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__Info (more or less) On The Books Content__**Sir Isaac Newton**PRS MP (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1727 [NS: 4 January 1643 – 31 March 1727])

^{[1]}was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist and theologian, who has been "considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived."

^{[7]}His monograph

*Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica*, published in 1687, lays the foundations for most of classical mechanics. In this work, Newton described universal gravitation and the three laws of motion, which dominated the scientific view of the physical universe for the next three centuries. Newton showed that the motions of objects on Earth and of celestial bodies are governed by the same set of natural laws, by demonstrating the consistency between Kepler's laws of planetary motion and his theory of gravitation, thus removing the last doubts about heliocentrism and advancing the Scientific Revolution.

The

*Principia*is generally considered to be one of the most important scientific books ever written, due, independently, to the specific physical laws the work successfully described, and for the style of the work, which assisted in setting standards for scientific publication down to the present time. Newton built the first practical reflecting telescope

^{[8]}and developed a theory of colour based on the observation that a prism decomposes white light into the many colours that form the visible spectrum. He also formulated an empirical law of cooling and studied the speed of sound. In mathematics, Newton shares the credit with Gottfried Leibniz for the development of differential and integral calculus. He also demonstrated the generalised binomial theorem, developed Newton's method for approximating the roots of a function, and contributed to the study of power series.

Newton, although an unorthodox Christian, was deeply religious, and wrote more on Biblical hermeneutics and occult studies than on science and mathematics. Newton secretly rejected Trinitarianism, and feared being accused of refusing holy orders.

^{[9]}

**Mathematics**

Newton's work has been said "to distinctly advance every branch of mathematics then studied".

^{[19]}His work on the subject usually referred to as fluxions or calculus, seen in a manuscript of October 1666, is now published among Newton's mathematical papers.

^{[20]}The author of the manuscript

*De analysi per aequationes numero terminorum infinitas*, sent by Isaac Barrow to John Collins in June 1669, was identified by Barrow in a letter sent to Collins in August of that year as:

^{[21]}

Newton later became involved in a dispute with Leibniz over priority in the development of infinitesimal calculus. Most modern historians believe that Newton and Leibniz developed infinitesimal calculus independently, although with very different notations. Occasionally it has been suggested that Newton published almost nothing about it until 1693, and did not give a full account until 1704, while Leibniz began publishing a full account of his methods in 1684. (Leibniz's notation and "differential Method", nowadays recognised as much more convenient notations, were adopted by continental European mathematicians, and after 1820 or so, also by British mathematicians.) Such a suggestion, however, fails to notice the content of calculus which critics of Newton's time and modern times have pointed out in Book 1 of Newton'sMr Newton, a fellow of our College, and very young ... but of an extraordinary genius and proficiency in these things.

*Principia*itself (published 1687) and in its forerunner manuscripts, such as

*De motu corporum in gyrum*("On the motion of bodies in orbit"), of 1684. The

*Principia*is not written in the language of calculus either as we know it or as Newton's (later) 'dot' notation would write it. But his work extensively uses an infinitesimal calculus in geometric form, based on limiting values of the ratios of vanishing small quantities: in the

*Principia*itself Newton gave demonstration of this under the name of 'the method of first and last ratios'

^{[22]}and explained why he put his expositions in this form,

^{[23]}remarking also that 'hereby the same thing is performed as by the method of indivisibles'.

Because of this, the

*Principia*has been called "a book dense with the theory and application of the infinitesimal calculus" in modern times

^{[24]}and "lequel est presque tout de ce calcul" ('nearly all of it is of this calculus') in Newton's time.

^{[25]}His use of methods involving "one or more orders of the infinitesimally small" is present in his

*De motu corporum in gyrum*of 1684

^{[26]}and in his papers on motion "during the two decades preceding 1684".

^{[27]}

Newton had been reluctant to publish his calculus because he feared controversy and criticism.

^{[28]}He was close to the Swiss mathematician Nicolas Fatio de Duillier. In 1691, Duillier started to write a new version of Newton's

*Principia*, and corresponded with Leibniz.

^{[29]}In 1693 the relationship between Duillier and Newton deteriorated, and the book was never completed.

Starting in 1699, other members of the Royal Society (of which Newton was a member) accused Leibniz of plagiarism, and the dispute broke out in full force in 1711. The Royal Society proclaimed in a study that it was Newton who was the true discoverer and labelled Leibniz a fraud. This study was cast into doubt when it was later found that Newton himself wrote the study's concluding remarks on Leibniz. Thus began the bitter controversy which marred the lives of both Newton and Leibniz until the latter's death in 1716.

^{[30]}

Newton is generally credited with the generalised binomial theorem, valid for any exponent. He discovered Newton's identities, Newton's method, classified cubic plane curves (polynomials of degree three in two variables), made substantial contributions to the theory of finite differences, and was the first to use fractional indices and to employ coordinate geometry to derive solutions to Diophantine equations. He approximated partial sums of the harmonic series by logarithms (a precursor to Euler's summation formula), and was the first to use power series with confidence and to revert power series. Newton's work on infinite series was inspired by Simon Stevin's decimals.

