Isaac Newton Essay
Isaac Newton is an English naturalist, mathematician, engineer, astronomer, physicist, and a founder of classical physics. The role of Newton’s discoveries for the history of science cannot be overemphasized. The eminent scientist Sir Isaac Newton made a huge contribution to the development of mathematics, astronomy, physics, and mechanics.
Isaac Newton was born on December 25, 1642, in Woolsthorpe. In the book Sir Isaac Newton - Biography Series, it is stated that “Isaac Newton was born on Christmas day, the same year the Italian mathematician physicist Galileo died”. Newton's father died before his birth, and when the boy was two years old, his mother remarried. She left the farm and, thus, grandmother on the material side was engaged in the upbringing of the future genius. At the age of 10 years old, Newton started attending the classical school. These years, he lived in the house of an apothecary who developed an interest in the various chemical manipulations. I think that this period of life has had a huge influence on the future great scientist because it is known that Newton all his life was interested in chemistry. Isaac Newton grew a quiet boy. In his childhood, he was not particularly interested in books. However, he loved doing something with his hands. He made several sun clocks, toy water mills, water clocks, a mechanical crew, and kites with flashlights attached to their tails. As it is seen, since his early childhood, Newton had skills to mechanic. Nevertheless, according to Newton’s confession, he was very inattentive at school.
In 1656, Newton’s mother returned to Woolsthorpe after the death of her second husband and took son out of school with the intention to make him a farmer. However, he showed no inclination to the farm business. Yielded the insistent persuasions of the school teacher, Newton’s mother finally allowed her son to prepare for admission to Cambridge University. In June 1661, Newton was admitted to Trinity College of Cambridge University where he spent almost all the next 30 years. Initially, Newton was a poor student who worked off his training serving the senior students. In 1664, he passed the exam for the scholarship, which gave him the right to study for three years at the master’s degree. A year later, Isaac Newton became a bachelor.
Soon after Newton became a bachelor, another surge of the plague came to England. Cambridge University was closed for quarantine. Newton took refuge from the plague in his native town from 1665 to 1667 experimenting at home. From the words of Newton, he reached all his main results in the field of optics, mechanics, and differential calculus during this time. During this period, he recorded his first thoughts about gravity. According to Newton, an impetus to the reflection on gravity was an apple that fell in front of him in the garden. He was trying to determine what kind of force could hold the Moon in its orbit. The drop of the apple let Newton to an idea that perhaps the same force of gravity was working with the apple. In Woolsthorpe, Isaac Newton put the first experiments on the study of light. During that time, the light was assumed to be homogeneous. However, experiments with a prism immediately showed that a beam of sunlight passing through it unfolds in a multi-colored striped – spectrum. Newton’s conclusions tested with the use of ingenious experiments included the fact that the sunlight is a combination of the rays of all the colors. The rays are monochromatic and separated because they have different refrangibility.
In 1668, Newton returned to Cambridge. Two years later, he started to give lectures on arithmetic, geometry, and optics. However, Newton’s lectures were not popular. Frequently, Isaac Newton was waiting for the audience in the empty auditorium and then went home. Students in Cambridge were not interested in this topic. During his time in Cambridge, Newton made all his primary researches. In 1669, he presented a report On Analysis by Equations Infinite Series, in which he brought a generalized binomial theorem. In 1679, Newton filed in the archives of Cambridge a written copy of the Lectures on Optics, and in February 1672, the Secretary of the Royal Society read the letter containing Newton’s new theory about light and colors. In 1672, the Royal Society showed Charles II the world’s first reflecting telescope made by Newton.
In subsequent years, Isaac Newton was engaged in a variety of mathematical, optical, and chemical studies. In 1679, he returned to the problem of planetary orbits. An idea that the gravitational force is inversely proportional to the square of the distance back from the Sun to the planets which he checked by the approximate calculations in Woolsthorpe was the subject of the extensive discussion. This law followed from the Kepler's third law establishing the relationship between the periods of rotation of planets around the sun and the radii of their orbits, and the formula of the centripetal acceleration of a body moving in a circle. The inverse problem – the determination of the orbit from the law of change of force with distance – Newton solved in around 1680. The scientist proved the theorem that spherically symmetrically distributed mass attracts external bodies as if all the mass is concentrated at the center.
For a long time, historians and writers were convinced that Newton was engaged in physical and mathematical sciences in Cambridge. However, in 1936, Newton’s diaries were discovered that were contrary with this information. It became apparent that Newton from 1660 to 1692 spent most of his working time on lessons in alchemy, and all his greatest study occupied a smaller part of his efforts. However, other researches stated that it was not alchemy but chemistry.
