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Isaac Newton (Mathematician)

Who Was Isaac Newton?

Isaac Newton was a mathematician and physicist, widely regarded as perhaps the greatest scientific intellect of all time.

Newton's masterwork was his book, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. In it he laid down laws of motion. He explained mathematically how objects move: whether an apple falling from a tree under gravity or planets moving around the Sun in a solar system.

His book, Opticks, he made major advances in optics, the study of the properties and behavior of light.

His main mathematical achievement was developing calculus.

He was an Member of Parilament and Master of the Royal Mint, responsible for England's coins.

Isaac Newton's Life

Isaac Newton was born in 1642 in England.

In 1661, he entered Cambridge University. He was elected a Fellow of Trinity College in 1667, then Lucasian Professor of Mathematics in 1669.

In 1671 he was elected a Fellow of the prestigious Royal Society in London. He became the President of the Society in 1703, and was re-elected every year until his death.

In 1689, he was elected as the Member of Parliament for the University of Cambridge. He became the Master of the Mint in 1999, responsible for England's coins; a post he held to the end of his life.

Isaac Newton died in 1727, and was burined in Wesminster Abbey.


Calculus is a very important branch of mathematics.

The slider below gives a brief summary of Newton's work on calculus and why it is useful.
Name: Isaac Newton
Born: 25 December 1642, Woolsthorpe, England
Died: 20 March 1727, London, England
Famous for: Calculus, Laws of motion, Gravity, Laws of cooling, Optics

Isaac Newton and the Apple

One of the ost famous stories in science is when Isaac Newton watched an apple fall from a tree in his mother's garden - which inspired his theory of gravity.

Newton realised that just as gravity pulled the apple to the ground, the same force kept the Moon in orbit around the Earth, and the Earth around the Sun. In fact, the movement of all the planets could be worked out using Newton's law.

Newton's 3 Laws

Newton laid down 3 laws of motion:
  • 1st Law: Every body persists in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight forward, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by force impressed.

  • 2nd Law: The alteration of motion is ever proportional to the motive force impress'd; and is made in the direction of the right line in which that force is impress'd.

  • 3rd Law: To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction: or the mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal, and directed to contrary parts.
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