## Isaac Newton

Newton, Sir Isaac (1642-1727), is thought by many to be the greatest scientist ever.mathematician and physicist, one of the foremost scientific intellects of all time. he started at Cambridge University in 1661, was elected a Fellow of Trinity College in 1667, and Lucasian Professor of Mathematics in 1669, remaining until 1696. Later he became an MP (elected in 1689 and 1701), and and Warden in 1696, then President in 1699, of the Royal Mint. In 1671 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and in 1703 he became President.Newton's greatest contribution to maths was the discovery of calculus. His book Principia Mathematics, containing this work was published in 1704, many years after his discovery. A German mathematician, Leibniz, announced his own version of the calculus before Newton's book, which led to a dispute over who had discovered it. Newton was a vain and vicious man, labelling Leibniz a plagiarist. The Royal Society held an inquiry to decide on this. The inquiry was chaired by friends of Newton, and the report written by Newton himself.

His greatest contribution to physics was his explanation of gravity, somewhere between 1165 and 1667. All the heavenly bodies were supposed to be subject to the same force as any falling apple on Earth. This theory explained the Copernian system and led to a scientific model of the Universe as subject to forces, not any religious Law. He also put forward three Laws of motion, explaining movement and acceleration in terms of forces, giving rise to a whole system of mechanics, called 'Newtonian Mechanics'.

Newton made major contributions to Optics, publishing his book Oticks in 1705. He showed that white light was made up of many colours by refracting light through a glass prism, and proposed the theory that light was made up of tiny particles, as opposed to waves, as other scientists thought.