Isaac Newton
T J Osler
Sir Isaac Newton, FRS December 1642 – 20 March 1727
was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist,
and theologian and one of the most influential men in human history
• In June 1661, he was admitted to Trinity
College, Cambridge
• Soon after Newton had obtained his
degree in August of 1665, the University
closed down as a precaution against the
Great Plague.
• Although he had been undistinguished as
a Cambridge student,[10] Newton's private
studies at his home in Woolsthorpe over
the subsequent two years saw the
development of his theories on
calculus, optics and the law of gravitation
• In 1667 he returned to Cambridge as a
fellow of Trinity.[11]
Newton showed that white light is composed of light of all
colors. He used a glass prism to illustrate this.
Electromagnetic Spectrum
Binomial Theorem
Pascal’s Triangle
Newton’s discovery
 n  n ( n  1) ( n  2 )
( n  k  1)
  

2
3
k
k  1
Newton could now apply this
formula to fractional exponents
 1
 1

1

1 1
  1   2    3 
  k  1
1
2
2
2

2

 
2


2
 
1
2
3
4
k
k
 
He could now write binomials to
fractional exponents
1  x  1  x 
1/ 2

1 / 2  k
 x
  
k 0  k 
A replica of a Newton reflecting telescope that he
presented to theRoyal Society in 1672[15].
Cassagrain Telescope
Image of a refracting telescope from the Cincinnati
Observatory in 1848
Woodcut illustration of a 45 m (150 ft) focal length Keplerian
astronomical refracting telescope built by Johannes Hevelius. From his
book Machina coelestis (first part), published in 1673.
Robert Hooke FRS (18 July 1635 – 3 March 1703)
Hooke challenged Newton’s ideas. Newton had no
stomach for controversy, so he stopped showing his ideas.
Edmond Halley FRS (8 November 1656 – 14 January 1742) was an
English astronomer, geophysicist, mathematician, meteorologist,
and physicist.
Plaque in South Cloister of
Westminster Abbey
• Halley told Newton that he and others
were working on a problem:
• Find the Force of Attraction by the sun that
will cause the planetary orbits to be
elliptical
• Newton replied that he had solved this
problem earlier. The solution is an inverse
square law.
• Halley then urged Newton to publish this
and other results.
Newton's own copy of his Principia, with hand-written
corrections for the second edition
Although Newton had invented the calculus
and used it to derive many of his results,
he choose to write the Principia in
geometric language.
This is because the modern algebraic form
of analysis was not yet seen as a suitable
form for writing mathematical ideas.
It would take another 50 years before
analysis would finally end the tyranny that
geometric thinking held over mathematics.
• Newton’s three Universal Laws of Motiopn
were a giant first in the history of science.
• Nothing like them had been seen before.
• Before Newton, men observed nature and
tried to describe nature in geometric
(mathematical) terms.
• After Newton, we seek the fundamental
laws. Then a particular problem is solved
by using mathematics with the
fundamental laws.
Application of Universal Laws
Find the vertical motion of a particle near
the surface of the earth, neglecting air
friction.
Initial Conditions: When t = 0,
y = h and v = dy/dt = v0
Use Second Law:
m
dv
dt
2
 m
d y
dt
2
dv   gdt
 dv
  g  dt
v  gt  c
  mg
v  gt  c
v  gt  c
Initial condition 1: When
,
t  0
v  gt  v 0
dy
dt
 gt  v 0
dy   gt  v 0 dt
dy



gt

 v 0 dt
v  v0
dy


y 

gt

1
gt
 v 0 dt
 v0t  c
2
2
Initial Condition 2: When
,
y
1
2
t  0
y  h
gt  v 0 t  h
2
Newton Derives Kepler’s Law of
Areas
• Line from the sun to the planet sweeps out
equal areas in equal times
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz 1 July 1646– 14 November
1716) was a German philosopher and mathematician
Controversy over who invented
Calculus, Newton or Leibniz?
• Today we believe that both men should
share the discovery
Isaac Newton in old age in 1712, portrait by Sir James
Thornhill
• Newton enjoyed great fame in his
final years
• He was recognized throughout
Europe as the most outstanding
mathematician – scientist of his
time (or maybe all time)
Newton statue on display at the Oxford University Museum of Natural
History
Newton's grave in Westminster Abbey
• "Threatening my [step-]father and mother
Smith to burn them and the house over
them." --From a list of his sins made by
Isaac Newton at age 19.
• "Plato is my friend, Aristotle is my friend,
but my best friend is truth." --Head of
Newton's Quaestiones Quaedam
Philosophicae (Certain Philosophical
Questions), ca. 1664.
• "I know not what I appear to the world, but to
myself I seem to have been only like a boy
playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in
now and then finding a smoother pebble or a
prettier shell, whilest the great ocean of truth lay
all undiscovered before me." --Quoted in D
Brewster, Memoirs of Newton
• "Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night; God
said, Let Newton be! and all was light." -Alexander Pope (Quotation
source: http://www.treasuretroves.com/bios/Newton.html
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Isaac Newton - Rowan University