Sir Isaac Newton
On Christmas day of 1642 there was real joy to the word. Untapped joy due to the fact that the source was merely a premature newborn by the name of Isaac Newton. The world did not know of the knowledge that they would obtain, the immense contribution to math and science he would give, but they got a huge ...view middle of the document...
But, he was able to undergo a tremendous change in his life when he went to attend Cambridge University.
At Cambridge as an undergraduate he was in private study with Isaac Barrow, Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge. The professor saw that his grasp on Euclid, “The Father of Geometry” was poor. So in private study he was able to master the works of René Descartes, Pierre Gassendi, Thomas Hobbes, and other major factors of the scientific revolution. A series of surviving notebooks shows that by 1664 Newton had begun to master Descartes' Géométrie and other forms of mathematics way more advanced than Euclid which he had started with.
In 1665 Newton got his bachelor’s degree from Cambridge. Due to plague the school was closed down for two years. As a result he went back to Woolsthorpe and by being there for 18 months he was able to make a series of original contributions to science. As he later recalled, 'All this was in the two plague years of 1665 and 1666, for in those days I was in my prime of age for invention, and minded mathematics and philosophy more than at any time since.' In mathematics Newton comprehended his 'method of fluxions' (infinitesimal calculus). This was the basics for his theory of light and color, and gained tremendous insight into the problem of planetary motion.
In April 1667 Isaac returned to Cambridge and was elected a minor fellow at Trinity. His achievement followed good prosperity. In the next year he became a senior fellow while taking his Master of Arts degree, and in 1669, before he turned 27, he passed Isaac Barrow as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics. The responsibilities of this position gave Newton the opportunity to organize the results of his earlier optical researches. So in 1672 after his election to the Royal Society, he wrote his first public paper, a brilliant but debatable study on the nature of color. In the first of a series of unpleasant quarrels, Newton tangled with Robert Hooke. The succeeding controversy, which continued until 1678, established a pattern in Newton's behavior. After the first encounter, he quietly backed down. But, in 1675 Newton tried yet another paper. This again caught fire but this time it was charged with claims that he had plagiarized from Hooke.
In 1678, Newton underwent a serious emotional breakdown, and in the following year his mother died. Newton's initial reaction was to cut off contact with others and involve himself in alchemical research. These studies, once a humiliation to Newton professors, were not foolish considerations but testing investigations into the concealed forces of nature. Newton's alchemical studies opened new doors not found in the mechanical philosophy. While the mechanical philosophy summarized all phenomena to the impact of matter in motion, the alchemical tradition sustained the possibility of attraction and repulsion at the particulate level. Newton's later understandings in celestial mechanics can be found in part to his...