Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton (Godfrey Kneller, national Portrait Gallery London, 1702)

Sir Isaac Newton [ˈaɪzəkˈnjuːtn̩] (after Gregorian calendar: * 4. January 1643 in Woolsthorpe by Colsterworth into Lincoln-almost; † 31. March 1727 in Kensington - after at that time the Julian calendar still valid in England: * 25. December 1642; † 20. March 1727) was an English physicist, mathematician, an astronomer, a Alchemist, a philosopher and a theologian.

In the languageits time, which did not separate sharply between physics and philosophy yet, Newton was philosopher.

Sir Isaac Newton is the author of the “Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica”, in which he described the universal gravitation and the movement laws and thus the foundation-stonefor the classical mechanics put. Newton is likewise one the founder of the Differenzialrechnung (a subsection of the infinitesimal analysis), which it developed nearly at the same time with Gottfried William Leibniz, but independently of this and without co-operation with Leibniz. During Newton ofphysical principle of the momentary speed went out to find tried Leibniz a mathematical description of the geometrical tangent problem.

Due to its achievements, particularly in the areas for physics and mathematics, Sir Isaac Newton applies as one of the largest scientists of all times. Those Principia Mathematica is classified as one of the most important scientific works.

Table of contents

lives and work

Isaac Newton (Bolton, Sarah K. Famous Men OF Science. NY: Thomas's Y. Crowell & cost, 1889)

Newton's father, a farmer, died before the birth of its son. 1646 married its nut/mother tosecond time and Isaac came to his grandmother. Soon thereafter also its stepfather died, so that Isaac returned to Woolsthorpe. It visited the primary school in Grantham and with 18 years the Trinity college in Cambridge, briefly after thatConclusion of its study 1665 because of a plague epidemic disease to be closed had. Thus it turned again back into its parents' house.

it set up its Gravitationstheorie to 1666. It sharpened lenses and built late Spiegelteleskop designated after it, which it the kingdemonstrated, which was impressed. That was the first step to its fame. In a letter to the Royal Society mentioned Newton in connection with the building of the new telescope opposite the secretary at that time Henry Oldenburg a new theory of the light. 1672 it published its minute “new Theory about Light and Colours” in the Philosphical Transactions of the Royal Society on request of Oldenburg, where it described among other things the refraction of the light. This minute caused large discussions. Particularly between it and Robert Hooke prevailed a strained relationship, since both outstanding scientists were, but entirely different opinions had and everyone on its right pounded.

In the “new Theory Light and Colours” about represented Newton the corpuscle theory of the light, with which he of oneParticle model went out. Contrary to René Descartes assumed Newton however the colors are original characteristics of the light. In addition this led to one again embitters delivered dispute with Christiaan Huygens and its Wellentheorie of the light, which he 1715by Desaguliers before the Royal Society for itself to decide left. After Thomas Young accomplished further experiments in the year 1800, for a long time after both death, to confirmation of the Wellentheorie, today both theories are in quantum mechanics mathematically united.

From 1675 to 1682Newton in a phase of the Inaktivität and the self doubt were. Afterwards it set up the gravitation law. He wrote himself a further minute over his physical discoveries, in which he solved also the problem, why the planets on elliptical wrote its Hauptwerk, the “Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica “(mathematical principles of nature philosophy) to 1687. In this work it united the research Galileo Galileis to acceleration and Johannes Keplers to the planetary motions to a uniform theory of the gravitationand put the foundation-stones of the classical mechanics, by formulating the three Basic Law of the movement. Again a controversy with Hooke over the gravitation law followed.

Two years later its nut/mother and Newton died began, a theological exchange of letters with thatto lead English philosopher John curl.

Newton's grave in the Westminster Abbey

1696 he was appointed the director of the royal coin in London. Its hard procedure against Falschmünzer was notorious. (1699) it became three years later at that Paris academyas members foreign of eight appoint. In the year 1700 it invented its own thermometric scale with the Newton scale. it received the title “president of the Royal Society “to 1703, which it held up to the end of its life. One year after diedhis ore enemy Hooke and he could publish finally its “Opticks or A treatise OF the reflections, refractions, inflections and colours OF light” („optics or a paper over reflection, refraction, curvature and the colors of the light “). To 16. April 1705it was struck by queen Anne because of its earnings/services around the science to the knight. In the same year also the priority difficulties began with Gottfried William Leibniz over the invention of the infinitesimal analysis. In Newton's 1712 published book “Historia coelestis Britannica“this used unauthorized the so-called Flamsteed designations coming from John Flamsteed, which likewise drew a controversy over copyright.

