Sir Isaac Newton was an English mathematician and physicist who changed the way people thought about science. He opened the way for many inventors and scientists who followed him.
He was born on December 25, 1642 in Woolsthorpe, England. He grew up during the Great Fire of London, the Plague, and the English Civil War. He always liked to build models and instruments.
As a young man, he studied at the Trinity College at the University of Cambridge. He impressed his professors with his knowledge. He is given credit for inventing calculus. Calculus was also years later independently invented by a German mathematician named Gottfried Leibniz. It bothered Newton the rest of his life that he had to share credit for the invention of calculus with someone else. Newton thought he had provided better documentation on calculus than his competitor. In the end, people recognized Newtons work with calculus.
Newton also studied optics. He did experiments with prisms that showed sunlight passing through the prism changed into separate colors. Other people had played with prisms as toys, but Newton actually determined why the separate colors appeared.
He built a reflecting telescope which was more powerful than Galileos refracting telescope. It had a special concave mirror. Many astronomers began to use Newtons telescope design.
Newton was 30 years old when he became a member of the Royal Society, a British science organization. It was a great privilege to become part of this group.
Sir Isaac Newton is very famous for his three laws of motion:
Newton studied gravity. He said he began thinking about gravity when an apple fell on his head. Newton said that all bodies in space and on Earth are governed by gravity.
His good friend, Edmond Halley (Halleys Comet) encouraged Newton to write a book that told about all of his discoveries. This book, Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, was published in 1686. This book became the basis for modern mechanical engineering.
In 1696, he became Warden of the Royal Mint. Newton stopped doing scientific research and became an administrator in London. He supervised the new coins issued after the English Civil War.
In 1703, he was elected President of the Royal Society. He worked very hard and resolved a lot of the Societys problems. The attendance at Society meetings doubled. Serious scientific discussions were included in every meeting.
In 1704, he published his book, Opticks, that covered his early experiments with light and prisms. This book was very popular.
For the last twenty-three years of his life, Newton didnt publish any scientific works. Sir Isaac Newton died on March 20, 1727. He was buried in Westminster Abbey. This was an important honor.
A newton, honoring Sir Isaac Newton, is a unit of force.
Sir Issac Newton was a very important scientist. His name, laws, and theories are recognized worldwide.