^{[31]}

He was appointed Lucasian Professor of Mathematics in 1669 on Barrow's recommendation. In that day, any fellow of Cambridge or Oxford was required to become an ordained Anglican priest. However, the terms of the Lucasian professorship required that the holder

*not*be active in the church (presumably so as to have more time for science). Newton argued that this should exempt him from the ordination requirement, and Charles II, whose permission was needed, accepted this argument. Thus a conflict between Newton's religious views and Anglican orthodoxy was averted.

^{[32]}

**Optics**

From 1670 to 1672, Newton lectured on optics.

^{[34]}During this period he investigated the refraction of light, demonstrating that a prism could decompose white light into a spectrum of colours, and that a lens and a second prism could recompose the multicoloured spectrum into white light.

^{[35]}Modern scholarship has revealed that Newton's analysis and resynthesis of white light owes a debt to corpuscular alchemy.

^{[36]}

He also showed that the coloured light does not change its properties by separating out a coloured beam and shining it on various objects. Newton noted that regardless of whether it was reflected or scattered or transmitted, it stayed the same colour. Thus, he observed that colour is the result of objects interacting with already-coloured light rather than objects generating the colour themselves. This is known as Newton's theory of colour.

^{[37]}

From this work, he concluded that the lens of any refracting telescope would suffer from the dispersion of light into colours (chromatic aberration). As a proof of the concept, he constructed a telescope using a mirror as the objective to bypass that problem.

^{[38]}Building the design, the first known functional reflecting telescope, today known as a Newtonian telescope,

^{[38]}involved solving the problem of a suitable mirror material and shaping technique. Newton ground his own mirrors out of a custom composition of highly reflective speculum metal, using Newton's rings to judge the quality of the optics for his telescopes. In late 1668

^{[39]}he was able to produce this first

*reflecting telescope*. In 1671, the Royal Society asked for a demonstration of his reflecting telescope.

^{[40]}Their interest encouraged him to publish his notes

*On Colour*, which he later expanded into his

*Opticks*. When Robert Hooke criticised some of Newton's ideas, Newton was so offended that he withdrew from public debate. Newton and Hooke had brief exchanges in 1679–80, when Hooke, appointed to manage the Royal Society's correspondence, opened up a correspondence intended to elicit contributions from Newton to Royal Society transactions,

^{[41]}which had the effect of stimulating Newton to work out a proof that the elliptical form of planetary orbits would result from a centripetal force inversely proportional to the square of the radius vector (see Newton's law of universal gravitation – History and

*De motu corporum in gyrum*). But the two men remained generally on poor terms until Hooke's death.

^{[42]}

Newton argued that light is composed of particles or corpuscles, which were refracted by accelerating into a denser medium. He verged on soundlike waves to explain the repeated pattern of reflection and transmission by thin films (Opticks Bk.II, Props. 12), but still retained his theory of 'fits' that disposed corpuscles to be reflected or transmitted (Props.13). Later physicists instead favoured a purely wavelike explanation of light to account for the interference patterns, and the general phenomenon of diffraction. Today's quantum mechanics, photons and the idea of wave–particle duality bear only a minor resemblance to Newton's understanding of light.

In his

*Hypothesis of Light*of 1675, Newton posited the existence of the ether to transmit forces between particles. The contact with the theosophist Henry More, revived his interest in alchemy. He replaced the ether with occult forces based on Hermetic ideas of attraction and repulsion between particles. John Maynard Keynes, who acquired many of Newton's writings on alchemy, stated that "Newton was not the first of the age of reason: He was the last of the magicians."

^{[43]}Newton's interest in alchemy cannot be isolated from his contributions to science.

^{[5]}This was at a time when there was no clear distinction between alchemy and science. Had he not relied on the occult idea of action at a distance, across a vacuum, he might not have developed his theory of gravity. (See also Isaac Newton's occult studies.)

In 1704, Newton published

*Opticks*, in which he expounded his corpuscular theory of light. He considered light to be made up of extremely subtle corpuscles, that ordinary matter was made of grosser corpuscles and speculated that through a kind of alchemical transmutation "Are not gross Bodies and Light convertible into one another, ...and may not Bodies receive much of their Activity from the Particles of Light which enter their Composition?"

^{[44]}Newton also constructed a primitive form of a frictional electrostatic generator, using a glass globe (Optics, 8th Query).

In an article entitled "Newton, prisms, and the 'opticks' of tunable lasers

^{[45]}it is indicated that Newton in his book

*Opticks*was the first to show a diagram using a prism as a beam expander. In the same book he describes, via diagrams, the use of multiple-prism arrays. Some 278 years after Newton's discussion, multiple-prism beam expanders became central to the development of narrow-linewidth tunable lasers. Also, the use of these prismatic beam expanders led to the multiple-prism dispersion theory.