It referred then a herrschaftliches house, the one small observatory accommodated and studied old history, theology and Mystik.Starting from 1707 Newton's house of its half niece Catherine bar clay/tone was led. After its death in the year 1727 he was buried under large ceremonies in the Westminster Abbey. Its picture prangte from 1978 to 1984 on the English 1-Pfund-Note.

Newton appliedwhen quite absent-minded and grant, reacted however frequently very sharply to criticism. It lived nearly constantly in domestic community with other men. Also history is told that Newton, who sat grübelnd under an apple tree an apple on thatHead fell, which brought it on the idea, celestial mechanics is based on the same gravitation as the case of apples on earth. This decreases/goes back however not on Newton, but on Voltaire. Whether it course-carry really in such a wayhas, is questionable.

research in natural science and philosophy

physics and mathematics

frontispiece of the first edition: Opticks or A treatise OF the reflections, refractions, inflections and colours OF light
Isaac Newton: Principia Mathematica (Frontispiz)

Newton's researchon the area of the refraction of light (optics) it showed that a prism can split white light up into a Farbenspektrum. From its work it concluded the fact that each telescope under the dispersion of the light would suffer lenses and suggested a Spiegelteleskop,in order to go around the problems. Later achromatic lens combinations of Gläsern of different refraction characteristics were developed.

It derived the law of the gravitation in the “Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica and proved its meaning for the Kepler laws, whereby itable was to be described the planetary motions not only like Johannes Kepler to for the first time also justify but. Also the foundation-stones of the classical mechanics, the three Basic Law of the movement and the concepts of absolute time, absolute area, and so also indirectly the concept of the December RMI sneezing mash by it were put to the action at a distance. Together this was the substantial basic principles of physics and as such formed it for over 200 years the basis of the scientific conception of the world of many generations, toto relativity theory Albert Einsteins.

To its fundamental achievements to physics it beside Gottfried William Leibniz is additional also one the founder of the infinitesimal analysis and also important contributions to algebra furnished.

After Newton is the Newton's approximation method and SI - unit Kraft (Newton), the Newton's axioms as well as the Newton excrement formulas designated, in addition to 30. March 1908 of J. H. Metcalf in rope clay/tone discovered Asteroid (662) Newtonia.

From Newton also the first sketch comesequipment for angular measurement by mirrors and thus the philosophy for a half century later the invented sextant.

An early formula for the estimation of the striking power of projectiles was developed by Isaac Newton.

the Newton's one Time and space space

Newton was concerned 31 years long with the phenomenon of the time. After Newton the universe is an enormous clockwork, and only the time the true order of all things. The moreover one it is a being certain size, which is alike for everyone and everywhere and never changes.

In addition the time is being certain that it must have been planned from beginning on, thus on a creator refers to in such a way. The future, which present and the past would standthus already in advance firmly, which flowed in the deterministic conception of the world of Newton. This is not however also conflict-free with the Christian concept of the free will and besides a partial aspect of the Theodizeeproblems.

Newton's time understanding long the science dominated 200 yearsup to Albert Einsteins relativity theory and the Heisenberg uncertainty relation.

further ones work

few as its scientific achievements from today's viewpoint are well-known Newton's work in Christian theology and in the Alchemie than predecessors of the modern natural science understanding.

In theology Newton represented a antitrinitarische opinion. Beside its physical work he spent also much time with the search for the stone of the ways. 1728 appeared its chronological computations (“The Chronology OF Ancient Kingdoms Amended”), in which ittried, which classical chronology (see.To harmonize James Ussher) with astronomical data. It came to the result that the world was 534 years younger than computed of Ussher.

Newton's publications

after its death appeared the following works:

  • Short Chronicle
  • The system OF the World
  • Optical Lectures
  • universal arithmetic
  • The Chronology OF Ancient Kingdoms, Amended
  • De mundi systemate
  • at Historical account OF Two Notable Corruptions OF Scripture (a historical report over two remarkable falsifications of the writing) (1754)


  • Harro Heuser: The physicist of God: Isaac Newton or the revolution of theThinking. Freiburg i.Br.: Herder, 2005. ISBN 3-451-05591-0
  • Neal Stephenson: Quicksilver Goldmann, 2004, ISBN 3-442-54568-4 (historical novel)
  • smelling pool of broadcasting corporations Samuel west case: Never RK remainder: A Biography OF Isaac Newton. Cambridge (UK), New York 1980. (dt.: Isaac Newton: oneBiography. Heidelberg 1996)
  • Johannes Wickert: Isaac Newton. Reinbek: rororo, 1995, 2. Aufl. 2001. ISBN 3-499-50548-7

Web on the left of

Commons: Isaac Newton - pictures, videos and/or audio files
Wikiquote: Isaac Newton - quotations
  • {{#if:
| | *  Literature of and over Isaac Newton in the catalog of the DDB


of primary texts:


  > German to English > (Machine translated into English)