Isaac Newton: Inventions that Changed the World
Many people have heard of at least the name of Isaac Newton alone. Do people really know his sufficient? Often, he is just thought of as another inventor or creator, but he is much more than that. He played a huge part in what we know of our world today.
Isaac Newton was born January 4 ,1643 in a town called Woolsthorpe which is located in Lincolnshire, England. One weird think about his birth date is that some calendars say it is December 25, 1642 while others say that it is January 4, 1643. Isaac is the second Isaac in his family making him a junior and his dad died before he was born. At a very young age, Newton’s mother married a new guy and Isaac hated him, so he lived with his mother’s mother. It is often said that Isaac hated his mother and step father so much he wanted to burn their house down. This is very eye popping being that he was saying that at a young age and his mother still stayed with his step father. Isaac was a very smart boy and he attended a school called The King’s School that had no science or math which is very interesting because of what he contributed to science and math in his later career.
When Isaac was just eighteen years old he went to Cambridge University Trinity college to study to become a lawyer. By his third year at Cambridge, Isaac had started growing an interest in math and what we know today as physics. He learned a lot at Cambridge but preferred to study more recent information on math and physics than what they were teaching in class based on his saying, Plato is my friend, Aristotle is my friend, but my greatest friend is truth. This saying says a lot as to what changes he brings to math and science.
Isaac Newton was famous for a lot of different discoveries that help us still in our lives today. One thing he discovered was the three basic laws of motion that we still us today in mechanical work. The first law of motion states that an object will keep moving or stay still until an external force is acted upon it. The second law of motion states that force equals mass times acceleration. The third law of motion is When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to that of the first body. Each law of motion has its own set of rules and ways to test them.
The first law of motion says that an external force must be acted upon it to make it stay still or keep moving. Motion is a state to which a body is indifferent (Westfall pg.8). An example of this would be a roller coaster. A roller coaster that is sitting still will not go until an object is used to push it to make it go and keep it going. If the roller coaster did not have that force, then it would not move. As the reader knows this still applies to us today in the twenty first century. He did not create anything with this law of motion he just made a statement that is proven true that we still us today in science.
The second law of motion states that force equals mass times accerlation. Mass is a body of matter that has no definite shape. Accerlation is the increase in the rate or speed of an object. So, looking back at the roller coaster example will help to explain this law. The roller coaster is the object that will be accerelting. When a force is pushed on the roller coaster it causes it to move which causes it to pick up speed or accerlate. The area the roller coaster is moving through is the mass. So, when a roller coaster is pushed down a hill, it goes from no force to a force being pushed on it causing speed and for it to move. Again, this is just a law of motion that Newton stated based on evidence he saw.
The third law of motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. According to a post by Jim Lucas a live science contributor he states a clear example, when you push a cart, the cart pushes back against you; when you pull on a rope, the rope pulls back against you; and when gravity pulls you down against the ground, the ground pushes up against your feet. The simplified version of this phenomenon has been expressed as, “”You cannot touch without being touched.”” He explains the third law of motion with different examples to help you be able to understand. Newton did not come up with these laws of motion just by himself. Newton expanded on the ideas put forth by Galileo and Descartes. The laws of motion were first introduced by Newton in his book called Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematic.
The book Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematic or in other words Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy was published in July 1687 and he still read and used today in the world of science. The overview of the book is that it was written to mathematical set out the principles of time, force, and motion that help us get to the understanding of the science we have today. According to a summary by Buffalo and Erie Country Public Library it says, Newton’s principles describe acceleration, deceleration, and inertial movement; fluid dynamics; and the motions of the earth, moon, planets, and comets. A great work in itself, the Principia also revolutionized the methods of scientific investigation. It set forth the fundamental three laws of motion and the law of universal gravity, the physical principles that account for the Copernican system of the world as emended by Kepler, thus effectively ending controversy concerning the Copernican planetary system. Each of the items talked about in his book are discussed in this paper to help you better understand his contributions to the world.
Another contribution to science made by Isaac Newton was the law of gravity. He supposedly came up with this idea when an apple fell from a tree and hit his head. This discovery was based off his discovery of the second law of motion. He thought that being that the apple fell from a tree it went from a velocity of zero to falling because an external force was pushed on it. He then used his theory of gravity to conduct experiments to test his theories. As children we heard this story in school about Isaac Newton and probably thought it was funny which it is but he is the reason we know why we stay on this Earth and do not float around in it.
Newton also discovered natural light and all of its properties. He discovered the different color wavelengths with the use of a prism. In the discovery of color, it is just a white beam of light shining through a prism to give of color. One of the things that still works with us today is that human perception of color is just a mental phenomenon. This is hard to think about because what we think of as seeing color is just a reflecting off a white beam. So, the world is basically all white it is just the way our eyes get reflecting is how we see color.
