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Sir Isaac Newton: Taking A Step Forward

1357 words - 6 pages

The day Galileo had slipped from our world Sir Isaac Newton had life breathed into him. Sir Isaac Newton was born on December 25, 1642, at Woolsthorpe. Before he was born his father died, so he was brought up with the scent and presence of his mother, Hannah. Despite this at the age of three his mother married someone else and abandoned him in the care of his grandmother, devastating him and rocking his foundation. He received the basic local education, or elementary, until he was twelve, then he proceeded to attend the King's School in Grantham. In 1661, at the age of nineteen, he entered Trinity College, Cambridge and worked to obtain his Bachelors degree. He then decided to go work for his masters degree, the plague hit Europe in 1666 the University closed. The next eighteen months he spent learning in solitude at his manor. When the College reopens he quickly obtains his Masters. He later becomes a professor for this college for 27 years. During these times he brought to light optics, his discovery of calculus and gravitation. Having learned all this he contributed to the Enlightenment with his discoveries as well as influencing thinkers of the future.
An impressive feat Sir Isaac Newton accomplished was the evolution of optics. Every scientist since Aristotle had believed light to be a simple entity, but Newton thought otherwise through his studies and building telescopes. It was thought that, “The idea that visual perception involves a medium somehow relating the beheld to the beholder is as old as ancient Greece,” (Darrigol 117). Isaac Newton challenged old ideas after an experiment with a prism and how it refracted light, as he saw this happen in a telescope where he saw the rings of colors distorting the image. This lead for him to believe that light was corpuscle, or similar to particles. His antagonist being Robert Hooke, who challenged his ideas caused Newton to retract many statements. Even though this had occurred Newton continued to study light and how it worked. Newton was, “… arguing that light, if it [was] similar to sound waves, would not behave as it should…” (Darrigol 120). He turned the cogs that started the studies for later scientist, but if he had known the acoustics we know today, “he would have lost the main motivation behind his idiosyncratic mixture of light corpuscles and ethereal vibrations,” (Darrigol 119).
Calculus is the branch of mathematics that deals with the finding and properties of derivatives and integrals of functions. Newton is the reason why this is defined the way it is today. His three laws are from calculus, which founded some physics basic principles. His second law states that the force of an object derives from the mass of it and the acceleration. Aristotle had thought of this but acceleration was replaced with velocity. Newton had thought that, “an object with a certain velocity maintains that velocity unless a force acts on it to cause an acceleration, [or a change in velocity]” (Newton's...

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