Hi. Today we are here with one of the greatest scientists of all time, Isaac Newton. He was a great scientist, physicist, and mathematician. He discovered the law of gravity which later helped other scientists with their scientific discoveries in physics. Isaac Newton also found out more about how light and color work. He invented calculus and the reflecting telescope which helps us see things in a different way. Let us start our interview with Isaac Newton.
Q: Mr. Newton, please tell us about yourself first.
I was born in 1642 in Licolnshire, England. When I was in grammar school, I was very interested in mathematics and liked to compete with the other students. I attended Cambridge University and then became a professor of mathematics in 1669. I was also made a member of the Parliament in 1689 which is like being a Senator or Representative in England. In 1707 I was knighted by Queen Anne for my achievement on psychics. I had two important publications, the Principia and Opticks. The Principia contains the three laws of motion and Opticks is about my early experiments of light and color.
Q: What are the three laws of motion?
The first law of motion is an object stays at rest unless it is acted on by an outside force. If it is in motion it travels in a straight line unless it is acted on by an outside force. That means an object does not move unless an outside force touches it and if an object is not moving then it will stay unmoving unless it is touched by an outside force. An outside force is a force that comes from something else. The second law of motion is the outside force is related to the direction and the increase in speed of the object. That means if a force is going north and it is going very fast, it will continue going north and very fast. The third law of motion is to every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. That means if two things are pushed together then they will bounce back.
Examples of the three laws of motion are :
The ball is staying at rest without an outside force pushing it. This is an example of the first law of motion.
The ball moves to the right because the outside force hit the ball to the right. This is an example of the second law of motion.
When the balls hit they bounced in the opposite direction. This is an example of the third law of motion.
Q: Oh, I have heard that the Principia was written in Latin and it was a masterpiece. Please tell us more about this book.
Well, the Principia contained the three laws of motion that are the foundation of the science and mechanics. I also in the Principia showed how my theory of motion applied to moons, planets, and comets. The first law states that an object stays at rest unless it is hit by an outside force and an object stays in motion unless it is acted on by an outside force. That applies to comets because in space if there is a comet moving then it will keep moving unless something stops it. The second law states that the outside force is related to the direction and the speed. That applies to comets because the direction and speed of a comet is related to what direction it came from and the speed it was going. The third law states every action has an equal opposite reaction.
Even though the three laws of motion apply to the moon, planets, and comets they also apply to other things. According to the first law if you roll the ball it will never stop unless it is hit or stopped by a outside force like a rock would stop it if it hit the rock or friction would gradually stop it. The second and third laws also do not just apply to moons planets and comets; they also apply to many other things. For example, if you throw or kick something forward it will travel forward instead of backwards because that was the way you threw or kicked it. It would also go far if you kicked or threw it harder than if you kicked or threw it softer it would not go as far because your adding a greater force on the object. If you jump you are pushing off the ground. If you jump off the ground very hard then you will jump higher. This is an example of an equal reaction in Newtons third law. An example of the opposite reaction is if you are in a boat and you push off of something, you are going in the opposite direction. This is an example of an opposite reaction.
Q: What are some discoveries that you have made?
Gravity was probably my most important discovery. Gravity is the force that is pulling us down to Earth. The definition of is, gravity is the attraction force between one object and another. It is all around us and we do not usually feel it. The universal law of gravitation lets us learn about the earth and other planets in the universe and helps us understand their movements. I also defined three laws of motion. That is important because the three laws of motion explain how an object stays at rest or moves and the direction of its motion.
Q: Mr. Newton, please tell us how you discovered gravity.
Well, when I was in my garden one day thinking about the theory of gravity, an apple fell from the apple tree. I wondered why it fell down instead of up or sideways. I figured that some force must be pulling the apple down toward the earth. This incident inspired me later to form the theory of gravity.
Q: Have you invented anything? Could you tell us about it?
Well, I invented the reflecting telescope. I invented it because I was quite interested in light and color and I wanted to make a telescope that would not have fringes of color around the objects I was looking at, so I thought of the reflecting telescope. The reflecting telescope has mirrors, lenses, and different kinds of glasses. When you look into a reflecting telescope you look into some glasses that reflect your vision to the mirrors. It keeps doing that until it reaches the hole of the reflecting telescope. It is important that I invented the reflecting telescope because now we can see things in a different way.
Q: These are very great discoveries and inventions. Please tell us why you chose to become a scientist.
I chose to be a scientist because when I was a child I really admired scientists like Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler, and Descartes for what they have done to change what the world knows. For example, Galileo invented the telescope which later helped other scientists to see different planets and stars. I improved his invention to allow others to learn even more about space.
Thank you, Mr. Newton, for the interview. I have learned a great deal about you and your work.