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Sir Isaac Newton

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Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton is a well-renowned mathematician, astronomer, and physicist. He is recognized and highly regarded as the most influential scientist of all time. He was born on December 25, 1642 (Shamey, 2014). His father died three months before he was born. After he was born, his mother remarried again, leaving Newton in the care of his grandmother. He was first admitted to The King's School, Grantham, where he studied till he was seventeen years old. In the school, he was taught both Greek and Latin. After his mother became a widow again, he was forced to leave school by her mother, who wanted him to become a farmer. Newton always hated to become a farmer and wanted to pursue his education further. However, when newton's teacher persuaded his mother to let Newton study, she agreed, and Newton continued his education. In June 1661, due to the recommendation of his uncle, he was admitted to Trinity College, which is located in Cambridge. While studying at Trinity College, he discovered the binomial theorem that led him to develop a mathematical theory that later known as calculus. In August 1665, he obtained his BA degree, after which the university was closed temporarily as a precautionary measure against Great Plaque (Gleick & Alexanderson, 2005). Soon after the university reopened, he was elected as a fellow of Trinity. After obtaining the MA degree in 1672, Newton was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS).

In the field of mathematics, Newton’s works are highly regarded. In 1687 he published a book named “Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematics," which is still considered as the most influential book in the history of science. Although he is more famous for his work in the field of physics, especially the gravity principle and laws of motion, yet he remained the most influential mathematician of all time. During the time of great plaque, he developed the theory of light. Additionally, he pioneered the new approach to mathematics, also known as infinitesimal calculus. His theory of calculus was based on the works of John Wallis and Isaac Barrow (Shamey, 2014). The discovery of calculus facilitates both mathematicians and engineers to understand the concepts of motion and dynamic changes that are occurring around us. Due to the concepts of motion, many researchers were able to understand the orbits of planets that largely impacts the current research on different fields of science. While researching to advance calculus further, he faced several issues. The main issue was that he knew how to calculate the average slope of the curve, but as the slope is constantly varying, he was unable to find the exact at a specific point on the curve. To resolve the issue Newton and his contemporary Gottfried Leibniz, a famous German mathematician, decided to independently calculate the derivative function that led to the discovery of a new method known as differential calculus or more commonly known as differentiation. Furthermore, the discovery of differentiation led to the invention of another method that is the opposite of differentiation, widely known as integration. Both these methods are considered as the fundamental operations of calculus.

While discussing the contribution of Newton's in modern ad past days, Newton's research facilities the development of spectral analysis. Although many scientists were aware of the colors, they used to believe that the transformation of white light into seven colors is associated with the prism. However, Newton, while experimenting, refracted the same colors back on another prism, the colors joined again to form white light. Thus, with the help of Newton, the myth that prism can transform white light into the colors was busted that further facilitate people in understanding the color spectrum. Moreover, he was the first scientist to build a reflective telescope that aids in seeing images with much clarity. Newton also creates the law of calculus and the most famous law of gravitation. His book "The Principa”, contains the details of the works on the concepts of gravity and motion of the planets (Keynes, 2010). With the help of newton's theory regarding the law of gravitation, the researchers became familiar with how an object as small as apple and as large as a planet is subjected to gravity. This contribution also led to the discovery of modern geostationary satellites as thanks to Newton; scientists were aware of how gravity works. To further explain the law of gravity, Newton also created a new form of mathematics that is now known as calculus, in which he explained the concepts of changing variables such as acceleration and force. Calculus serves as the foundation for not only mathematicians but scientists and, more importantly, engineers.

Mathematics plays a vital role in our daily life and therefore considered highly important. All the inventions from simple to complex things are all because of the advancements in mathematics. It facilitates an individual in being systematic and methodical (Niss, 1994). The qualities such as reasoning, critical thinking, and problem-solving techniques are nurtured by mathematics. All the new technologies such as smartphones, drones, etc. utilize several mathematical operations to be able to perform effectively. Several jobs are such as banking and engineering, are directly associated with mathematics. However, it cannot be denied that every job requires mathematics as almost every job requires record-keeping and transaction of money, so all these tasks cannot be performed without the knowledge of mathematics. Due to the rise in technology, everything has become digital, and therefore, a knowledge of mathematics will always help to excel in the job.

References

Gleick, J., & Alexanderson, G. L. (2005). Isaac Newton. The Mathematical Intelligencer, 27(3), 74-76.

Keynes, J. M. (2010). Newton, the man. In Essays in biography (pp. 363-374). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Niss, M. (1994). Mathematics in society. Didactics of mathematics as a scientific discipline, 13, 367-378.

Shamey, R. (2014). Newton,(Sir) Isaac. Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology, 1-6.

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