A tribute to the supreme genius and most enigmatic character in the history of Science: Sir Issac Newton.
Legend really never dies! Gone but never forgotten!
On this day , In 1643, a great physicist, mathematician, astronomer, theologian, philosopher and author was born. Newton, the greatest man to ever grace the world of science. A very Happy Birthday!
Newton’s fame grew even more after his death, as many of his contemporaries proclaimed him the greatest genius who ever lived. Maybe a slight exaggeration, but his discoveries had a large impact on Western thought, leading to comparisons to the likes of Plato, Aristotle and Galileo.
Although his discoveries were among many made during the Scientific Revolution, Newton’s universal principles of gravity found no parallels in science at the time.
Of course, Newton was proven wrong on some of his key assumptions. In the 20th century, Albert Einstein would overturn Newton’s concept of the universe, stating that space, distance and motion were not absolute but relative and that the universe was more fantastic than Newton had ever conceived.
Newton might not have been surprised: In his later life, when asked for an assessment of his achievements, he replied, “I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the beaches, and diverting myself now and then in finding a smoother pebble or prettier shell than ordinary, while the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”
Mathematical achievements of Newton
- Generalized binomial theorem.
- Developed theory of Calculus.
- Newton’s identities.
- Newton’s method.
- Classified cubic plane curves (polynomials of degree three in two variables).
- Substantial contributions to the theory of finite differences.
- Use of fractional indices.
- Used geometry to derive solutions to Diophantine equations.
- Used power series with confidence and to revert power series.
- Discovered a new formula for pi.
Major Scientific achievements:
- Optics: Developed the spectrum by splitting white light through a prism.
- Telescope: Newton started working on another type of telescope that he thought should get rid of chromatic aberration. Instead of using a lens to focus the light from a star, Newton used a mirror. He experimented with different metals and polishing methods and made reflecting telescope.
- Mechanics and Gravitaion: Explained the three laws of motion that laid the framework for modern physics. The most popular anecdote about Newton is the story of how the theory of gravitation came to him, after being hit on the head with a falling apple. In reality, Newton and his friends may have exaggerated this story. Nevertheless, it is quite likely that seeing apples fall from trees may have influenced his theories of gravity.
Some of his famous books:
1.The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy
3.The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended
4.A Short Scheme of the True Religion
5.Laws of Gravitation
Some of his famous quotes :
1.Errors are not in the art but in the artificers.
2.In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence.
3.Atheism is so senseless. When I look at the solar system, I see the earth at the right distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance.
4.We build too many walls and not enough bridges.
5.I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.
6.Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.
7.’God’ is a relative word and has a respect to servants, and ‘Deity’ is the dominion of God, not over his own body, as those who imagine fancy God to be the soul of the world, but over servants.
8.Physics, beware of metaphysics.
9.Live your life as an exclamation rather than an explanation.
10.Plato is my friend, Aristotle is my friend, but my greatest friend is the truth.
11.If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been due more to patient attention, than to any other talent.
12.I believe the more I study science, the more I believe in God.
13.A passion for calculus can unlock new worlds.
14.He who thinks half-heartedly will not believe in God, but he who really thinks has to believe in God.
Facts about Newton:
- Isaac Newton suffered two nervous breakdowns.
- Newton was fascinated with religion, though didn’t hold Christian orthodox views. He wrote an article on textual criticism of the Bible.
- When Issac Newton was an Infant, he could fit inside a quartz size mug.
- He wrote more about religion and alchemy than he wrote for science.
- Isaac Newton never got married.
- Newton tried to turn Lead into Gold.
- The apple tree that inspired his work on gravitation is still alive.
- Despite being born on January 4, he was born on Christmas Day. It may be confusing. At the time of his birth, the Gregorian calendar hadn’t been adopted by England yet (it took them until 1752, and Newton was born in 1643). Records indicate that Isaac was born on Christmas and baptized on New Year’s Day. When the Gregorian calendar was finally adopted by England, it needed adjusted by 11 days, making January 4 Isaac’s recognized birthday.
- English poet Alexander Pope Isaac Newton, a member of the Parliament of England wrote the following epithet for Newton.
“Nature and nature’s laws lay hid in night;
God said “Let Newton be” and all was light.”
Newton’s legacy, the prominent there was, the prominent there is & the prominent there ever will be. Happy Birthday, Sir Issac Newton!