History of Science
Isaac Newton

What did Isaac Newton do?



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Isaac Newton was a physicist and mathematician who was born in 1642/3 (see related question for details) in Lincolnshire, UK. He studied at Trinity College, Cambridge and obtained his degree. He went on to make major achievements in both Physics and Mathematics.

In Physics he is widely considered to be the most influential physicist of all time. In optics he showed white light can be split into colors and recombined into white light and improved the reflecting telescope. In mechanics he was able to explain the motion of the planets in terms of 3 laws of motion (now known as Newton's Laws) and a universal theory of gravity. He published his work on mechanics in "Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica" (now known as the Principia) that was published on 5th July 168.

In mathematics he was a co-discoverer of Calculus with Leibniz. It is now generally believed that they both discovered it independently but Leibniz published first although Newton claimed that Leibniz had stolen his work. Newton also developed a generalised binomial theorem along with a range of important mathematical developments.

In his later life he became a Member of Parliament and Master of the Royal Mint.

He died in 1726/7 in London, England. (See related question for more detail.)

From Answers.com...
Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) was an English scientist and mathematician. He made major contributions in mathematics and theoretical and experimental physics and achieved a remarkable synthesis of the work of his predecessors on the laws of motion, especially the law of universal gravitation.