Isaac Newton Essay

2701 words - 11 pages

It was a time of great change in seventeenth century England, but a baby was being born on December 25, 1642 that would create more change in the way man perceived his world than anyone before him; he would be named Isaac Newton. England was going through the Glorious Revolution and was in a state of turmoil. Newton was born in the town of Lincolnshire, England, the same year Galileo died. Newton derived many of his accomplishments by using much of Galileo?s work, along with many other pioneers of science. Galileo was nearly eighty-two years old when he died and Newton was nearly eighty-five, together they covered virtually the entire scientific revolution (Westfall, 1). Although Newton used much of the work of his predecessors, he contributed more by far to the enlightenment of man with respect to mathematics, science and the universe, than any other human before or after him.His father, who had died an illiterate shortly before Newton was born, was a yeoman farmer. His mother re-married about three years later to Barnabas Smith, an elderly widower, and Isaac was left in the care of his maternal grandmother. According to Christianson, this devastated the young Newton ??who had never set eyes on his father, was suddenly parted from his mother?.but he nursed grudges and would wait years, if need be, to gain revenge on those he believed had wronged him? (12). Newton?s ability to hold a grudge and need for revenge appear throughout his life. He was by no means a normal person; in fact, he is now considered one of history's greatest thinkers. Though the list is long, Newton is best remembered for his three laws of motion and the universal gravitational law. His wonderful ability to absorb and solve sophisticated problems led him to be a great influence on the way society thought about the world in the seventeenth century and was also the beginning of science as we know it today. It was Newton that was primarily responsible for the creation of mechanics and the explanation of planet movement. This, accompanied with his other work in mathematics created the arena for the future exploration in the fields of mechanics, optics, engineering, kinetics, light, and countless others. His achievements would not only go on to affect the future, but he also solidified the infamous Scientific Revolution in his own lifetime. These profound accomplishments and a multitude of other work that had monumental effects on worldview ultimately led Sir Isaac Newton to be known as the father of modern science.In order to understand the nature of Newton's genius, we must first understand the period of time in which he lived. Before Newton's birth, many scientists had begun to make discoveries that would affect his thought. Galileo wrote on mechanics, kinematics and astronomy. Descartes studied analytical geometry and optics. Hooke examined elasticity (Anthony, 89). During this period many others scientists were advancing other fields. The seventeenth century was probably the...

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