Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton Isaac Newton was one of the greatest scientists of all time. He is best-known for his discovery of the law of universal gravitation and the laws of motion. Much of modern science is based on the understanding and use of his laws. Isaac Newton was born on Christmas Day, 1642, in the small English town of Woolsthorpe. His father, a farmer, died shortly before Isaac was born. When the boy was three years old, his mother remarried and moved to another town.

Isaac stayed on at the farm in Woolsthorpe with his grandmother. After attending small country school, he was sent at the age of twelve to the Kings School in the near by town of Grantham. At first Isaac was a poor student. He cared little for school work, perferring to paint, make kites, write in notebooks, or invent toys. He made no friends. Silent and dreamy, he was at the bottom of his class.

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Oddly, it was a savage kick by a school bully that caused Newton’s great mind to awaken. The mild, dreamy boy flew into a rage and beat the other boy thoroughly. Isaac determined to beat the bully in school work as well. Soon Isaac was at the head of his class. In 1656 Newton’s stepfather died. His mother returned to Woolsthorpe to take care of the farm left by Newton’s father.

But she could not manage the farm by herself. Isaac was taken out of school and brought home to help her. As a farmer, Newton proved to be a dismal failure. He neglected the necessary chores and thought only of books to study and mechanical things to make. There are many stories about him at that time that show how absent minded he was becoming. One day while he was leading a horse, the animal slipped its bridle and ran away. Isaac continued walking home with the empty bridle, unaware that the horse was gone. When an idea got into Newton’s head, he could think of nothing else.

Once, during a storm, his mother sent him to shut the barn doors to keep them from being torn off. Half an hour later she went to see what was keep the boy so long. He had forgotten all about the barn doors. They were riped off the hinges, and Newton was jumping again and again from an open window to the ground. Each time, he marked the spot where he landed.

Newton was trying to measure the force of the wind. when the gusts were strong, hes jumps were longer than when the wind was weaker.Realizing that her son was simply not suited to farm life, Newton’s mother sent him back to Kings School. He graduated in 1661. When he was 18 years old, Newton went to Trinity College in Cambridge University. He quickly proved to his teachers that he was no ordinary student.

He read all the books he could get, especially those on mathematics and physics. These interested him the most. His professors were amazed to find that Newton knew about certain subjects even before he was taught. the young man has mastered the subjects by himself. In 1665, when Newton was only 25 years old, he worked out a basic formula in Mathematics that has been used ever since. Today it is called the Binomial Theroem.

That same year, 1665, Isaac graduated from Trinity College. He wanted to stay on at the university to continue his studies. But the plague, the Black Death, had broken out in England. The university was closed and the students sent home, for the fear that the plague would strike Cambridge. Newton then returned to Woolsthorpe.

Fear of the plague keep Newton close to the farm for the next 18 months. Almost always alone, He spent his time thinking out mathematical problems. in those 18 months he laid the foundation for his lifes work. During that time he hit upon a new mathematical tool he called fluxions or flowing quantities. Today it is called calculus.

One day in 1665 Newtin was sitting in the garden in Woolsthorpe, thinking about force that kept the moon moving around the earth, he saw an apple fall from a tree. This set him thinking about falling objects. Why did they fall down and not up? It must be because the earth is attracting all objects to itself. The same force that made the apple fall downward must also be attracting the moon and helping to keep it in orbit. From these thoughts Newton began to work out the law concerning attraction between all objects in the universe.

The law is called the law of Universal gravitation. While at Woolsthorpe, Newton began experimenting with light. he succeeded in showing that a beam of sunlight is made up of bands of colors from red to violet, as in a rainbow. he called these bands the spectrum. After the plague ended, Newton returned to Cambridge and continued working on light and color.

This work led him to the discovery of the reflecting telescope. Most modern telescopes, such as that on Mount Palomar in California, are based on Newton’s telescope. In recognition of his work in mathematics and optics (the science of light) Newton was appointed professor of Mathematics at Trinity College in 1669. Early in 1672 he was elected a member of the Royal Society. Although Newton experimented mostly with optics during these years at Trinity College, his mind always return to the question of gravitation.

He was trying to calculate the exact amount of force that objects exert on each other. Rather then spending time with people, he spent his time working. He made very few friends and became more absentminded then ever. Finally he completed the mathematics of the law of gravitation. using this law, Newton in 1682 proved mathematically one of the laws of Planetary Motion. This law was stated by the german astronomer Johannes Kepler in the early 1600’s but he was not able to show mathematical proof. Because he was a shy man who cared little for fame, Newton put these and other calculations away in a drawer instead of making them public.

But his few friends knew of the brilliant work he was doing. Atlast they persauded Newton to right a book in which he would explain his work on Planetary Motion, Gravitation, and other matters. In 1685 newton plunged into his gigantic taks. He drove himself mercilessly, scarcely eating and sleeping. As he walked into his garden a thought might suddenly occur to him. He would rush upstairs to his room to jot it down, not even sitting down to write.

Newton’s book The Mathematical Principals of Natural Philosophy appeared in 1687. It was written in latin, the language which most scientific books were written in those times. Newton’s book is usually called the Principia, after its Latin title. Many scientists think its the most important scientific book ever written. It contains Newton’s famous three laws of motion.

It also contained his law of universal gravitation. This law applies not only to heavenly bodies. It also explains why a baseball drops from your hand to the ground and why a particle of dust settles on a bookshelf. During later years Newton served his country in Parliament, as well as in other ways. In 1703 he was elected president of the Royal Society, and in 1705 he was knighted by Queen Anne. Isaac Newton died in 1727.

He was burried in Westminster Abbey, among the great men of England. His statue stands today in the hall of Trinity College, Cambridge University. bibliography: David C. knight. “isaac Newtons, Mastermind of modern Science” Groiler inc.

