Facts about Isaac Newton

  • He was born January 4, 1643, in Woolsthorpe, England, United Kingdom
  • He died March 31, 1727, in London, England, United Kingdom
  • Newton actually studied for a degree in law.
  • He owned more books on historical subjects than on science.
  • Isaac Newton suffered two nervous breakdowns.
  • Newton was notorious for his bad temper and conflicts with other people. In particular Hooke and Leibinz.
  • Between 1665 and 1667 the University of Cambridge was dispersed due to The Plague and Newton returned to Woolsthorpe Manor.
  • Isaac Newton become known in the scientific community through his refractive telescope – a big improvement on existing telescopes.
  • Newton’s discovered the theory of gravity after watching an apple fall in the orchard.
  • Throughout his life Newton continued research into a wide range of subjects including mathematics, optics, astronomy and alchemy.
  • He was elected as Member of Parliament for the University in 1700, but only held this post for a year.
  • Newton himself would tell the story of an apple falling from a tree giving him inspiration for his work on gravity. However, there is no evidence he was actually hit by an apple!
  • In 1696, Newton was appointed warden of the Royal Mint. He took his duties very seriously, seeking to prevent corruption.
  • Newton was fascinated with religion, though didn’t hold orthodox views. He wrote an article on textual criticism of the Bible.
  • One of Newton’s most famous quotes was:
    • “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
  • English poet Alexander Pope wrote the following epithat for Newton.

    Nature and nature’s laws lay hid in night;

    God said “Let Newton be” and all was light.

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