Sir Issac Newton
Isaac Newton was an English scientist. He was born in England on December 25, 1642, Christmas morning to say the least. He had one of the most brilliant minds the world has ever known. According to legend Newton developed the Law of Gravitation after he saw an apple fall to the ground one day. This insignificant occurence started Newton thinking that the same force that keeps us bound to the Earth also controls the motion of planets, stars, and the Sun.
Newton had many other accomplishments besides developing the law of universal gravitation. Newton was one of the inventors of the branch of mathematics called calculus. He also solved some of the mysteries of light and optics.
When Newton was three years old, his widowed mother remarried. She left him to be cared for by his grandmother. This marriage didn't last long before she was widowed again. His grandmother didn't want to be bothered with him any longer and persuaded his mother to send him to grammar school in Grantham.
In the summer of 1661, he was sent to Trinity College, at the University of Cambridge where he received his bachelor's degree in 1665. He left college for 2 years after that because of the threat of the plague, but after the threat of sickness was over Newton returned to Trinity and was elected to a fellowship in 1667. By 1668 he had received his Master's degree, and became a distinguished scholar.
Newton's first achievement was in mathematics. He invented methods that were used to draw tangents to curves and to calculate the area swept by curves. With this information he developed what he called the fluxional method. That was not Newton's only mathematical accomplishment. In 1666, at the age of 24, he developed what we now call calculus. In 1669 he was appointed Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.
Connection to Sun Research
Newton loved to study optics. While he was trying to explain how colors occur, he conceived the idea that sunlight is simply a blend of each of the different color rays, and that each ray represents a different color. He also discovered that when reflected or refracted the light will separate into each of its various components. Newton demonstrated his theory of colors by passing a beam of sunlight through a prism. The prism split the beam into separate colors. Newton sent an explanation of his theory to the Royal Society of London in 1672.
When his theory was published Newton immediately became the subject of numerous criticisms. He immediately began to withdraw from society as much as possible and escaped into the solitude of his Cambridge study. However, in 1704, Newton published "Opticks", which explained his theory in greater detail, it was only then that his theory gained credibility in the public eye.
©Copyright 1998 Elizabeth
Beckett, Holly Bernitt, and Vishwa Chandra.