Isaac Newton (1643–1727)

Isaac Newton

1643 On the 4th of January, Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire, England, Isaac Newton was born. His father was a successful farmer that died three months before Newton’s birth. His mother married again and Isaac was left in his grandmother’s care.

1661 He started to attend Cambridge Universities’ courses where he was interested in Maths, Physics, photics and astronomy.

1665 On October, a plague epidemics forced university to stop courses and Newton came back to Wollsthorpe. The two years he spent there meant an extremely prosperous time when he started to think to gravitation. He also spent time dealing with his idea regarding photics and Maths, “fluctuations” (calculation). From the mid 1660s, Newton made a series of experiments related to composition of light and discovered that the white light is made of the same colour system that can be distinguished in a rainbow and regarding optics modern style establishing (or light behaviour).

1667 Newton returned to Cambridge where he became member of Trinity College.

1669 He was appointed secondary Maths teacher at Lucasian.

1687 This year, helped by his friend, astronomer Edmond Halley, Newton published his greatest work, “Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica” (“Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy”).  This showed the way a universal force, gravitation, is applied to all objects, all over the universe. The published book was a great triumph and a climax of scientific revolution. His ideas about gravitation were published after 20 years since it had been discovered. The most shocking realization was the idea that the Moon is kept on its orbit not by a magnetic force, as it was supposed, but by a gravitational force done by the Earth.

1688 He was thinking to a telescope that was done in this year (according to other sources in 1670), fact that made him known within scientific community. He made the first “reflector telescope” that sparked valve and because of which he was elected member of Royal Society in London. This telescope used a concave mirror like a plate in order to get a clearer image, the resulting image being seen through a side of telescope’s pipe.

1689 Newton was elected Member of Parliament for Cambridge University (1689-1690 and 1701-1702).

1696 Newton was appointed Director of Royal Mint and moved to London. He seriously dealt with Mint’s problems and launched a campaign against corruption and ineffectiveness within the organization.

1703 He was elected President of Royal Society; he had this office until he died.

1704 Newton published: “Optiks” that deals with light and colour. He also studied and published history, theology and alchemy works.

1705 He was ennobled by Queen Anna.

1727 Isaac Newton died on the 31st of March and was buried to Westminster Abbey. He was considered the greatest English physicist and mathematician and the greatest scientist of his age. Newton was a difficult man, susceptible to depression, implied in bitter arguments with other scientists, but at the beginning of 1700s he was the dominant figure in British and European science.

Scientist physicists added the two famous names even Einstein lived three centuries of scientific and technical evolution. In century XX Newtonian laws were considered questionable. Einstein’s relativity theory seemed to destroy the laws that had consecrated one day the Englishman from Cambridge. Current scientists, that are interested in the smallest dimensions, the atom, considered that the three laws of Newtonian growth and that of Newtonian gravitation cannot be applied to tiny bodies that move close to the speed of light. But for Terra, planets, spacecraft, bodies around us, Newton’s laws are perfect nowadays too.[1]






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