Isaac Newton (January 4, 1643 to March 31, 1727) was a physicist and mathematician who developed the principles of modern physics, including the laws of motion, and is credited as one of the great minds of the 17th century Scientific Revolution.Scientific Revolution
Isaac Newton was born on January 4, 1643, in Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire, England. Using the "old" Julien calendar, Newton's birth date is sometimes displayed as December 25, 1642.
Isaac Newton was the only son of a prosperous local farmer, also named Isaac Newton, who died three months before he was born. A premature baby born tiny and weak, Newton was not expected to survive. When he was 3 years old, his mother, Hannah Ayscough Newton, remarried and went to live with him, leaving young Newton with maternal grandmother.
Newton was enrolled at the King's School in Grantham, a town in Lincolnshire, where he lodged with a local apothecary and was introduced to the fascinating world of chemistry. Sensing the young man's innate intellectual abilities, his uncle, a graduate of the University of Cambridge's Trinity College, persuaded Newton's mother to have him enter the university.
During his first three years at Cambridge, Newton was taught the standard curriculum but was fascinated with the more advanced science. All his spare time was spent reading from the modern philosophers. Though Newton graduated without honors or distinctions, his efforts won him the title of scholar and four years of financial support for future education.
Newton made discoveries in optics, motion and mathematics. Newton theorized that white light was a composite of all colors of the spectrum, and that light was composed of particles. His momentous book on physics, Principia, contains information on nearly all of the essential concepts of physics.
Newton's first major public scientific achievement was designing and constructing a reflecting telescope in As a professor at Cambridge, Newton was required to deliver an annual course of lectures and chose optics as his initial topic. He used his telescope to study optics and help prove his theory of light and color. The Royal Society asked for a demonstration of his reflecting telescope in 1671, and the organization's interest encouraged Newton to publish his notes on light, optics and color in These notes were later published as part of Newton's Optics: Or, A treatise of the Reflections, Refractions, Inflections and Colours of Light.
Between 1665 and 1667, Newton returned home from Trinity College to pursue his private study, as school was closed due to the Great Plague. Legend has it that, at this time, Newton experienced his famous inspiration of gravity with the falling apple. According to this common myth, Newton was sitting under an apple tree when a fruit fell and hit him on the head, inspiring him to suddenly come up with the theory of gravity.
In 1687, following 18 months of intense and effectively nonstop work, Newton published Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy), most often known as Principia. It is said to be the single most influential book on physics and possibly all of science. Its publication immediately raised Newton to international prominence. Newton had a second set of notes, entitled "Quaestiones Quaedam Philosophicae" ("Certain Philosophical Questions"). The "Quaestiones" reveal that Newton had discovered the new concept of nature that provided the framework for the Scientific Revolution.
Newtons three basic laws of motion outlined in Principia helped him arrive at his theory of gravity. These laws helped explain not only elliptical planetary orbits but nearly every other motion in the universe: how the planets are kept in orbit by the pull of the suns gravity; how the moon revolves around Earth and the moons of Jupiter revolve around it; and how comets revolve in elliptical orbits around the sun.
Isaac Newton, known for his very different discoveries, dedicated a large part of his life to the occult sciences and in particular to alchemy: he wrote more than a million words on this very multifaceted topic. It is believed that it was the alchemical experiments that inspired Newton to several discoveries in the field of optics. Unlike other "philosophers" (the so-called alchemists), Newton did not publish his notes. It is known that in 1691 he was seriously poisoned, and after death in his body was found a dangerous content of mercury.
His alchemical notes are being sought and published already in our day. The two largest online archives are the library of Cambridge University and the American "Chemistry of Isaac Newton" (the project "Chemistry of Isaac Newton").
Toward the end of this life, Newton lived at Cranbury Park, near Winchester, England, with his niece, Catherine (Barton) Conduitt, and her husband, John Conduitt. By this time, Newton had become one of the most famous men in Europe. His scientific discoveries were unchallenged. He also had become wealthy, Despite his fame, Newton's life was far from perfect: He never married or made many friends.
By the time he reached 80 years of age, Newton was experiencing digestion problems and had to drastically change his diet and mobility. In March 1727, Newton experienced severe pain in his abdomen and blacked out, never to regain consciousness. He died the next day, on March 31, 1727, at the age of 84.