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Newton, Sir Isaac Newton facts for kids

Newton, Sir Isaac (1642-1727), was an English mathematician who made outstanding contributions to the study of physics. His theories of gravity and motion and experiments in light physics, have earned him a place among the most celebrated of scientists. As a boy he was not a notable scholar. Neither did he show great ability while studying at Trinity College, Cambridge. However his greatest discoveries were made during a period of only two years, soon after leaving college.

The portrait of Sir Isaac Newton - facts for kids Apple tree - Isaac Newton laws of gravity

Sir Isaac Newton facts for kids

The portrait of Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton and the apple tree

Newton proved that sunlight is made up of all the colors of the rainbow. He demonstrated this by passing sunlight through a prism (a triangular block of glass) onto a piece of paper. This resulted in the spectrum, or band of colors, being clearly seen. To prove conclusively that his theory was correct, Newton then passed the spectrum back through another prism and obtained white light again. Although similar theories had previously been put forward, it was Newton who proved it beyond doubt.

It is popularly believed that Isaac Newton's laws of gravity and motion came to him when he saw an apple fall from a tree to the ground beneath. Gravity is the attraction that masses of matter have for each other, and motion occurs when an object changes its position in space. Newton reasoned that the force with which the Earth attracts an object depends on the amount of matter (of which all physical things are made) in the object, and the distance between them. Therefore a large stone will be attracted to earth by a greater force than a small stone. Newton also concluded that the planets are held in their orbits by the gravitational pull of the Sun, while the Moon is held in its orbit by the Earth's gravitational pull.

It was nearly twenty years later that Newton's theories were published. The resulting book is considered one of the most important of all scientific works. His work on the laws of motion became the basis for the science of mechanics. Newton had an extremely busy academic and public life. In 1669 he was appointed professor of mathematics at Cambridge, and later became the university's member of parliament. He also became Master of the Mint and President of the Royal Society. Newton was knighted by Queen Anne in 1705. He is buried in Westminster Abbey in London.

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