Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton is recognized as one of the most influential scientists of all times. He is an English mathematician and a well-known physicist. He is honored as a key figure in the scientific revolution of the modern world. He has contributed in the fields of physics, mathematics, astronomy, theology, natural philosophy etc.

He was born on4th January, 1643 at Lincolnshire, England. His father died three months before Newton was born. So his mother, Hannah Ayscough remarried Reverend Barnabas Smith when Isaac Newton was two years old. He was left at the care of his grandmother, Margery Ayscough. Basically treated as an orphan, he didn’t have a happy childhood. There is no doubt that Isaac felt very bitter towards his mother and his step-father. This may have affected him for the rest of his life, and he was always known as an absent-minded professor.  

Isaac Newton studied in the King’s School at Grantham, which taught Latin and Greek and probably imparted a significant foundation of mathematics. People remember Newton most for the formulated version of the laws of motion. He also shows credit with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz for developing the infinitesimal “Calculus”. He built the first practical reflecting telescope and developed a sophisticated theory of color; based on the observation that prism separates white light into the colors of the visible spectrum. His work on light was collected in this highly influential book ‘Optics’ published in 1704. He also made the 1st theoretical calculation of speed of sound. In 1665, he discovered the generalized binominal theorem. 

Beyond his work on the mathematical sciences, Newton dedicated much of his time to the study of Alchemy and Biblical chronology, but most of his work in those areas remained unpublished, until long after his death. He also used his mathematical description of gravity to prove kepler’s laws of planetary motion, account for the trajectories of comets and other eradicating doubt about the solar system.

Newton had obtained his BA degree in august 1665. At that time, the University of Cambridge temporarily closed as a precaution against the great plague. He was knighted by Queen Anne in 1705 and he spent the last 3 decades of his life in London, serving as a warden and the master of the royal mint, as well as president of royal society. He was also the 2nd lucasian professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University.

There is a famous joke in his life which also led to the discovery of a very important field: gravity. At a worm autumn afternoon, Newton was sitting in his orchard. All of a sudden, an apple fell on his head. ‘Ouch’, said Isaac. But the blow set him thinking about gravity. Why did the apple fall? Why did it come downwards, not upwards? Newton reasoned that every object attracts every other object with the pull of gravity. The force is everywhere; gravity is everywhere. The earth’s gravity extends out into the space. The sun’s gravity keeps all the planets in their orbits or else they would fly off! This is said to be Newton’s greatest discovery.

He never got married, probably because he didn’t have time. He was the greatest physicist of that time. So, after he died in 1726, he was given a national funeral at Westminster abbey. Though he was the student and teacher of Mathematics, he is still remembered for his influential and monumental works, as the greatest physicist of all times.

Rukaiya Binte hasan

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