He is considered to be one of the most important scientists of all time. Mathematician, physicist, astronomer, alchemist and theologian, the Englishman Isaac Newton (1643 – 1727) is among the most remarkable and valuable scientists in the world, he is the scientist who revolutionized the fields of optics, mathematics and mechanics.
“If we have made valuable discoveries in life, it is due more to patience and attention than to any other talent,” Newton said.
He was born prematurely on January 4, 1643, in Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire (England), shortly before his biological father died. His childhood was not one of the happiest.
Isaac Newton, studious from a young age
After the death of her husband, Newton’s mother remarries and moves to a neighboring village, to the new family, leaving little Isaac in the care of his grandmother. The old woman had plans for her grandson. He saw the boy becoming a promising peasant, taking care of the pigs on the farm and devoted to other household chores.
But Isaac’s concerns were far from farming. Attentive to the phenomena around him, an observer of nature, Isaac tried to understand how shadows are formed, how the sun’s rays fall, how colors are formed.
To find out. As much. As many. As soon as possible.
At 12, Isaac was sent to school to learn to read and write. In the idea that all this would suit even a peasant… And since the school was very far from home, the boy had to move nearby, finding accommodation in a pharmacist’s house, a house of miracles, in the conception to Isaac, given that the apothecary had a library full of science books, just what Isaac was interested in. To find out. As much. As many. As soon as possible.
Thus, he entered the world of astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, managing to acquire things that he would never have learned at the village school.
Student at Cambridge
Withdrawn from school after a few years, and with the hope that young Isaac had studied enough when the time came to resume his status as a farmer, Newton’s mother and grandmother’s plans failed (again) as, further , Isaac showed absolutely no interest in farm life, except that he was always looking around him to observe, as I have already said, various natural phenomena. Otherwise, under his care, the hogs might have starved and ravaged the farm fields, because Newton had no intention of raising them or even guarding them.
So, after a while, with the help of his uncle, here is Newton a student at Trinity College of the University of Cambridge (1661), together with poor young men who, after finishing their classes, were forced to work as servants in the institution academic. Isaac Newton studied, worked and studied again. He read enormously, devouring with great interest all the science books that passed through his hands, being particularly fascinated by the works of Aristotle and Descartes.
The plague and the year of discoveries
London, 1665. Cambridge University closes due to the outbreak of the deadly plague. The plague was spreading rapidly and thousands were dying daily. Thus, Isaac Newton makes the decision to leave Cambridge to retire to the family farm, where he felt safe, the native village being quite sparsely populated.
On the farm, in the quiet and in the middle of nature, Newton again began to ask his eternal questions about the environment, but this time, his observations had a different perspective. That of a mind already fed with information that helped Newton to understand differently the scientific dilemmas that his mind was always harboring.
Newton’s first important discovery
Once back at Cambridge, Newton would make his first important discovery. Namely, the fact that white light is a combination of all colors. So, with rudimentary means, Newton was able to break down light into all the colors of the rainbow and then recompose it into its original spectrum using what is today known as Newton’s disc.
The formulas he discovered allowed the explanation of many phenomena and are still used today. Thanks to his curiosity, ambition and desire for continuous study, Isaac Newton became one of the world’s greatest scientists.
“I don’t know what I look like to the world, but to myself I seem to be a boy playing on the seashore, and amuse myself by finding the occasional smooth pebble or a peculiar shell, while the great ocean of truth lies unknown before me .”
Newton’s biography in brief
He was born on January 4, 1643, in Woolsthorpe Manor House, England, and died on March 31, 1727 (aged 84). His main scientific works are “Optics”, “Mathematical principles of natural philosophy”, “Method of fluxes and infinite series”.
His subjects of study that revolutionized the world of science were the Tangent Method or Newton’s Method (a method for determining the root of a real function), color (Newton argued that the phenomenon of colors arises by decomposing the heterogeneous mixture into simple components, arguing that each light ray gives the sensation of color when it comes into contact with the retina), gravity and the inverse square law of gravity (the force of gravitational attraction between two point masses is directly proportional to the product of the masses and inversely proportional to the square of their separation distance).
In 1687, Newton published the work “Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica”, in the pages of which he demonstrated the Law of universal attraction, by studying the laws of the movement of bodies, laying the foundations of classical mechanics. Together with Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646 – 1716, German philosopher and mathematician), he contributed to the foundation and development of differential and integral calculus.
Newton is the first man to demonstrate that the laws of nature govern the movement of the terrestrial globe, but also of other heavenly bodies.
Isaac Newton is well known for his discoveries in optics (the composition of white light) and mathematics (calculation), but he is most famous for formulating the three laws of motion that are the basic principles of modern physics. The formulation of the laws of motion led to the law of universal gravitation, and a good part of society built up to this day is due to the application of these laws.
“Every body persists in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a straight line, unless compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it”
“The alteration of motion is always proportional to the motive force impressed, and is in the direction of the straight line in which that force is impressed”
“The mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal and directed to opposite parts.”
In 1696, moved to London, Isaac Newton was, in turn, treasurer of the royal mint, Lord Treasurer of the Kingdom, member of the Royal Society of London and, in 1703, its president. In 1705, Queen Anne of England gave him the title of Sir (Lord).
Sir Isaac Newton never married.