Isaac Newton moved away from science and teaching in connection with the end of the Restoration period. King James II began to attack the privileges of Protestants. Townspeople were against this. The first attempt to overthrow the king was in 1685. The revolt failed. However, the society of England did not give up. At this time, Newton joined the Whigs. At the end of 1688, the queen gave birth to an heir and Protestants decided to try a new rebellion. This rebellion was successful. King James escaped almost without a fight. The new king was enthroned under the name of William III. The new parliament was hastily convened. Isaac Newton entered a new convening of the Palace of Westminster as a deputy from Cambridge. He was not the most active parliamentarian. However, he worked in the parliamentary committee on religious minorities, participated in the preparation of the oath to King William, and promoted solutions in the interests of the University of Cambridge. After 1690, Newton was actively looking for opportunities to get a position in London and, eventually, he received it. Newton was appointed a superintendent of the Mint in the Tower. He was not engaged in deep research at the Mint. Nevertheless, to some extent, he used his experience of the experimenter and analytics. He timed the production and achieved the fact that minting of a single coin began to take less than a minute. By 1699, recoinage was generally completed and Newton was promoted to the head of the Mint. He conducted the same recoinage in Scotland, which joined England. In 1717, Isaac Newton entered the parliament with a proposal to introduce a new attitude of silver coins to gold. As a result, Britain was soon moved to a de facto gold standard. Newton retained the position of the head of the Mint until his death. In May 1705, Newton was knighted. Thus, he received the prefix “Sir” not for scientific services. He was made Lord before the next parliamentary elections partly for propaganda purposes and partly for his services in the coin business.
Having achieved wealth and status in society, Newton was almost not engaged in science. In his declining years, in 1703, he headed the Royal Society and published generalizing works on the basis of reports made in his youth. In 1704, he published Optics. At this time, a circle of scientists of the younger generation was around Newton. They actively used and developed Newtonian methods of experimental research and mathematical analysis, and glorified the genius of their teacher.
There is often an incorrect statement that in his old age, Newton moved away from the scientific rationalism to religion. However, it is a completely false description of Newton’s relationship with religion. He not only received theological training as part of his education in Cambridge but also read books on theology and wrote works on theological topics. Difficulties in understanding religious beliefs and work of Newton arise because at the end of the Age of Enlightenment there was an understanding of science and religion as mutually exclusive intellectual areas, one of which is possible only through rational knowledge, and the other through irrational belief. Newton held very peculiar religious beliefs, and, apparently, confessed Unitarianism. There are many debates about his religious views. Sometimes, he is described as the Arians as sometimes as the atheist. It is also argued that Newton was considered a prophet chosen by God and almost a messiah. Two of the most famous works of Newton on religion and theology are directly connected with his mathematical and astronomical work. In his summaries, there are settlements, by which, according to the Book of Daniel, there will be an end of the world in 2060. In 1728, Newton described the attempt to revise the biblical and mythological chronology on the basis of astronomical data in the direction of contraction. It was based on calculations and astronomical data. It was one of the first attempts to use the methods of related sciences for the scientific study of history, although unsuccessful.
Newton spent his last years in Kensington where he died in his sleep on 31 March 1727. The scientist was buried in Westminster Abbey. After Newton’s death, his cult became popular and universal. His works were first commented and retold in other scientific works, and then in a popular form. Newton’s followers published many books on the work and life of the scientist. These days, Isaac Newton remains very popular. Michael White states that “According to a list of the most influential people in history, Isaac Newton ranks number 2 – after Muhammad and ahead of Jesus Christ”.
Isaac Newton did not leave any descendants as was never married. All his spare time, he devoted to science, and his ordinary, gray appearance made him inconspicuous for women. Biographers mention only one sympathy that was in his youth. Studying at school, Newton was in love with Miss Storey, his coeval, with whom he maintained warm and friendly relations until the end of his days.
Isaac Newton is a talented British physicist and well-known mathematician. He is an astronomer and a famous genius in mechanics. Newton is one of the legendary founders of the base, classical physics and an honorary member, and later a president of the Royal Society of London. Isaac Newton discovered the law of gravity, developed differential and integral calculus, invented the reflecting telescope, and was the author of important experimental work on optics. Isaac Newton is rightly considered the creator of classical physics. According to my opinion, due to Newton, changes have occurred in philosophy, the religious thought, politics, and economics. Isaac Newton is a brilliant scientist who has had the greatest influence on the development of modern science, and, therefore, deserves one of the most honorable places among the most influential historical figures.