Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton (1643 – 1727) was a famous British physicist and mathematician. His most famous work in mathematics was the compilation of calculus.


Isaac Newton was born on January 4, 1643 in Lincolnshire, England. Newton was born very shortly after the death of his father. He did very well at his local school, and later attended Trinity College.


Newton compiled calculus into one subject in 1665 and 1666, some time before Gottfried Leibniz (who developed calculus independently some years later) did, but when he submitted his work to the Royal Society of England, it was turned down. Due to controversy over his earlier publications, Newton was understandably reluctant to submit it again, and therefore did not publish his work. Thus, Leibniz published his work first, sparking a dispute between them. It is now clear Newton developed it first, though he made use of rather odd notation. Ironically, Newton earned a knighthood from Queen Anne in 1705 not because of this great discovery, but because of his far lesser work at the Royal Mint of England.

Discoveries in Physics

What is arguably Newton's most famous achievement is the formal statement of three basic, almost trivial laws of motion:

  1. If the net force on any amount of matter is zero, then the object's velocity will not change if viewing from a constant reference point..
  2. If an object has mass $m$ and acceleration $a$, then the force which acted upon it is equivalent to $ma$. This is stated formally as $F=ma$.
  3. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Formally, if an amount of matter $m$ places a force on matter with the same mass $n$, then $n$ will put an equivalent force in the opposite direction.

Another contribution similar to his second law is the universal law of gravitation. The formula is given by $F=G\frac{m_1m_2}{r^2}$ where $m_1\text{ and }m_2$ are two point like objects with mass, $G$ is the gravitational constant which is approximately $6.67\cdot 10^{-11} \frac{N\cdot m^2}{kg^2}$, $r$ being the average distance between them, and $F$ being the force. The units for the gravitational constant is kilogram, newton, and meter.

See Also