Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Christians in Science

In this four hundred-word report, I will be giving you much information on him starting on when and where he was born. This man, Isaac Newton was born 1642 near the town Grantham. This is the same town he would attend college in 1661; he was soon elected a fellow of Trinity College in 1667, as well as the Lucasian professor of mathematics just two years later. He remained at the university; most of the years were spent lecturing. However one of these years while he was at the height of his creative power he singled out 1666 and 1667 (Most of which was spent in Lincolnshire due to plague in Cambridge) as "the prime of my age for invention". During two to three years of intense mental effort he prepared Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy) commonly known as the Principia, although this was not published until 1687.

As a firm opponent of the attempt by King James II to make the universities into Catholic institutions, Newton was elected Member of Parliament for the University of Cambridge to the Convention Parliament of 1689, and sat again in 1701-1702. Meanwhile, in 1696 he had moved to London as Warden of the Royal Mint. He became Master of the Mint in 1699, an office he retained to his death. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1671, and in 1703 he became President, being annually re-elected for the rest of his life. His major work, Opticks, appeared the next year; he was knighted in Cambridge in 1705.
As Newtonian science became increasingly accepted on the Continent, and especially after a general peace was restored in 1714, following the War of the Spanish Succession, Newton became the most highly esteemed natural philosopher in Europe. His last decades were passed in revising his major works, polishing his studies of ancient history, and defending himself against critics, as well as carrying out his official duties. Newton was modest, diffident, and a man of simple tastes. He was angered by criticism or opposition, and harboured resentment; he was harsh towards enemies but generous to friends. In government, and at the Royal Society, he proved an able administrator. He never married and lived modestly, but was buried with great pomp in Westminster Abbey.
For nearly three hundred years Isaac Newton has been regarded as the father of modern physics, and maybe will be for another three hundred.

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