1512 words - 6 pages

Why do things fall when we drop them? How come we do not float as we would on the moon? Where do the colors of a rainbow come from? How long would it take to drive across Colorado if you are constantly changing speeds? All of these questions can now be answered, largely impart because of the great English philosopher, Sir Isaac Newton. In a time where religion was at war with science, Isaac Newton opened up people's minds to theories and reason. Isaac Newton was to be the starburst of the Enlightenment. He became the foundation of enlightened thought. It was the 17th century, the time of the Scientific Revolution. Many brilliant men contributed to this time, but it was Newton who solidified their thoughts and theories (Margaret, 10). Isaac Newton is one of the most influential people in the world. He not only invented so many new concepts and ideas, but he brought an understanding of the universe that we live in to people across the world. Isaac Newton not only changed the world with the invention of calculus, but also with his theory of light and color, and his invention of physical science and the law of universal gravitation (Margaret, 11).

To begin with, Isaac Newton laid down the foundations for differential and integral calculus. It all began when Newton was enrolled at Cambridge College, the University that helped him along in his studies. Here, he began reading what ever he could find, especially if it had something to do with mathematics. He read books on geometry by Descartes, algebra books by John Wallis, and eventually developed the binomial theorem which was a shortcut in multiplying binomials (Margaret, 46). Newton was 22 at this time and he was already going beyond other people's thinking. At this point however, Newton was interested entirely in the mathematics of motion. If an object moved in a straight line and at a constant speed, then Newton was easily able to find out where it would be at any given time (Margaret, 47). But how was he to figure out where the object would be if it constantly sped up or slowed down? Where would the object be if it traveled around curves? This is the concept of calculus. Using his knowledge of algebra, Newton set out to find the value of an unknown number that kept changing. He did this by figuring out that the integration of a function was simply the inverse of differentiating it. Newton had just developed a method for finding changing and flowing quantities (Margaret, 42). He had just invented calculus. Newton went even further after this. With the use of calculus, he was able to find the area under an open curve known as a hyperbola. He went on to take this answer to 52 decimal places (Margaret, 47). While Isaac Newton was very satisfied with these results, he had other things on his mind, and he continued to amaze the world.

Following his work in calculus, Isaac Newton hardly broke stride. He continued his studies and experiments on lights and colors....

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