Isaac Newton by James GleickIsaac Newton was born in a stone farmhouse in 1642, fatherless and unwanted by his mother. When he died in London in 1727 he was so renowned he was given a state funeral—an unheard-of honor for a subject whose achievements were in the realm of the intellect. During the years he was an irascible presence at Trinity College, Cambridge, Newton imagined properties of nature and gave them names—mass, gravity, velocity—things our science now takes for granted. Inspired by Aristotle, spurred on by Galileo’s discoveries and the philosophy of Descartes, Newton grasped the intangible and dared to take its measure, a leap of the mind unparalleled in his generation.
James Gleick, the author of Chaos and Genius, and one of the most acclaimed science writers of his generation, brings the reader into Newton’s reclusive life and provides startlingly clear explanations of the concepts that changed forever our perception of bodies, rest, and motion. Ideas so basic to the twenty-first century we literally take them for granted.
Isaac Newton 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. In , he published his most acclaimed work, Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy , which has been called the single most influential book on physics. Newton was born on January 4, , in Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire, England. Using the "old" Julian calendar, Newton's birth date is sometimes displayed as December 25, Newton was the only son of a prosperous local farmer, also named Isaac, who died three months before he was born. A premature baby born tiny and weak, Newton was not expected to survive.
Newton also made seminal contributions to optics , and shares credit with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz for developing the infinitesimal calculus. In Principia , Newton formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation that formed the dominant scientific viewpoint until it was superseded by the theory of relativity. Newton used his mathematical description of gravity to prove Kepler's laws of planetary motion , account for tides , the trajectories of comets , the precession of the equinoxes and other phenomena, eradicating doubt about the Solar System 's heliocentricity. He demonstrated that the motion of objects on Earth and celestial bodies could be accounted for by the same principles. Newton's inference that the Earth is an oblate spheroid was later confirmed by the geodetic measurements of Maupertuis , La Condamine , and others, convincing most European scientists of the superiority of Newtonian mechanics over earlier systems. Newton built the first practical reflecting telescope and developed a sophisticated theory of colour based on the observation that a prism separates white light into the colours of the visible spectrum. His work on light was collected in his highly influential book Opticks , published in
It's usually said that Isaac Newton was born on Christmas Day, but there is some ambiguity in this because England was still using the "old" Julian calendar at the time of Newton's birth, whereas the rest of Europe had adopted the "modern" Gregorian calendar later adopted by England and still in use today. According to the modern calendar, Newton was born on 4 January , but according to the calendar in force at the time and place of his birth, he was born on 25 December It's been speculated that this fact held some significance for the mystical side of Newton's imagination, and helps to explain his fascination for biblical interpretation, since he can hardly have failed to notice that he was born on Christmas Day with no worldly father - his natural father Robert, a farmer, having died some 3 months before Isaac's birth. An even trickier question is whether Newton was born in the same year Galileo died as is commonly said. But when placed on the same calendar the two events fall in different years.
Sir Isaac Newton PRS was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian, and . Isaac Newton was born (according to the Julian calendar, in use in England at the time) on Christmas Day, 25 December (NS 4 January .
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The posthumous son of an illiterate yeoman also named Isaac , the fatherless infant was small enough at birth to fit 'into a quartpot. Much has been made of Newton's posthumous birth, his prolonged separation from his mother, and his unrivaled hatred of his stepfather. Until Hanna returned to Woolsthorpe in after the death of her second husband, Newton was denied his mother's attention, a possible clue to his complex character. Newton's childhood was anything but happy, and throughout his life he verged on emotional collapse, occasionally falling into violent and vindictive attacks against friend and foe alike. W ith his mother's return to Woolsthorpe in , Newton was taken from school to fulfill his birthright as a farmer.
Isaac Newton changed the way we understand the Universe. Revered in his own lifetime, he discovered the laws of gravity and motion and invented calculus. He helped to shape our rational world view. His private life was far from rational — consumed by petty jealousies, bitter rivalries and a ruthless quest for reputation. Newton was born prematurely on Christmas morning, in Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire. He was a tiny baby, given little chance of survival.
Isaac Newton , in full Sir Isaac Newton , born December 25, [January 4, , New Style], Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire , England—died March 20 [March 31], , London , English physicist and mathematician, who was the culminating figure of the scientific revolution of the 17th century. In optics , his discovery of the composition of white light integrated the phenomena of colours into the science of light and laid the foundation for modern physical optics. In mechanics , his three laws of motion , the basic principles of modern physics , resulted in the formulation of the law of universal gravitation. In mathematics , he was the original discoverer of the infinitesimal calculus. Although Isaac Newton is well known for his discoveries in optics white light composition and mathematics calculus , it is his formulation of the three laws of motion —the basic principles of modern physics—for which he is most famous. His formulation of the laws of motion resulted in the law of universal gravitation.