One thing that Newton invented that really sticks out to me is the reflecting telescope. The reflecting telescope was invented in 1668 by Newton. In an article written by Brian Ventrudo he explains how the telescope works, Reflecting telescopes (or reflectors) collect light using a curved mirror at the rear of the main tube rather than a lens at the front end. Isaac Newton invented the first reflecting telescope in the late 17th century. He used a second small diagonal mirror to direct light out the side of the telescope to an eyepiece. His immensely practical design, now called the Newtonian reflector, is the main type of purely reflecting telescope in use today by amateur astronomers. Newtonian telescopes have made a comeback in the past two decades with the introduction of the Dobsonian telescope, which is a Newtonian reflector mounted on a simple but sturdy mount. During the time that Newton invented this telescope, his telescope was so successful at being the first one, Newton got a membership with the Royal Society of London which is a big deal.
This society is still popular today in the United Kingdom. The early years of the Society saw revolutionary advancements in the conduct and communication of science. Hooke’s Micrographia and the first issue of Philosophical Transactions were published in 1665 alone. Philosophical Transactions, which established the important concepts of scientific priority and peer review, is now the oldest continuously-published science journal in the world ( History of the Royal Society). This is very fun to research and learn about and how the society is still around to this day.
Not only did Isaac have many discoveries and or inventions in science, He also had his own discoveries in religion as well. Isaac Newton studied the Bible daily and of course like he was about science he was about religion as well about not taking someone’s word and having to dig deeper into the area of study. Isaac did not believe that the interpertations of the Bible was correct and therefor he decided to study deeper. Isaac believed that there was a difference between God and Jesus as been to different people.
Another thing that Isaac brought to the table about religion was the Bibicial code. Newton was fascinated with the early Church and also the last chapter of the Bible Revelations. He spent many hours poring over the Bible, trying to find the secret Bible Code. He was rumored to be a Rosicrucian. The religious beliefs that Newton held could have caused serious embarrassment at the time. Because of this, he kept his views hidden, almost to the point of obsession. This desire for secrecy seemed to be part of his nature. It was only on his death that his papers were opened up. The bishop who first opened Newton’s box, actually found them too shocking for public release, therefore, they were kept closed for many more years ( Pettinger). Newton was a very secretive guy on some points of his life making it hard for us to truly be able to know the true Isaac Newton.
The next discovery that Newton figured out that changed the world was discoveries in the area of mathematics. Although parts of calculus is credited to Leibniz, Newton came up with the type of calculus that shows continuous change. With the contribution made by Newton in calculus, we are able to figure out the area of shapes that do not have straight lines, like circles. Many of the mathematical contributions he made are very common sense to us today but during the 17th century, it was not that way.
Another contribution to mathemathics that Newton discovered was the binomial theorem. A binomial is a polynomial with two terms ( math is fun). Newton belief in the persistence of patterns led to his first significant mathematics discovery, the generalization of the expansion of binomial expressions. For the most part, his discovery was accidental and was never formally proven by Newton (Newtonl1). To be able to really understand this you have to work about a binomial problem to see how Newton’s discovery helps to simplify math with equations and formulas we still use today. Newton helped make math some much easier for us but we still struggle with it every single day.
Newton also helped to come up with the generations of curves. This was an important topic, since in order to determine the point of intersection of curves in the construction of geometrical solutions, it was natural to think of the curves as generated by a continuous motion driven by some instrument (Guicciardini pg.6). With motion involved there has to be a point of intersection. Newton was able to devise a mechanism for generating conics and to extend it to higher order curves (Guicciardini pg.6). We use circles and curves in our every day lives whether it has to do with map, directions on a map, or drawing a circle we use it everyday.
During Newton’s later years in life, he got somewhat out of science and was appointed to a position of warden of the Royal Mint. The Royal Mint is a British governmental institution that controls the production of British coins. Newton became the Master of Mint in 1699 and chose to partake in the government’s war against the money counterfeiters. He reformed the government’s policy on counterfeiting and sought to punish counterfeiters and clippers. At the time when Newton was Master of Mint, counterfeiting money was considered as an act of high treason: those convicted of the crime were sentenced to death and executed by being hung, drawn and quartered (Valjak). He spent his later years collecting criminals of counterfeit and thrived on stopping coin counterfeiters.
Newton lived a very well life. He was always busy coming up with or researching new ideas that he never had the time to have a girlfriend much less a wife. Newton was very insecure as a person and often times dealt with bad depression and the loss of his temper a lot. Newton died on March 31, 1727 at the age of eighty- four years old. When Newton was reaching the 80s he started to have digestion problems and in March of 1727 started having really bad abdomen pain and blacked out and went unconscious. He is buried in Westminister Abbey.
During the research of this paper, I found that many sources related to Newton as The Greatest Scientist of all times. Many of the discoveries that Newton made really helped to change our way of live in so many ways. Whether we prefer to use Newtons methods that he came up with on the mathematical side or if we are more interested in the three laws of motion Newton has impact our every day lives. I personally liked getting to know more about Newton other than just the guy who had an apple fall from a tree onto his head and he called it gravity. Being able to look at all aspects of Newton’s career from the very beginning to where we are now in the world help me to have more respect and appreciation for him as a scientist.
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