Isaac Newton is one of the greatest historical figures who will remain the annals of history, because of his numerous contributions to different scientific fields such as mathematics and physics. As Hall (Para 1) argues, “Generally, people have always regarded Newton as one of the most influential theorists in the history of science”. Most of his scientific experiments and abstracts laid the foundation of the modern day scientific inventions, as he was able to prove and document different theoretical concepts.
For example, his publication “Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy,” is one of the best scientific reference materials in physics and mathematics. Newton is well remembered for his numerous scientific discoveries such the laws of gravity, differential and integral calculus, the working of a telescope, and the three laws of linear motion. In addition to science, Newton was also very religious, because of the numerous biblical hermeneutics and occult studies that he wrote in his late life (1).
Newton‘s Early Life, Middle and Late Life
Newton’s Early Life
Newton was born to Puritan parents Isaac Newton and Hannah Ayscough in 1643 in the county of Lincolnshire, England.
He spent most of his childhood days with his grandmother, because his dad had passed away three months before he was born and he could not get along with his stepfather. As During his early years of school, Newton schooled at the King’s School, Grantham, although it never lasted for long, because the passing away of his stepfather in 1659 forced his family to relocate to Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth; hence, making him to drop out of school. His stay in Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth was short-lived, because through the influence of King’s school master Henry Strokes, his mother allowed him to go back to school and finish his studies. As a result of his exemplary performance in the King’s School, Newton got a chance of joining Trinity College, Cambridge on a sizar basis. In college, Newton was a very hardworking and fast learner, because in addition to reading the normal college curriculum materials that were based on Aristotle’s works, he was interested in reading more philosophical and astronomical works written by other philosophers such as Descartes and astronomers such as Galileo, and Thomas Hobes .
To a large extent, this laid the foundation for his later discoveries, because four years later in 1665, Newton invented the binomial theorem and came up with a mathematical theory, which he later modified to be called the infinitesimal calculus. The closure of Trinity College, Cambridge in the late 1665, because of the plague did not prevent Newton from advancing his studies on his own, as he continued with private studies at home. Through his private studies Newton was able to discover numerous theories the primary ones being calculus, optics, the foundation of the theory of light and color, and the law of gravitation.
Newton was very proud of his advancements, something that was evident in his words “ All this was in the two plague years of 1665 and 1666, for in those days I was in my prime of age for invention, and minded mathematics and philosophy more than at any time since,’ when college reopened (O’Connor and Robertson 1).
Newton’s middle Life
Upon the re-opening of his college in 1667, he was chosen as a minor fellow, and later as senior fellow when he embarked on his masters of Arts degree. In 1969, he was selected to replace Professor Isaac Barrow, who was the outgoing professor of Mathematics. His appointment gave him more opportunities of improving his early works in optics, which led to the release of his first project paper on the nature of color in 1672, after being elected to the Royal Society. This marked the start of the numerous publications that Newton released later, although he faced numerous challenges and oppositions from one the leading science researchers, Robert Hook. Between 1670 and 1672 Newton also taught optics at Trinity College, Cambridge.
This enabled him to do further researches on the concept of refraction of light using glass prisms leading to his discovery on refraction of light and development of the first Newtonian telescope using mirrors. Although the 1678 emotional breakdown suffered by Newton was a major setback to his work, after recovering, he continued with his early researches which led to the publication of the Principia; a publication that elaborated on the laws of motion and the universal law of gravity. In addition to this, the publication elaborated on some calculus laws primarily on geometrical analysis and some more explanations of the heliocentric theory of the solar system. This publication was followed by another publication that was the second edition of the Principia in 1713. This publication provided more explanations on the force of gravity and the force which made objects to be attracted to one another (Hatch 1).
Newton’s Late Life
His works in the Principia made Newton to a very respected and famous scientist of the time; hence, the nature of appointments, which he received in his late life.
For example, in 1689 he was selected as the parliamentary representative of Cambridge; one of the highest power seats of the time. As if this was not enough, in 1703 Newton become the president of the Royal Society, a seat he maintained until his death and Later on in 1704, Newton released a publication named “Opticks” (Fowler 1). The dawn of 1690’was a transitional period for Newton, as he ventured into the Bible World. As Hatch (1) argues “during this period Newton ventured into writing religious tracts with literal interpretation of the Bible.
” Some of his writings included some works which questioned the reality behind the Trinity and the Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended.
Newton’s Scientific Achievements
Newton was one of the most successful historical scientists, because of his numerous contributions to different fields of science such as optics, mathematics, geography, and physics. In mathematics Newton’s discoveries included the binomial theorem of analytical geometry, new methods of solving infinite series in calculus, and the inverse methods of fluxions. In optic, Newton was one of the first individuals to perform the first experiments on the decomposition of light and the working of the telescope, because of his early discovery on separation of the white light. This enabled Newton to formulate the Corpuscular Light Theory and discover other properties of the white light.
In addition to this, Newton also made numerous discoveries in Physics and mechanics such gravitational force, the centripetal force, the theory of fluids, and the revolution of planetary bodies. Further, Newton was made numerous discoveries in Alchemy and Chemistry, most of which are documented in his numerous publications on different areas of Alchemy, most of which were based on scientific experiments on matter (Hatch 1).
Although in his later life his level of wit his wit reduced, as Hatch (Para 13) argues, “Newton continued to exercise strong influence on the advancement of science, because of his position in the Royal Society.
Newton died at the age of eighty fours in 1727, leaving behind a legacy will always remembered in the history of humankind, because of his scientific works.
Fowler, Michael. Isaac Newton: Newton’s life. 2010. Web. 8 March.
edu/lectures/newton.html> Hall, Alfred. Isaac Newton’s life. Isaac Newton Institute of mathematical Sciences. 2011.
Web. 8 March. 2011.< http://www.newton.ac.
uk/newtlife.html> Hatch, Robert. Sir Isaac Newton. 1998. Web.
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clas.ufl.edu/users/ufhatch/pages/01-courses/current-courses/08sr-newton.htm> O’Connor, John and Robertson, Ernest. Sir Isaac Newton. Jan. 2000. Web.
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