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Video:Profile of Isaac Newton

with Christina Hartman

Interested in the life of Isaac Newton, the English scientist who discovered gravity? Watch this About.com to learn more.See Transcript

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Transcript:Profile of Isaac Newton

Hi, I'm Christina Hartman and today we’re profiling English scientist Isaac Newton.

Who Was Isaac Newton?

Isaac Newton was born into a Puritan family on January 4, 1643 in the county of Lincolnshire in the eastern part of England. When he was 19 years old, Newton left home for Cambridge University, where he had a classical education that included studies in astronomy, mathematics, logic, and rhetoric.

Newton's Early Years

In 1667, Newton became a fellow in Trinity College at Cambridge, and was later appointed a professor of mathematics there. In 1669, Newton's interest in optics and the theory of colors led him to construct the first successful reflecting telescope — a design that's still in use today.

Newton's Greatest Work

In 1687, Newton published his most famous work, the "Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy." In it, Newton laid out his three universal laws of gravity. Maybe you've heard about Newton and the apple? Well, it didn't hit him on the head, but watching an apple fall from a tree may have helped inspire his theory that gravity applied to all objects in the universe.

Newton's Later Years

Newton was elected to Parliament from Cambridge in 1689, and in 1696 was appointed Master of the Royal Mint in London In 1705, Newton was knighted for his achievements — only the second scientist [after Sir Francis Bacon] to receive that honor.

Isaac Newton died in London on March 31, 1727 at the age of 84, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. While he wrote extensively on mathematics, religion, and optics and light, it is Newton's theories on the laws of motion for which he is best remembered.

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