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The History of Isaac Newton - Where to discover Newton

Friday June 26, 2015 by Guest Blogger

You saw the whole of the moon...

 

In this month’s blog we’re turning to possibly one of the greatest (albeit a tad miserable) Britons of all time...as I grapple with the massive intellect of Sir Isaac Newton

 

Sometimes, when I’m trying to swat a fly at home, my wife will joke that I'm at a massively unfair advantage because I’m twice their size and at least four times as clever. She thinks she’s sooo funny sometimes. News for her: she’s not. 

The reason I mention this is because I kind of associate this ratio with how I think of Sir Isaac Newton. “Oh my gosh, how so?” I hear you ask.

Well, kinda like an apple falling from a tree, the answer’s quite simple. Because the 2 most striking things about him are his oddball and verrry eccentric behaviour (though I’m not sure of his fly swatting abilities) and in equal measure (but doubled obviously), his utter, utter brilliance.

This very same brilliance led him to be called by luminaries no less than Albert Einstein and Bill Bryson (another brilliant man, who I’m going to unashamedly paraphrase here), 'almost certainly the cleverest man that has ever lived'.

 

Let me explain:

So yes, Newton did engage in some English eccentricities. For instance, he once famously inserted a long needle into his eye socket and wriggled it around ‘betwixt my eye and the bone, as near to the back side of my eye as I could’ just to ‘see’ what would happen, and he would reputedly, on swinging his feet out of bed in the morning, sometimes sit for hours immobilized by the sudden rush of thoughts to his head. He also stated that one of his greatest achievements was to die a virgin.

This wasn’t a show of eccentricity conducted for the purposes of self publicity however, as his brain was very much concerned with higher things. Have you ever watched University Challenge? Well, those bright sparks would have been as children to the great man. For instance, when he was frustrated by the limitations of conventional maths, he just went right ahead and invented Calculus, an important type of math used in advanced engineering and science. Normal people just don’t do that.

In fact Newton contributed much to the field of mathematics that few of us will ever even understand. It even took the greatest brains of his time 50 years to grasp some of his contributions (including Newton's identities, Newton's method, and the generalized binomial theorem). Now do you see what I mean!

In 'addition' to his vast contributions in the fields of mathematics, Newton is also credited with the advancement of many topics in (among other things), philosophy, astronomy and physics. You may have heard of Newton's Laws of Motion which laid the foundation for classical physics and mechanics, in particular his first and third laws (paraphrased below).

Newton's First Law: An object in motion stays in motion, and an object at rest stays at rest unless an external force acts upon it.

Newton's Second Law: The equation F = ma, where m is the mass of the object, F is the net force, and a is the acceleration. Sounds simple? Yeah, so does E=mc2!

Newton's Third Law: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Guess what that ‘external force’ was by the way? Yup, right in one – Gravity. Nice one Isaac, you basically just figured out why the universe works.

 

Which leads us nicely on to: The Principia

In 1687 Newton published one of the most groundbreaking and important works EVER…called the Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (basically the "Mathematical principals of Natural Philosophy"). In this masterwork he described the three laws of motion as well (outlined above) as well as the law of universal gravity. This work made him world famous and would go down as one of the most important works in the history of science. It not only introduced the theory of gravity which helped to explain the movements of the planets and the Sun, but defined the principals of modern physics.

And to think that he only wrote his thoughts down in the Principia at the urging of his friend (and famous astronomer) Edmond Halley!

In 1668 Newton also invented the reflecting telescope, a type of telescope which uses mirrors to reflect light and form an image. Nearly all of the major telescopes used in astronomy today are reflecting telescopes. Cheers Isaac! Oh, and did I mention his groundbreaking work with prisms, white light (the nature and formation thereof), wavelengths, etc? Uh, I just did.

 

So, a few facts about the great man:

Isaac was born in Lincolnshire way back in 1643 but at school he was by all accounts only an ‘adequate’ student..but that all changed in 1661 when he went to attend college at Cambridge University where he’d spend much of his life, becoming a professor of mathematics and a fellow of the Royal Society, and eventually representing Cambridge University as a member of parliament. 

In 1696 he became warden of the Royal Mint in London, and taking his duties seriously he tried to get rid of corruption (he ordered the execution of many counterfeiters, thus making him, perhaps, the only famous scientist to put people to death) as well as to reform the currency of England. He was elected President of the Royal Society in 1703 and was knighted in 1705.  

Newton died in 1727 in London. After his death it was discovered that he had a hugely unhealthy interest in alchemy and philosophy and was equally obsessively religious. Today however, he is just considered to be one of the most influential scientists of all time alongside greats such as Albert Einstein, and his heroes Aristotle and Galileo. 

 

Where to discover Newton:

Woolsthorpe Manor, Lincolnshire. The great man was born here and it’s now owned by the National Trust and open to the public.  

Where to stay? Nearby Nottingham has some great Serviced Apartments.

Trinity College, Cambridge.  Newton made his name at Cambridge University’s Trinity College and spent the majority of his life in the city.

Where to stay?  Cambridge has plenty of holiday apartments to choose from. 

Westminster Abbey, London.  Newton died in Kensington in London and is now buried at Westminster Abbey.

Where to stay?  As the capital of the UK London has plenty of accommodation options but why not try one of the many serviced apartments available in Westminster itself - an ideal base for exploring London.

 

So just remember the next time you’re facing a daunting relocation move that although it may seem an impossibly complex task at first, by getting the right experts to help you it can be simplified into something much more easily understood, like gravity!

 

If you’re planning a visit the UK or relocating for work, Prestige Apartments has a wide range of serviced apartments and corporate housing on offer in around the UK.  

We'll have something to suit all budgets and group sizes so why not consider staying in a serviced apartment this year? Just get in touch with our friendly sales team and they'll make choosing your perfect serviced apartment as easy as falling off a log! 

TEL: +44 20 7704 6514 or EMAIL: sales@prestigeapartments.co.uk

 

 


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