Inventions
Isaac Newton
Mathematicians

What scientific tools did Isaac Newton invent?

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2008-01-12 21:24:23

I hope this is helpful Bill Crawley,Reference Librarian,

Illinois Central College Isaac Newton

Anonymous. Contemporary Review. Cheam: Apr 2004.

Vol. 284, Iss. 1659; pg. 253, 1 pgs Isaac Newton. James Gleick.

Fourth Estate. £15.00. xii + 289 pages. ISBN 0-00-716317-7. The

author is in no doubt that Newton 'discovered more of the essential

core of human knowledge than anyone before or after'. He was 'the

chief architect of the modern world. He answered the ancient

philosophical riddles of light and motion, and he effectively

discovered gravity'. He invented calculus and physics. 'What Newton

learned remains the essence of what we know, as if by our own

intuition'. Yet he was an isolated, reclusive man; he published

almost nothing; he was fascinated by the occult; he devoted much

time to alchemy and unorthodox theology; he knew the place of

chaotic forces in life even though his theories are referred to as

'Newton's laws', he died a wealthy man but intestate. In our own

day, Mr Gleick argues, Einstein did not overturn Newton's work but

'buttressed and extended' it. The author excels in describing his

hero's life in the context of the age in which he lived and he

shows that Newton the man was not simply the embodiment of the

scientific legacy he left: Newton was, he argues, no Newtonian. In

this well-rounded biography Mr Gleick also shows how Newton's

discoveries and methods continue to shape our world today.

(T.W.B.)


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