Isaac Newton’s birthday
Finally, December 25th is known as the birthday of a certain famous child, who brought light into the world. I’m talking of course about the baby Isaac Newton, who later used a prism to split light into the spectrum of the rainbow.
Sir Isaac Newton, born December 25th, 1642, was the genius behind the physics that reigned before relativity and quantum mechanics, and which is still used today for most terrestrial-scale calculations.
Newton showed that the motion of objects on Earth and that of celestial bodies is governed by the same set of natural laws: by demonstrating the consistency between Kepler’s laws of planetary motion and his theory of gravitation he removed the last doubts about heliocentrism and advanced the scientific revolution. The Principia is generally considered to be one of the most important scientific books ever written, both due to the specific physical laws the work successfully described, and for its style, which assisted in setting standards for scientific publication down to the present time.
Newton built the first practical reflecting telescope and developed a theory of colour based on the observation that a prism decomposes white light into the many colours that form the visible spectrum. He also formulated an empirical law of cooling and studied the speed of sound. In mathematics, Newton shares the credit with Gottfried Leibniz for the development of differential and integral calculus. He generalised the binomial theorem to non-integer exponents, developed Newton’s method for approximating the roots of a function, and contributed to the study of power series.
Although an unorthodox Christian, Newton was deeply religious and wrote more on Biblical hermeneutics and occult studies than on science and mathematics. He secretly rejected Trinitarianism and refused holy orders. (Wikipedia)
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