Isaac Newton

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Sir Isaac Newton, (December 25 1642-March 20 1727), was an English philosopher, mathematician, and physician who published a thesis Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, more commonly referred to as Principia, where he described the laws of gravity (see Law of nature) and, via his laws of motion, laid the ground work for the field of Classical Mechanics.

He investigated the refraction of light, demonstrating that a prism could break up white light into a spectrum of colours: from his work he concluded that any refractive telescope would suffer from the dispersion of light into colours, and devised the reflecting telescope to bypass this whole problem (later, when glasses with a variety of refractive properties became available, achromatic lenses became possible).

Tradition has it that Newton was sitting under an apple tree when an apple fell on his head, and this made him understand that earthly and celestial gravitation are the same.

He is also credited, along with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, with the development of Calculus. Both developed the method independently in similar time-frame and used a different notation. Even though he belongs to the brightest scientists of his era, the last 25 years of Newton's life were marred by a bitter dispute with Leibniz who he accused of plagiarism of his fluxions method. Ultimately, Leibnitz's notation in calculus was adopted.

Newton was also a member of Parliament, but his only recorded comments were to complain about a cold draft in the chamber.

Newton was buried in Westminster Abbey.

To add:

  • Lucasian
  • N's position as ... Minister? of the Mint
  • his heterodoxy (anti-Trinitarian?)
  • and alchemical interests.
  • mention his work with thermodynamics and the speed of sound
  • add a whole biographical section for the story of his life, info about his job as the chair of mathematics at Cambrige, etc.

C'mon, help me out here, It should be obvious I have no idea what I'm talking about.  :-)