Sir Isaac Newton – Life & Work
Sir Isaac Newton was born in mid-1600s rural England to a recently widowed mother (there is some debate on the actual date of birth). He would go on to be one of the most influential scientists of all time.
His legendary work on gravity and physics were hugely important to the 17th century scientific revolution. Newton’s magnum opus, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (also known as Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica), has served as the definitive text on physics for centuries.
Newton’s Three Laws are an introduction into the subject of physics. They are:
1. A stationary body will stay stationary unless an external force is applied to it.
2. Force is equal to mass times acceleration, and a change in motion is proportional to the force applied
3. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
A literal Renaissance man, Sir Isaac Newton was also a biblical scholar, and debated Old Testament passages with famous philosopher John Locke. Newton was also warden and master for the British Royal Mint, and had a very successful career convicting counterfeiters.
Sir Isaac Newton died on 31 March 1727.
Sir Isaac Newton at Cambridge
Sir Isaac Newton studied at Trinity College, University of Cambridge. He was reportedly not a stellar student, but was competent enough to earn a four year scholarship to continue his education. It was during his scholarship that the mythical apple incident is said to have occurred: Newton saw an apple fall from a tree and was inspired to study gravity.
After a brief hiatus from the College, which had to close on account of the Plague, Newton returned to receive his Master of Arts degree in 1669. He went on to become the second Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, a position that Stephen Hawking would one day hold.
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