Sir Isaac Newton - Basic Information:
Born: 4 January 1643
Death: 31 March 1727
Note: While Newton lived, Britain continued to use the old-style Julian calendar instead of the modern Gregorian calendar used in much of Europe. As such, Newton's British birthday was Christmas Day 1642, because of an almost 10-day disparity between the calendars. He died on the Gregorian date of 20 March 1727. The dates given above are using the modern Gregorian calendar.
Major Physics Achievements:
- defined the law of gravity, verifying Kepler's laws of planetary motion and essentially ending the geocentric view of the universe.
- defined the three laws of motion
- enunciated principles of conservation of momentum & angular momentum
- invented the reflecting telescope and defined a corpuscular theory of light
- inventor of calculus (in parallel with Gottfried Leibniz) and applied it directly to the understanding of physical systems
Other Major Achievements:
- studied alchemy
- member of Parliament of England 1689 to 1690, and in 1701.
- wrote religious tracts, including some work disputing the Trinity.
- became warden of the Royal Mint in 1696, oversaw the "great recoining," and became Master of the Mint in 1699, a position he held for the remainder of his life.