|Born: 25 Dec 1642, Woolsthrope-by-Colsterworth, England
Died: 20 March 1727 (aged 84), Kensington, England
Isaac Newton was a prominent English physicist and mathematician, who is widely regarded as the one of the most influential people in science and a key figure in the scientific revolution of the 1500s and 1600s. His most iconic accomplishment was conceiving the theory of gravity, inspired by watching apples fall from an apple tree. Contrary to popular belief, the apple did not hit Newton on the head and some even believe the whole story to be a myth told by Newton himself, even though some of Newton’s acquaintances have confirmed it as true.
In his book ”Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy”, he outlined the laws of motion and the concept of universal gravitation. The book heavily influenced scientists’ perception of the universe for the next three centuries. It also showed that other celestial bodies move using the same principles as Earth, essentially removing any doubt about a heliocentric model of the cosmos.
In 1704, Newton attempted to extract scientific data from the Bible and concluded that the world will end no sooner than 2060, even though he stated that it wasn’t an attempt to predict the end of the world, but “to put a stop to the rash conjectures of fanciful men who are frequently predicting the time of the end”. During Newton’s time, distinctions between science and the occult were virtually nonexistent, which is why Newton authored a number of works dealing with chronology, alchemy and Biblical interpretation. After analyzing some of Newton’s works, economist John Maynard Keynes said ”Newton was not the first of the age of reason, he was the last of the magicians”
Awards and Recognition
1731: Monument in Westminister Abbey
1978 – 88: Depiction on the 1 GBP note, the last 1 GBP note issued by the Bank of England
1995: Statue erected at Oxford University
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