Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sir Isaac Newton

4th January 2010, 367th birthday of the late Sir Isaac Newton, decoder of gravity, calculus and many other subjects we hate.

Born two to three months prematurely on January 4, 1643, in Lincolnshire, England, Isaac Newton was a tiny baby who, according to his mother, could have fit inside a quart mug. He was a practical child, and so he enjoyed constructing models, including a tiny mill that could actually ground flour—powered by a mouse running in a wheel. I wouldn't want to eat the bread made from the flour..

Admitted to the University of Cambridge on 1661, Newton at first failed to shine as a student, much like Einstein..

In 1665 the school temporarily closed because of a bubonic plague epidemic and Newton returned home to Lincolnshire for two years. It was then that the apple-falling brainstorm occurred. Legend has it that Isaac Newton formulated gravitational theory in 1665 or 1666 after watching an apple fall and asking why the apple fell straight down, rather than sideways or even upward.

Despite his apparent affinity for private study, Newton returned to Cambridge in 1667 and served as a mathematics professor and in other capacities until 1696. I remember reading from a book by Stephen Hawking that Sir Isaac Newton's post was Lucasian Professor of Mathematics in Cambridge, which was later succeeded by Paul Dirac in 1932.. then later by Prof Stephen Hawking himself.

Newton published his findings in 1687 in a book called Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy) commonly known as the Principia. . Yet the book was read by only a handful, understood by far fewer. Yet they knew that the book was a great work, sorta like what Einstein did with his theory of relativity.

Despite his wealth of discoveries Isaac Newton wasn't well liked, particularly in old age, when he served as the head of Britain's Royal Mint, served in Parliament, and write on religion, among other things. As a personality, Newton was unattractive—solitary and reclusive when young, vain and vindictive in his later years, when he tyrannized the Royal Society and vigorously sabotaged his rivals.

In 1727, at 84, Sir Isaac Newton died in his sleep. What a good way to die for a tyrant.. anyway we have to thank him for his discoveries or else we wouldn't have GPS, TV Satellites, Rockets, this and that.. cheers Sir Isaac Newton~ and thank God that apple dropped on your head~

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