Main
Force Info
Fun and Games
Glossary
Bulletin Board
SKC Homepage


Biographies
Sir Isaac Newton
               The Force Be With You!   

SIR ISAAC NEWTON

Isaac Newton, a famous English physicist, mathematician, and natural philosopher, was considered one of the most important scientists of all time. He gave birth to the scientific revolution in the seventeenth century, and outlined the main principles of the system of natural science. Newton theorized the three laws of motion, laws that explain how objects move on Earth as well as through the universe.

Newton's revolutionary contributions explained the physics of a large part of nature in mathematical terms, and they suggested that science may provide explanations for other phenomena as well.

Newton began with the laws of motion he observed in the physical world, then used these laws to convert physics from a mere science of explanation into a general mathematical system with rules and laws. He took known facts and formed mathematical theories to explain them. He used his mathematical theories to predict the behavior of objects in different circumstances, and then compared his predictions with what he observed in experiments.

Isaac was born in Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire, in England on December 25, 1642 and died at Kensington, London on March 27, 1727. Isaac did not have a very happy childhood as his father died a few months before he was born. His mother later remarried someone who didn't really like him, so young Isaac went to live on a family farm with his grandmother. He lived in Cambridge from 1661 until 1696; in 1665 he received his bachelor's degree from the University of Cambridge. When an outbreak of bubonic plague in 1665 temporarily shut down the University of Cambridge, Newton returned to Woolsthorpe, his home town, where he remained for nearly two years. This time was an intellectually rich one for Newton. During this period, he did much scientific work in the subjects he would spend his life exploring, motion, optics, and mathematics. His three laws of motion became the foundation of modern dynamics and from that he discovered the law of universal gravitation.

Isaac Newton recorded his first thoughts on gravity, inspired, according to legend, by observing the fall of an apple in an orchard. According to a report of a conversation with Newton in his old age, he said he was trying to determine what type of force could hold the moon in its orbit around the earth. The fall of an apple led him to think that the attractive gravitational force acting on the apple might be the same force acting on the moon. Newton believed that this force, although lessened by distance, held the moon in the earth's orbit.

Biographies | Sir Isaac Newton
____________________________________________________

Main | Force Info | Fun and Games | Glossary | Bulletin Board | SKC Homepage