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Who is Sir Isaac Newton?

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  • Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 31 August 2016
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Sir Isaac Newton was born on 4 January 1643 in Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, England. By the time he was three, his father had died, his mother had remarried, and he had been left to live with his maternal grandmother. After studying at local schools and secondary institutions, Newton eventually entered Trinity College, Cambridge, where he became engrossed in mathematical theorems. Newton eventually developed the basics for calculus and elaborated a new formula for pi, all without the aid of other scientists or previous publications. This alone makes Newton one of the most renowned scholars in history.

From 1670, while he was a professor of mathematics at Cambridge, Sir Isaac Newton researched optics extensively, invented the reflecting telescope, which put into practice his new theory of colored light, and designed a primitive electrostatic generator. Newton was a strong believer in alchemy, which he used to explain the laws of attraction between particles.

About a decade later, Newton's focus switched to mechanics and astronomy. In his book The Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, he used the word gravitas for the first time to explain the downward force or weight of an object. The book, published in 1687, gave Sir Isaac Newton internationally fame and praise.

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By the end of the century, he began writing a series of religious treaties that were never published or were received with either disdain or indifference by the community. He eventually moved to London to take over the Master of Mints post, where he oversaw the manufacturing of British coins and medals. In 1705, Queen Anne bestowed a knighthood on Newton as a thank you for his hard work at the Mint.

Newton spent the last years of his life as the president of the Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge. He died in 1727 and is buried in Westminster Abbey. Newton's discoveries are considered some of the most important scientific findings of the past few centuries.

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serenesurface
Post 4

Most of us remember Sir Isaac Newton as a great scientist, which he was. But the philosophical and religious side of him is rarely talked about today.

literally45
Post 3

@fBoyle-- As I'm sure you know, Westminster Abbey is a church. Many kings, queens, monarchs, statesman, scientists and artists are buried in the Abbey. Sir Isaac Newton is one of them. He has a monument at the north entrance. Westminster Abbey is open from mornings to afternoons usually. It has been a few years since I last went.

I'm surprised that you've been to Westminster but have not been to Westminster Abbey. It's a fascinating place, especially if you're a history buff. Definitely see the tomb of Sir Isaac Newton and visit the museum as well.

fBoyle
Post 2

I did not know that Sir Isaac Newton is buried in Westminster Abbey. I was in Westminster for a few days during my last trip to London.

Does Sir Isaac Newton have a monument there that guests can visit? I must learn more about the history of the region and visit Sir Isaac Newton during my next visit if possible.

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