One of the most renowned physicists of all times, Sir Isaac Newton is also credited as a great mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian. Through his Philosophiĉ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, he laid down the groundwork for most of classical mechanics. He also described universal gravitation and the three laws of motion, used in science till date. Newton also laid down the principles of conservation of both momentum and angular momentum, built the first practical reflecting telescope, developed the differential and integral calculus (along with Gottfried Leibniz) and contributed to the study of power series.
Isaac Newton was born on December 25, 1642, at Woolsthorpe Manor in Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, a hamlet in the county of Lincolnshire. He lost his father three months before his birth. After Newton turned three, his mother remarried, leaving him under the care of his maternal grandmother. He attended The King's School, Grantham, from 12 to 17 years of age, where his learning and mechanical proficiency won him some attention. In June 1661, he was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge, as a sizar.
In Cambridge, Newton took up Mathematics. His mathematical reading as an undergraduate was founded on Kepler's Optics, the works of Vieta, van Schooten's Miscellanies, Descartes's Geometrie, and Wallis's Arithmetica Infinitorum. He also attended Barrow's lectures. At a later time, on reading euclid more carefully, he formed a high opinion of it as an instrument of education. In 1665, Newton took his B.A. degree and wrote a manuscript, dated May 28, 1665. It is the earliest documentary proof of his invention of fluxions. About the same time, he discovered the binomial theorem.
Law Of Universal Gravitation & Prism Theory
During 1665 and 1666, Newton made brilliant discoveries. He formed the fundamental principles of his theory of gravitation at that time. It said that every particle of matter attracts every other particle. He suspected that the attraction varied as the product of their masses and inversely as the square of the distance between them. He worked out the fluxional calculus in a manuscript dated November 13, 1665. He used fluxions to find the tangent and the radius of curvature at any point on a curve. In October 1666, he applied them to several problems in the theory of equations.
Newton tried to find out a way to corroborate on the ideas of Galileo and Johannes Kepler on how planets circle the sun. He made a link between the force that kept the moon from being thrown away from the earth and earth's Gravitational force. He called his findings the 'Law of Universal Gravitation'. He then experimented with the 'celebrated phenomenon of colors'. People were using prisms to experiment with color, and thought that the prism colored the light. He proved that white light was made up of colors mixed together, and the prism merely separated them. He was the first person to understand the rainbow.
Invention Of Reflecting Telescope
In October 1669, Newton became the second Lucasian professor of mathematics. Barrow appointed him to the post when the former stood down. For the first year of his tenure, Newton devoted much of his time in continuing his optics research. After this, encouraged by Barrow and John Collins, he focused again on mathematics. It was Newton's reflecting telescope, made in 1668, which finally brought him into full view of the scientific community. In the late 1670s, theological studies occupied most of his time.
Later Life & Death
Newton began to study the history of the church, starting in the fourth and fifth centuries. In 1686, he presented his single greatest work, the Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy). In it, Newton revealed his laws of motion, and the law of universal gravitation. In 1696 Newton was appointed Warden of the London Mint, becoming Master in 1699. In 1689, he was elected a Member of Parliament for the University of California.
Newton was elected President of the Royal Society in 1703 and held the post until his death. Less than two years after his election as President of the Royal Society, Queen Anne knighted him in Cambridge. In 1709, Newton began work on a second edition of Principia, and he also published a second edition of Optics. After a series of debilitating illnesses, Newton died on March 31, 1727. He was buried in Westminster Abbey. After his death, it was discovered that Newton body had massive amounts of mercury in his body.