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A Life Worth Knowing: Isaac Newton

1126 words - 5 pages

Did you know today more than ever we are conscious of the great work of Sir Isaac Newton, for without Newton's understanding of the laws of gravity and motion we could not have rockets and satellites? (Bevlah, Stillman, epilogue) Newton is worth knowing because he "laid the foundation for differential and integral calculus, his work on optics and gravitation made him one of the greatest scientists the world has ever known." (http://www.ucc.ie)Isaac Newton was born on the 4th of January 1643, although by the calendar in use at the time of his birth he was born on Christmas Day 1642.(http://www.bbc.co.uk)After a series of debilitating diseases he died on the 31st of March in 1727. Newton was born in Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth (at Woolsthorpe Manor), a small town in the county of Lincolnshire. Newton was prematurely born and no one expected him to live; his mother, Hannah Ayscough Newton, was reported to have said that his body at that time could have fit inside a quart mug (Bell 1937). Isaac's father had died three months before his birth. When Newton was two, his mother went to live with her new husband, leaving her son in the care of his grandmother. "He began his schooling in neighboring towns, and at age ten was sent to the grammar school at nearby Grantham. While attending school he lived at the house of a pharmacist named Clark, from whom he may have acquired his lifelong interest in chemical operations. The young Newton seems to have been a quiet boy who was skilled with his hands. He made sundials, model windmills, a water clock, a mechanical carriage, and flew kites with lanterns attached to their tails." (http://www.embajadauruguay.com.ar)One reason Newton is worth knowing is for his major advancements in science and math. Newton is credited with the binomial theorem, he and Gottfried Leibniz also developed calculus. But in 1699 the royal society accused Leibniz of plagiarizing Newton's work. "This dispute created a divide between British and Continental mathematicians, that may have retarded the progress of British mathematics by at least a century." (St. Hilda's School) Out of Newtons many other mathematical achievements his most famous were the new formulae for pi, differentiation (which is drawing tangents to curves), and the theory of finite differences. (www.blupete.com) Newton also had many very important works in science. "His three laws of motion and the basic principles of modern physics, resulted in the formulation of the law of universal gravitation. Newton's "Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica" (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy), 1687, is believed to be one of the most important single works in the history of modern science." (UM, Twin Cities)Another reason Newton is worth knowing is his extensive work as a Philosopher and physicist. Newton wrote a great deal on ethics and morals. One of Isaac Newton's most famous philosophy areas was natural philosophy and philosophy of science. Newton later wrote a...

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