to be buried. Newton’s hair was analyzed after his death and discovered to contain mercury, most likely as a result of his alchemical pursuits. Mercury poisoning may have contributed to Newton’s later eccentricities.
Top 10 Famous Quotes by Isaac Newton
- If others would think as hard as I did, then they would get similar results.
- All my discoveries have been made in answer to prayer.
- The best way to understanding is a few good examples.
- Live your life as an exclamation rather than an explanation.
- You have to make the rules, not follow them.
- What we know is a drop, what we don’t know is an ocean.
- In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence.
- Plato is my friend, Aristotle is my friend, but my greatest friend is the truth.
- Errors are not in the art but in the artificers.
- My powers are ordinary. Only my application brings me success. – Isaac Newton