^{[45]}

**Mechanics and gravitation**

Further information: Writing of Principia Mathematica

In 1679, Newton returned to his work on (celestial) mechanics, i.e., gravitation and
its effect on the orbits of planets,
with reference to Kepler's laws of planetary motion. This
followed stimulation by a brief exchange of letters in 1679–80 with Hooke, who
had been appointed to manage the Royal Society's correspondence, and who opened
a correspondence intended to elicit contributions from Newton to Royal Society
transactions.

The

In the same work, Newton presented a calculus-like method of geometrical analysis by 'first and last ratios', gave the first analytical determination (based on Boyle's law) of the speed of sound in air, inferred the oblateness of the spheroidal figure of the Earth, accounted for the precession of the equinoxes as a result of the Moon's gravitational attraction on the Earth's oblateness, initiated the gravitational study of the irregularities in the motion of the moon, provided a theory for the determination of the orbits of comets, and much more.

Newton made clear his heliocentric view of the solar system – developed in a somewhat modern way, because already in the mid-1680s he recognised the "deviation of the Sun" from the centre of gravity of the solar system.

Newton's postulate of an invisible force able to act over vast distances led to him being criticised for introducing "occult agencies" into science.

With the

Besides the work of Newton and others on calculus, the first important demonstration of the power of analytic geometry was Newton's classification of cubic curves in the Euclidean plane in the late 1600s. He divided them into four types, satisfying different equations, and in 1717 Stirling, probably with Newton's help, proved that every cubic was one of these four. Newton also claimed that the four types could be obtained by plane projection from one of them, and this was proved in 1731.

Extracts Taken From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton

^{[41]}Newton's reawakening interest in astronomical matters received further stimulus by the appearance of a comet in the winter of 1680–1681, on which he corresponded with John Flamsteed.^{[46]}After the exchanges with Hooke, Newton worked out a proof that the elliptical form of planetary orbits would result from a centripetal force inversely proportional to the square of the radius vector (see Newton's law of universal gravitation – History and De motu corporum in gyrum). Newton communicated his results to Edmond Halley and to the Royal Society in*De motu corporum in gyrum*, a tract written on about 9 sheets which was copied into the Royal Society's Register Book in December 1684.^{[47]}This tract contained the nucleus that Newton developed and expanded to form the*Principia*.The

*Principia*was published on 5 July 1687 with encouragement and financial help from Edmond Halley. In this work, Newton stated the three universal laws of motion that enabled many of the advances of the Industrial Revolution which soon followed and were not to be improved upon for more than 200 years, and are still the underpinnings of the non-relativistic technologies of the modern world. He used the Latin word*gravitas*(weight) for the effect that would become known as gravity, and defined the law of universal gravitation.In the same work, Newton presented a calculus-like method of geometrical analysis by 'first and last ratios', gave the first analytical determination (based on Boyle's law) of the speed of sound in air, inferred the oblateness of the spheroidal figure of the Earth, accounted for the precession of the equinoxes as a result of the Moon's gravitational attraction on the Earth's oblateness, initiated the gravitational study of the irregularities in the motion of the moon, provided a theory for the determination of the orbits of comets, and much more.

Newton made clear his heliocentric view of the solar system – developed in a somewhat modern way, because already in the mid-1680s he recognised the "deviation of the Sun" from the centre of gravity of the solar system.

^{[48]}For Newton, it was not precisely the centre of the Sun or any other body that could be considered at rest, but rather "the common centre of gravity of the Earth, the Sun and all the Planets is to be esteem'd the Centre of the World", and this centre of gravity "either is at rest or moves uniformly forward in a right line" (Newton adopted the "at rest" alternative in view of common consent that the centre, wherever it was, was at rest).^{[49]}Newton's postulate of an invisible force able to act over vast distances led to him being criticised for introducing "occult agencies" into science.

^{[50]}Later, in the second edition of the*Principia*(1713), Newton firmly rejected such criticisms in a concluding General Scholium, writing that it was enough that the phenomena implied a gravitational attraction, as they did; but they did not so far indicate its cause, and it was both unnecessary and improper to frame hypotheses of things that were not implied by the phenomena. (Here Newton used what became his famous expression*Hypotheses non fingo*).With the

*Principia*, Newton became internationally recognised.^{[51]}He acquired a circle of admirers, including the Swiss-born mathematician Nicolas Fatio de Duillier, with whom he formed an intense relationship. This abruptly ended in 1693, and at the same time Newton suffered a nervous breakdown.^{[52]}**Classification of cubics**Besides the work of Newton and others on calculus, the first important demonstration of the power of analytic geometry was Newton's classification of cubic curves in the Euclidean plane in the late 1600s. He divided them into four types, satisfying different equations, and in 1717 Stirling, probably with Newton's help, proved that every cubic was one of these four. Newton also claimed that the four types could be obtained by plane projection from one of them, and this was proved in 1731.

^{[53]}Extracts Taken From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton

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