Often regarded as one of the most influential scientists ever to have lived, Sir Isaac Newton has truly revolutionized the world of science with many of his theories remaining relevant to this day. Probably most famous for his discovery of gravity as a force due to an incident involving a falling apple, his discoveries and contribution to science did not stop there.
Sir Isaac Newton was born on Christmas day according to the Julian calender currently in use at that time. He attended Trinity college and went on to serve as a professor of mathematics at Cambridge. Surprisingly, he was an unorthodox christian, despite his position at the university. It is speculated that he privately rejected the doctrine of the trinity and this is thought to have influenced his decision to refuse holy orders from the Catholic church. In 1667 he was elected a Fellow of the trinity and only managed to avoid the duties required of that post by way of a special permission from Charles II.
Sir Isaac’s first book was published in the year 1687 and laid the ground work for applying math to the real world, maybe better known as classical mechanics. In this book, he outlines the laws of motion, laws that are still used today to put objects into orbit. He also defined universal gravitation principles, which explain how the planets and other celestial objects relate to each other through gravitational forces. These theories enabled scientists to predict the trajectory of comets and planets, even stars, and was used by scientists for the next 300 years.
Newton has made one of the most significant contributions ever made to astronomy, the invention of the reflecting telescope, a design regarded as the best type of telescope for astronomical purpose even today. He is also responsible for splitting white light into its separate primary colors using a prism on a beam of sunlight, a discovery that would lead to an even bigger contribution to astronomy later on, though Newton was not the one to have made that discovery. He also did various studies on the speed of sound, empirical law of cooling and proposed the concept of a Newtonian fluid.
There is a bit of mystery around Sir Isaac’s claim as the first creator of calculus which has never been resolved even till his death. Today both forms of calculus, his and Leibniz’, are recognized for their usefulness in different situations.