Life & Character - Isaac Newton was born prematurely on Christmas day 1642 (4 January 1643, New Style) in Woolsthorpe, a hamlet near Grantham in
With his mother's return to Woolsthorpe in 1653,
In April 1667,
In the first of a series of bitter disputes,
In 1666, as tradition has it,
Meanwhile, in the coffeehouses of
Although the Principia was well received, its future was cast in doubt before it appeared. Here again Hooke was center stage, this time claiming (not without justification) that his letters of 1679-1680 earned him a role in
After publishing the Principia,
Although his creative years had passed,
Mathematics - The origin of
The Crucial Experiment.
The Opticks. The Opticks of 1704, which first appeared in English, is
The Corpuscular Theory. But the Opticks contained more than experimental results. During the 17th century it was widely held that light, like sound, consisted of a wave or undulatory motion, and
At various points in his career
The question of periodicity arose with the phenomenon known as '
The Opticks was Newton's most widely read work. Following the first edition, Latin versions appeared in 1706 and 1719, and second and third English editions in 1717 and 1721. Perhaps the most provocative part of the Opticks is the section known as the 'Queries,' which Newton placed at the end of the book. Here he posed questions and ventured opinions on the nature of light, matter, and the forces of nature.
Mechanics. Newton's research in dynamics falls into three major periods: the plague years 1664-1666, the investigations of 1679-1680, following Hooke's correspondence, and the period 1684-1687, following Halley's visit to Cambridge. The gradual evolution of Newton's thought over these two decades illustrates the complexity of his achievement as well as the prolonged character of scientific 'discovery.'
While the myth of
The next step was to test the inverse square relation against empirical data. To do this
In late 1679 and early 1680 an exchange of letters with Hooke renewed
When Halley visited
In Book II of the Principia,
In Book III, subtitled the System of the World, Newton extended his three laws of motion to the frame of the world, finally demonstrating 'that there is a power of gravity tending to all bodies, proportional to the several quantities of matter which they contain.'
Perhaps the most powerful and influential scientific treatise ever published, the Principia appeared in two further editions during
Other Researches. Throughout his career