(1642(3) - 1727) was famous for
- Discovering gravity
- More accurately, discovered the "Law of Universal Gravitation".
- The Laws Of Motion
- Inventing [the Infinitesimal] Calculus (but ask GottfriedWilhelmLeibniz what he thinks about this)
- I tried to, but he's dead. ;)
- Actually, Newton says in a letter that he got a lot of the ideas from work of PierreDeFermat.
- Not being a TeamPlayer
- This assertion is arguable. As Master of the Mint, Newton, in disguise, hung out at bars and taverns, interrogated counterfeiters, and won convictions. As a result, several notorious counterfeiters were drawn and quartered. A grateful Queen Anne knighted Sir Isaac in 1705.
- Invented the cat flap.
It's been suggested that Newton may have had AspergersSyndrome
Newton was nearly a reformation character at least time-wise. What's interesting to me is that he considered his theological ideas and speculations much more important than anything he did in what was called Natural Philosophy, what today we would call Mathematics and Science. Yet these same speculations almost landed him in serious trouble with the Protestant thought police of his day. -- RichardDrake
Originating the widely-parodied Quotation
: "If I have seen farther than others, it is because I have stood on the ShouldersOfGiants
is referred to that page for some relevant context.
Some people deem him one of the WorldGeniuses
. If Newton doesn't qualify as a World Genius, then nobody does
Isaac Newton spent a large portion of his life dedicated to Alchemy. Of course, he got nowhere, as Alchemists generally didn't. He, at the time, could not see that it was his work on physics that was vastly the more important thing he did. So let this be a lesson to you - write down everything, because you will never know your own genius, nor your own folly - that's for someone else to decide.
To be fair, alchemists did get somewhere: they got to chemistry. I cannot find the article, but I read one that described someone who re-traced Newton's techniques with the equipment that Newton would have used. The particular article went into detail how alchemists meticulously kept track of what they did, the steps they took to get there, and how they even gradually came to the conclusion that there was no "Philosopher's Stone" that could turn lead into gold. The article even described how alchemy had its share of quacks, and how serious alchemy had become morphed into modern-day chemistry.
And it's also my understanding that Newton did write everything down: he just didn't publish his writings, and advised others not to do so as well.
The Newton Project is aiming to put all
Newton's writings on the web. See http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20040807.gtnewton07/BNStory/Technology/
One of the Apollo astronauts, shortly after leaving Earth orbit, said "Newton is doing the driving now."
You can see an on-line history and bibliography at http://www.treasure-troves.com/bios/Newton.html
(by Eric Weisstein).
He is buried at Westminster Abbey in London. You can walk right up to his crypt embedded in the wall. A bit morbid but humbling to think the bones of the man are right there. Down the street you can see some of his handwritten pages at the British Museum. In contrast AlbertEinstein
had his ashes scattered on the Hudson river in New York State (but his brain was kept, dissected and preserved).
See also: StevenNewton