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Of all of the early scientists of the scientific revolution I am most impressed by Sir Isaac Newton.

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Introduction

Of all of the early scientists of the scientific revolution I am most impressed by Sir Isaac Newton. Newton is important because he contributed more to the development of science than any other person in history. Isaac Newton is remembered as the greatest scientific genius who ever lived. His discoveries about physics, light, and mathematics changed the world. I am even more impressed by what he overcame to reach his goals. He came to surpass even his own expectations. I am more impressed with the man than with the discoveries. So many people in history are viewed as larger than life, which can be dehumanizing. Newton was very much a human with very human emotions. Isaac Newton came from a family of farmers. His father dies three months before he was born. Isaac's father was a wealthy landowner but was uneducated and could not even sign his own name. Isaac did not lead a privileged life; he was basically treated like an orphan. Isaac had a very unhappy childhood. ...read more.

Middle

Isaac wrote his thoughts in a journal which he called Quaestiones Quaedam Philosophicae (Certain Philosophical Questions). It is an account of how Newton's brilliant ideas were already forming. The text was headed with a Latin statement which read "Plato is my friend, Aristotle is my friend, but my best friend is truth" presenting himself as a free thinker from an early age. In 1663, Isaac's awareness in mathematics began when he bought a book at a fair in Cambridge and found that he could not understand the mathematics in it. Attempting to read a trigonometry book, he found that he lacked the knowledge of geometry and so decided to read Euclid's Elements. Isaac Newton was elected a scholar on April 28, 1664 and received his bachelor's degree the following year. His scientific genius had still not emerged, but it did so when the bubonic plague closed the university in the summer of 1665 and he had to return home. ...read more.

Conclusion

Newton's novel idea of 1666 was to imagine that the Earth's gravity influenced the Moon, counter- balancing its centrifugal force. From his law of centrifugal force and Kepler's third law of planetary motion, he deduced the inverse-square law. Over a year later (1687) he published the Principia. The Principia is recognized as the greatest scientific book ever written. Newton analyzed the motion of bodies in resisting and non-resisting media under the action of centripetal-forces. The results were applied to orbiting bodies, projectiles, pendulums, and free-fall near Earth. He further demonstrated that the planets were attracted toward the Sun by a force varying as the inverse square of the distance and generalized that all heavenly bodies mutually attract one another. As people came to understand the importance of his many discoveries Isaac received many honors. In 1705, Queen Anne knighted him, Sir Isaac Newton. It was the first knighthood for scientific discoveries rather than deeds on the battlefield or in government. When Isaac Newton died in 1727, the poor country boy from Woolsthorpe was buried in a plot reserved for a king. ...read more.

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