The Contributions of Isaac Newton

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Sir Isaac Newton is considered by many people to be the greatest scientist that ever lived. He made key fundamental contributions to mathematics and physics. His revolutionary advances in math, optics, physics, and astronomy are bases for the principles we use today. A little known fact about Newton's legacy is that if you look in an encyclopedia of science, it will reveal at least 2 to 3 times more references to Newton than any other individual scientist. Newton was born on Christmas Day, 1642 in Woolsthorpe, England. He was born the same day that Galileo Galilei died. His step- father died a couple months before he was born, and 2 years later his mother marries a well-to-do minister by the name of Barnabas Smith. Newton's mother, Hannah, soon left her son with his grandmother in order to start a new life with her husband. Due to his traumatic past at an early age, Newton showed signs of psychotic tendencies. Later on his step-father died and Hannah wanted Newton to manage the considerable amount of property she then owned. This turned out to be a disaster, Newton had no interest in rural affairs only to read underneath a tree. By June 1661 Newton was ready to move on in life, so he enrolled in Trinity College, Cambridge. This was the start of his famous life. Newton's professional work can be summed up in the following categories: Optics: In 1664, while still a student, Newton started reading works on optics written by other English physicists, Robert Hooke and Robert Boyle. He was very interested in this subject and so he started to investigate the refraction of light by a glass prism; developing a series of increasingly elaborate experiments. By conducting these experi... ... middle of paper ... ...nge of motion (change in velocity multiplied by the mass) is proportional to the force impressed. 3. That every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Newton became Cambridge's representative in Parliament from 1689-90, and from 1701-02 and was also the president of the Royal Society from 1703 until his death in 1727. He was made warden of the mint in 1696 and master of the mint in 1699. As master of the mint Newton collected a large income, sometimes as much as 2000lbs per annum. With this added to his personal estate the income left him a very rich man until his death. While working for the mint, Newton became interested in counterfeiting. He became the terror of London counterfeiters, sending many to the gallows. And in 1705 he was recognized for his services at the mint and also for his scientific accomplishments and was knighted by Queen Anne.