Canada, 1969.

Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton Isaac Newton was a well-known English scientist. He accomplished a lot during his time and influenced the world a great deal. He is considered to have contributed more to science than any other person. His life can be divided into three periods. The first one was his early childhood, he second was the time of his accomplishments, and the third is his later life. Isaac Newton was born on December 25, 1642 in Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire, England.

His family was poor and his parents farmed for a living. His father died three months before he was born. His mother later remarried a minister and Newton went to stay with his grandmother. He attended a grammar school at the age of eleven, but did not do well. His teachers said that he did not pay attention.

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His mother then decided to pull him out of school and put him in charge of her properties. Newton decided that he did not want to do this, and, with the help of his uncle, Newton convinced his mother to let him return to school. Stokes, the headmaster of the school, saw that Newton had potential, therefore, he put extra time into tutoring, guiding and mentoring Newton (OConnor & Robertson 1-2). Newton entered Cambridge College on June 5, 1661. He was older than most of the students there and entered as a sizar (a student who received money for college expenses in exchange for being a servant to other students). He wanted to major in law. At Cambridge he studied the philosophies of Aristotle and many other philosophist.

During his third year he learned about the philosophies of Descartes, Gassending, but mostly of Boyle. He also read book about Copernicus and his relation to astronomy as well as Galileo and Kepler. Newton became fascinated by the ideas of these scientists. He began recording his thought in a book, which was called Quaestiones Quaedam Philosophicae. He received his bachelors degree in April 1665 (OConnor & Robertson 2-3).

Newton made many accomplishments during his lifetime. His major accomplishments in the fields of math, physics, and optics are well known. For his accomplishment in math, he is considered to have invented Calculus. Although his works of Calculus were not published before a man name Leibniz, but Newton is still considered as the inventor of Calculus. Newton discovered the Binomial Theorem, which was used for fractional powers (Weinstein 2).

He also developed many analytical ways to solve many problems such as: find areas, tangents, lengths of curves, and the maxima and minima of functions (OConnor & Robertson 3). As mathematician, Newton and Leibniz invented differential calculus. He also calculated a formula for finding the velocity of sound in a gas, which was later corrected by Laplace (Chew 1). Newton made many contributions to the field of physics. He developed the three laws of motion. The first was the law of inertia.

This law stated that objects in motion would continue to move in that direction at a constant velocity unless an outside force acts upon it. His second law stated that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Finally, his third law sate that forces causes masses to accelerate. As the acceleration increases the force increases as well. They are directly proportion to each other. Newton is considered to come up with the theory of universal gravitation.

This is not totally true, but he did contribute to it. Newton made a huge impact on theoretical astronomy. He defined the laws of motion and universal gravitation, which he used to predict precisely the motions of stars, and the planets around the sun. Using his discoveries in optics Newton constructed the first reflecting telescope (Chew1). Other accomplishments that Newton made in the physics field was discovering the law about centrifugal force on body that is moving in a circular path. He did not totally understand the idea of circular motion.

In 1666 Newtons main idea was that the Earths gravity influenced the moon, therefore counterbalancing its centrifugal force. From this and Kelplers law of planetary motion, Newton came up with the inverse-square law (OConnor & Robertson 5). Newton made many accomplishments to the physics field. Newton wrote many books during his time. One of his most famous was Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy.

Newton had a mental breakdown in 1675 and was still recovering in 1679. His friend, a man by the name of Halley, was interested in orbits and; therefore, he convinced Newton to publish his works. From August 1684 to the spring of 1686, Newton devoted his time into doing this. Finally, in 1687, a book was published called Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. There were three parts to this book.

The first contained definitions and talked about the three laws of motion. The three laws that were discussed are the law of inertia, the law of action and reaction, and the theory of how acceleration was proportion to force. The second part contained Newtons new scientific theory, and the third part included an explanation for why tides occur and the theory of lunar motion. The book also contained his set of four rules for scientific reasoning. The first one is we are to admit no more causes of natural things such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.

The second rule was the same natural effects must be assigned to the same causes. The third rule stated, qualities of bodies are to be esteemed as universal, and the fourth rule stated, propositions deduced from observation of phenomena should be viewed as accurate until other phenomena contradict them, (Weinstein 1-2). Newton followed these four rules when conducting experiments and investigating. Newton wrote another famous book in 1704 called Optics. In this book Newton talked about how he observed that white light could be separated by a prism into a spectrum of different colors.

Each of the colors would have a different refractivity. He performed many experiments at Cambridge. In one of his experiments he found out that the image that a prism produced was not circular like current theories of light required, but was oval-shaped. In this experiment, he observed a half-red, half-blue string through a prism and saw the ends were disjointed. He observed Newtons rings, which was actually a materialization of the wave nature of light. Newton did not believe in the materialization of the wave nature of light.

He believed that light has to move faster in medium when it is refracted. Newtons discoveries about light were a major contribution to the science field (Weinstein 2). Newton spent most of his later portion of his life devoted to alchemical researches and trying to date events in the Bible. He was appointed Warden of the British Mint in 1695 and was knighted by Queen Anne (Weinstein 3). He died in 1727 and was buried in Westminster Abbey. He is the first scientist with this honor. After his death, it was discovered that he had extremely large amounts of mercury in his body. Many say this could be a result of his alchemical pursuits (Weinstein 3). He is considered to be one of the most influential scientists who ever lived. His accomplishments in mathematics, optics, and physics laid the fundamentals for modern science and changed the world.

Bibliography Works Cited Chew, Robin. Isaac Newton. newton.html December 1995. OConnor JJ & Robertson, E F. Isaac Newton. aticians/Newton.html January 2000. Weinstein, Eric W.

Newton, Isaac. February 21, 2000. Physics.


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