- isaac newton: early years and education
- isaac newton telescope and studies on light
- isaac newton and the law of gravity
- isaac newton: the founder of calculus?
- death of isaac newton
- isaac newton quotes
isaac newton is best known for his theory on the law of gravity, but his “principia mathematica” (1686) with its three laws of motion greatly influenced enlightenment in europe. Born in 1643 in Woolsthorpe, England, Sir Isaac Newton began developing his theories of light, calculus, and celestial mechanics during a break from Cambridge University.
Years of research culminated in the publication in 1687 of “principia,” a landmark work that established the universal laws of motion and gravity. Newton’s second major book, “Optics,” detailed his experiments to determine the properties of light. Also a student of Biblical history and alchemy, the famed scientist served as President of the Royal Society of London and Master of the Royal Mint of England until his death in 1727.
isaac newton: early years and education
isaac newton was born on january 4, 1643 in woolsthorpe, lincolnshire, england. The son of a farmer who died three months before he was born, Newton spent most of his early years with his maternal grandmother after his mother remarried. His education was interrupted by a failed attempt to make him a farmer, and he attended the King’s School at Grantham before enrolling at Trinity College, Cambridge University in 1661.
Newton studied a classical curriculum at Cambridge, but became fascinated by the works of modern philosophers such as René Descartes, even devoting a set of notes to his outside reading which he titled “quaestiones quaedam philosophicae” (“certain philosophical questions”) . . When the great plague closed Cambridge in 1665, Newton returned home and began to formulate his theories on calculus, light and colour, his farm being the scene of the supposed falling apple that inspired his work on gravity.
isaac newton telescope and studies on light
Newton returned to Cambridge in 1667 and was elected a junior member. He built the first reflecting telescope in 1668, and the following year he received his master of arts and took over as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge. When asked to demonstrate his telescope at the Royal Society of London in 1671, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society the following year and published his notes on optics for his fellows.
Through his experiments with refraction, Newton determined that white light was a composite of all the colors of the spectrum and stated that light was composed of particles rather than waves. His methods drew a sharp rebuke from established society member Robert Hooke, who was again ruthless with Newton’s follow-up paper in 1675.
Known for his temperamental defense of his work, Newton had a heated correspondence with Hooke before suffering a nervous breakdown and withdrawing from the public eye in 1678. In the years that followed, he returned to his earlier studies of the forces that govern gravity. and dabbled in alchemy.
isaac newton and the law of gravity
in 1684, english astronomer edmund halley visited isolated newton. Learning that Newton had mathematically calculated the elliptical paths of celestial bodies, Halley urged him to organize his notes.
The result was the publication in 1687 of “philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica” (mathematical principles of natural philosophy), which established the three laws of motion and the universal law of gravity. Newton’s three laws of motion state that (1) any object in a state of uniform motion will remain in that state of motion unless acted upon by an external force; (2) force equals mass times acceleration: f=ma and (3) for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
“Principle” propelled Newton to stardom in intellectual circles, eventually earning universal acclaim as one of the most important works of modern science. His work was a fundamental part of the European illustration.
With his newfound influence, Newton opposed King James II’s attempts to reestablish Catholic teaching in English universities. King James II was succeeded by his Protestant daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange as part of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, and Newton was elected to represent Cambridge in Parliament in 1689.
newton moved to london permanently after being appointed keeper of the royal mint in 1696, earning promotion to master of the mint three years later. Determined to show that his position was not merely symbolic, Newton moved sterling from the silver standard to the gold standard and sought to punish counterfeiters.
Hooke’s death in 1703 allowed Newton to take over as President of the Royal Society, and the following year he published his second major work, Opticks. Comprised largely of his earlier notes on the subject, the book details Newton’s painstaking experiments with refraction and the color spectrum, closing with his reflections on such matters as energy and electricity. In 1705, he was knighted by Queen Anne of England.
isaac newton: founder of calculus?
Around this time, the debate over Newton’s claims to originate the field of calculus erupted into a nasty dispute. Newton had developed his concept of “fluxions” (differentials) in the mid-1660s to account for celestial orbits, although there was no public record of his work.
Meanwhile, German mathematician Gottfried Leibniz formulated his own mathematical theories and published them in 1684. As president of the Royal Society, Newton oversaw research that found his work to be the foundation of the field, but the debate continued even After Leibniz’s death in 1716, researchers later concluded that both men probably reached their conclusions independently of each other.
death of isaac newton
Newton was also an ardent student of religious history and doctrine, and his writings on these subjects were collected in several books that were published posthumously. Never having married, Newton spent her later years living with his niece in Cranbury Park, near Winchester, England. He died in his sleep on March 31, 1727 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
A giant even among the brilliant minds who drove the scientific revolution, Newton is remembered as a transformative scholar, inventor, and writer. he eradicated any doubt about the heliocentric model of the universe by establishing celestial mechanics, his precise methodology gave rise to what is known as the scientific method. Although his theories of space-time and gravity eventually gave way to those of Albert Einstein, his work remains the foundation on which modern physics was built.
isaac newton quotes
- “if I have seen further, he is mounted on the shoulders of giants.”
- “I can calculate the movement of celestial bodies but not the madness of people.”
- “what we know is a drop, what we don’t know is an ocean.”
- “gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who sets the planets in motion.”
- “a great discovery was never made without a bold conjecture.”