Isaac Newton Biography

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The Life and Works of Sir Isaac Newton Sir Isaac Newton, (1642-1727), mathematician and physicist, was one of the greatest scientific minds of all time. Sir Isaac Newton was born at on January 4th (December 25th old calendar) at Woolsthorpe, a farmstead, in Lincolnshire. Woolsthorpe is the place where he worked on his theory of light and optics. This is also believed to be the site where Newton observed an apple fall from a tree, inspiring him to make his law of universal gravitation. He entered Cambridge University in 1661; he was elected a Fellow of Trinity College in 1667, and Lucasian Professor of Mathematics in 1669. He remained at the university, lecturing in most years, until 1696. Of these Cambridge years, he was at the height of his creative power, he singled out 1665-1666 as "the prime of my age for invention". During two to three years of intense mental effort, he prepared Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica commonly known as the Principia, although this was not published until 1687. As an opponent of the attempt by King James II to make the universities into Catholic institutions, Newton was elected Member of Parliament for the University of Cambridge to the Convention Parliament of 1689, and sat again in 1701-1702. Meanwhile, in 1696 he moved to London as Warden of the Royal Mint. He became Master of the Mint in 1699, an office he retained to his death. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1671, and in 1703 he became President, being annually re-elected for the rest of his life. His major work, Opticks, appeared the next year; he was knighted in Cambridge in 1705. As Newtonian science became increasingly accepted on the Continent, and especially after a general peace was restored in 171... ... middle of paper ... ... two men, Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz, who independently developed its foundations. Although they both were involved in its creation, they thought of the basic concepts in very different ways. While Newton considered variables changing with time, Leibniz thought of the variables x and y as ranging over sequences of infinitely close values. Leibniz knew that dy/dx gives the tangent but he did not use it as a defining property. On the other hand, Newton used quantities x' and y', which were fixed velocities, to find the tangent. Leibniz was very conscious of the importance of good details and put a lot of thought into the symbols he used. Newton, on the other hand, wrote more for himself than anyone else. As a result, he tended to use whatever notation he thought of on that day. As a result, much of the notation that is used in Calculus today is due to Leibniz.

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