Biography of Sir Isaac Newton:
Isaac Newton alone contributed more to the development of science than any other individual scientist in history of science. Newton was the most successful scientist in the world who meticulously defined scientific methods and their impacts upon human life. Newton’s contribution to modern science is enormous and immeasurable.
He is widely acclaimed and recognised for his scientific achievements. Newtons was an ingenious and innovative scientist who initiated a new scientific tradition instead of blindly following in the footsteps of other scientists.
Without doubt, Newton was the most eminent scientist who ever lived on earth. His achievements in mathematics, optics and physics laid the foundations for modern science and began a new era of science.
Voltaire, a famous writer and philosopher of France, once commented about Newton, “Among all scientists of the world Newton holds a unique place”.
Newton brought revolution to the field of science and mathematics with his new concepts of gravitational force, theory of light, colour, methods of fluxious, etc. His discoveries and inventions brought Newton the highest degree of honour and success during his own lifetime. Despite poor health, Newton survived till the age of 85 and died at Kensington on March 20,1727.
On Newton’s tomb it was aptly inscribed,”Mortals ! Rejoice at so great on ornament to human race!” Alexander pope praised Newton:”Nature and Nature’s laws lay hid in night; God said, Let Newton be ! And all was light.”
SIR ISAAC NEWTON was born on December 25,1642, in Wools Thorpe, Lincoln shire, England. At the time Newton was born he was unexpectedly underweight and frail;hardly anybody expected the baby to survive. It was very unfortunate that Newton’s father had also died three months before Newton’s birth. The baby was under his mother’s care, but she remarried a Mr. Barn bar smith and left the home when Newton was only 3 years old. Newton was left in her parent’s care who pampered the child as much as they could.
So, Newton was deprived of his parents’ love from his early childhood. As Newton had poor health,hi did not show much inclination towards sports and physical exertions. He spoke very little and made a few friends,and was mainly reticent. At the age of 12, Newton was sent to grammar school in Grantham,where most of his friends were girls. When he was in grammar school Newton impressed everyone by the extraordinary capacity of his brain. Newton always preferred solitude to work out problems related to physics and mathematics;also he was voracious reader who would spend much of his time reading books in the library.
When Newton was about 10,his step father also died and his mother returned to Wools Thorpe. she began to take an interest in farming and livestock. Newton was student at Trinity College, Cambridge when he was called upon by his mother to assist her at land in the village. Newton was 17 when he returned to Wools Thorpe from Trinity College Cambridge. His mother was alone in the village therefore she wanted Newton to stay with her.
While living in countryside, Newton had to take flock of sheep for grazing, this was the work that Newton most abhorred.
Many times Newton was so absorbed in his maths problem one or two sheep would always escape and go missing,and he would be reprimanded for his carelessness. Seeing Newton’s intense liking for mathematics,one of his school masters strongly recommended to Newton’s mother that she should send the boy for a university education. She accepted the idea when the teacher promised to pay Newton’s fees. Newton set out for Cambridge once again in June 1661, upon reaching the university, Newton embarked upon an intense study of science.
Many of Newton’s classmates were from aristocratic families who,at first were contemptuous of poor Newton.
But it did not last long,soon Newton won the respect and faour of his fellow students as he had astonishing ability in physics and mathematics. Newton received the accolades of friends and teachers for the rest of his days in the university.
Newton matriculated from Trinity College, but failed to win a scholarship. This made Newton very worried about his growing expenses. He knew well that without scholarship it would not be possible for him to go for further education, the money his mother was sending him was quite inadequate to meet his increasing expenses at Cambridge. Newton tried hard to convince the board members to grant him scholarship but no avail. As his marks were not impressive Newton lost all hopes of receiving a scholarship.
Newton’s happiness knew no bounds when he was informed that the board members had decided to award him a scholarship for four years. Newton wanted to utilise this opportunity as much as possible. He devoted himself totally to the serious study of mathematics and physics. He was so obsessed with the study of science that very often he would even forget to eat and sleep!
Newton took courses in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Logic, geometry,and trigonometry in the university. He would visit the university library very frequently to study the works of great master like Kepler and many other mathematicians.
Newton wrote notebooks during his stay in Trinity College until 1696.Those notebooks are very important today,because they reveal Newton’s early formative ideas. Newton received a bachelor’s degree from Cambridge University in 1665, after that the plague epidemic played havoc in many parts of England causing thousands of deaths. Fearing a plague epidemic Cambridge University was shut down for two years. Newton returned to Wools Thorpe where he spent two years studying physics and mathematics. During this period, Newton conceived the idea of fluxions and laid the foundation of light and colour. In the same year Newton prepared the first draft of the Principia,the magnum opus of Newton, the book was later published in 1687. Newton returned to Cambridge in 1667 and resumed his research activities. Newton received a master’s degree from Cambridge in 1669, and he was also appointed the professor of mathematics in the same year.
Professor Newton was involved in analytic geometry, algebra,and calculus. During this time, his major discoveries were the ‘binomial theorem’,new methods for expansion of infinite series, and his direct and inverse method of fluxions.
Newton concentrated on the study of light from 1665 to 1666;he conducted a number of experiments to find out the exact composition of light. Professor Newton passed light through a prism and found light in the composition of seven different colours. He also studied several other properties of light.
Newton was appointed Warden at Trinity College in 1696 and later he rose to post of master of the Mint. Charles Montague, a fellow of Trinity, and later Earl of Halifax, recommended Newton for the post. Robert Hooke,the president of the Royal Society died in 1703,and professor Newton was elected president. Proffer Newton was a prolific writer,he wrote on several scientific and non scientific subjects. Unfortunately most of his writings on theology were never published; it is believed if they were ever published there would be more than 20 full-length books.
The chronological order of Professor Newton’s work published in different years can be summarised as Principia, published in 1687; the optics, published in 1704; the Universal Arithmetic,published in 1707; the Analysis per series, Fluxions and Methods Differentials, published in 1711; the Lectiones opticae, published in 1729;the Method of Fluxions, published in 1736 and the Geometric Analytic the first volume published in 1779.
Professor Newton was thin and quite tall. His hair turned Grey when he was still in the prime of his youth. Newton was careless and slovenly in his dress and hairstyle. Most of the time he could be seen engrossed in his own thoughts even when he was involved in serious talks.
He was so absorbed in his own thoughts that he would go missing during the parties and could be found working out a problems in a corner of a room. Newton did not take any interest in sports, exercise, and did not indulge in pastimes.
He spent most of his time working incessantly,in several occasions he would often spend eighteen or nineteen hours out of the twenty-four in study. Professor Newton remained a bachelor all his life and dedicated himself to service of science and mathematics.
Newton was honest and straightforward. He had an exceptionally high standard of morality. Making a comment about professor Newton Bishop Burnet said,”The whitest soul i ever knew.”
Newton died at the age of 84 on March 20, 1727. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.