Sir Issac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton (1642 - 1727)

Isaac Newton was born in Lincolnshire, on December 25, 1642. He was educated at Trinity College in Cambridge, and resided there from 1661 to 1696 during which time he produced the majority of his work in mathematics. During this time New ton developed several theories, such as his fundamental principles of gravitation, his theory on optics otherwise known as the Lectiones Opticae, and his work with the Binomial Theorem. This is only a few theories that that Isaac Newton contributed to the world of mathematics. Newton contributed to all aspects of mathematics including geometry, algebra, and physics.

Isaac Newton was born into a poor farming family in 1642 with no father. Newton\'s father had passed away just a few months before he was born. His mother intended Newton to become a farmer but his lack of interest and the encouragement of John Stokes, Master of the Grantham grammar school and that of his uncle, William Ayscough, led to his eventual admission to his uncle\'s college. Trinity College, Cambridge, as a student on June 5, 1661. As a boy in Grantham, Newton had been intolerable to his servants and found it difficult to get along with his fellow grammar school peers. As a student, he bought his own food and paid a reduced fee in return for domestic service, a situation that appears unnecessary in view of his mother\'s wealth. In the summer of 1662, Newton experienced, some sort of religious crisis which led him to write, in Sheltonian shorthand, his many sins, such as his threat to burn his mother and step-father.

As a student at Cambridge Newton found himself among surroundings which were likely to develop and enhance his powers. In his first semester Newton happened to discover a book on astrology, but couldn\'t understand it very well on account of the geometry and trigonometry. He therefore bought a book by Euclid, and learned very quickly how obvious the propositions seemed. Later he read and mastered Oughtred\'s Clavis, and Descartes\' Geometry, which led him to take up mathematics rather than chemistry as a serious study.

As a result of the Plague, from 1665 threw 1666 Newton had spent a great deal of time at home. During this time it seems evident that a great deal of his best work was accomplished. He thought out the fundamental principles of his theory of gravitation. He determined that every particle of matter attracts every other particle. Yet he suspected that the attraction varied depending on the product of their masses. He suspected that the force, which retained the moon in its orbit around the earth, was the same as the terrestrial gravity. And to prove this hypothesis he proceeded by doing this. He knew that if a stone wall were allowed to fall near the surface of the earth, the attraction of the earth caused the stone wall to move though sixteen feet in one second.

The moon\'s orbit relative to the earth is nearly a circle, and as a rough approximation assuming so, he knew the distance of the moon, and therefore the length of its path. He also knew the time it
took the moon to go around the earth once, a month. The following diagram is a copy of his experiment.

Therefore Newton could find its veloisty at any point such as M. Then he could find the distance MT through which it would move in the next second if it were not pulled by the earth\'s attraction. At the end of the second it was at M\', and therefore the earth E must have pulled it through the distance TM\' in one second. This experiment concluded that his estimate of the distance of the moon was inaccurate. Newton determined his calculation TM\' was approximately one-eight less than he thought it would have been in his hypothesis.

In October of 1669, Newton was chosen as a professor in replace of resigned Professor Barrow\'s. Newton chose Optics for the subject of his first research topic. Newton discovered the decomposition of white light into rays of different colored light by means of a prism Newton invented the method for determining the coefficients of refraction of different bodies. This is done by making a ray pass through a prism, so that