The Contributions of Isaac Newton

The Contributions of Isaac Newton

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Sir Isaac Newton was considered one of the greatest scientists that ever lived. Along with his important discoveries, he figured out the exact laws of nature that made the Earth orbit the sun, the moon move around the Earth and how the tides ebb and flow. Another discovery was what creates the colors of a rainbow.
     Sir Isaac Newton was born on December 25, 1642 in Woolsthrope, Lincolnshire. When Galileo Galilei died, Newton would soon pick up his ideas of mathematical science of motion and finish what Galileo had started.
     His three basic studies were: optics, mechanics and mathematics. His discovery in optics was “the composition of white light integrated the phenomena of colors” into the science of light and laid the foundation of physical optics. In mechanics his three laws of modern physics, in which resulted in the formulation of the law of universal gravitation. Last in mathematics he was the original founder of “infinitesimal calculus.” He made a book in 1687 called “Philosiphae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy). This explained how gravity causes the laws of motion to manage our universe.
     In 1655 he received a bachelor’s degree at Trinity College in Cambridge. After two years of college being closed down because of “The Plague”, he returned and became Lucasian professor of mathematics.

“Newton’s Laws of Motion”

     During Isaac Newton’s study of modern physics and mechanics he conducted “the three laws of motion.” The laws cover only the overall motion of a body. An example is the motion of its center of mass. The concept is similar to assuming that the body is a particle with a definite mass but no size.
     The “first law” states that “if a body is at rest or moving at a constant speed in a straight line, it will remain at rest or keep in a straight line at a constant speed unless acted upon by a force. This is briefly known as the “law of inertia.” Before Galileo died his law was that “bodies could move only as long as a force acted on them and that the absence of forces would result in the body to remain at rest.” Those who wanted to find the force that kept the planets moving didn’t realize that a seen force wasn’t necessary to keep them moving at a practically uniform rate in their orbits. Gravitational force, something that they weren’t aware of, only changes the direction of motion.

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     His “second law” was that the change of motion (the change of velocity times mass of the body) is proportional to the force impressed on it. His calculations were [F=ma]. The large the force, the larger the acceleration (or the change in velocity) and vice versa. This law is the most important because all the basic equations of dynamics are made from procedures developed by calculus.
     His “third law” says that “the actions of two bodies up on other are always equal and directly opposite. It’s an obvious law dealing with two objects in direct contact with each other. Example: A book’s downward force on a table is equal to the table’s upward force on the book. This law also applies to gravitational force. A plane that is flying pulls up on the Earth with the same force that the Earth pulls down on the airplane. The third law is important to; static’s or bodies at rest, because it allows the separation of complex structures and machines into simple units that can be seen individually with the least number of number forces.
     In his studying light, he discovered that a prism breaks up white light into a spectrum or the same colors of a rainbow. He also proved the colored light could be combined to create white light. Even though these theories were true, it went against commonly accepted ideas, and caused so much controversy that he would stop writing his theories.
     During his end years, Newton brought out more editions of his works. The first edition of “Optics”, in 1704, was published in Latin and the second one in English in 1717-18. The second “Principia”, edited by Henry Pemberton in 1762 gave a little more. Close to the end, Newton attended the “Royal Society”, and supervised the mint. During his last years his niece, Catherine Barton Canduitt, and her husband lived with him. Sir Isaac Newton died on March 20, 1727 in London and was known, still is known and most likely will always be considered “one of the greatest scientists that ever lived.”
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