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Born: January 4, 1643 in Woolsthorpe, England

Died: March 31, 1727 in London, England

Best known for: Defining the three laws of motion and

universal gravitation

Biography:

Isaac Newton is considered one of the most important

scientists in history. Even Albert Einstein said that Isaac

Newton was the smartest person that ever lived. During his

lifetime Newton developed the theory of gravity, the laws of

motion (which became the basis for physics), a new type of mathematics called calculus,

and made breakthroughs in the area of optics such as the reflecting telescope.

Early Life

Isaac Newton was born in Woolsthorpe, England on January 4, 1643. His father, a farmer

who was also named Isaac Newton, had died three months before his birth. His mother

remarried when Isaac was three years old and left young Isaac in the care of his

grandparents. Isaac attended school where he was an adequate student. At one point his

mother tried to take him out of school so he could help on the farm, but Isaac had no

interest in becoming a farmer and was soon back at school. Isaac grew up mostly alone. For

the rest of his life he would prefer to work and live alone focused on his writing and his

studies.

The Principia

In 1687 Newton published his most important work called the Philosophiae Naturalis

Principia Mathematica (which means "Mathematical principals of Natural Philosophy"). In

this work he described the three laws of motion as well as the law of universal gravity. This

work would go down as one of the most important works in the history of science. It not

only introduced the theory of gravity, but defined the principals of modern physics.

Scientific Discoveries

Isaac Newton made many scientific discoveries and inventions throughout his career. Here

is a list of some of the most important and famous ones.

Gravity - Newton is probably most famous for discovering gravity. Outlined in the

Principia, his theory about gravity helped to explain the movements of the planets

and the Sun. This theory is known today as Newton's law of universal gravitation.

Laws of Motion - Newton's laws of motion were three fundamental laws of physics

that laid the foundation for classical mechanics.

Calculus - Newton invented a whole new type of mathematics which he called

"fluxions." Today we call this math calculus and it is an important type of math

used in advanced engineering and science.

Reflecting Telescope - In 1668 Newton invented the reflecting telescope. This type

of telescope uses mirrors to reflect light and form an image. Nearly all of the major

telescopes used in astronomy today are reflecting telescopes.

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