- NAME: Isaac Newton
- OCCUPATION: Philosopher, Mathematician, Astronomer, Physicist
- BIRTH DATE: January 04, 1643
- DEATH DATE: March 31, 1727
- EDUCATION: The King's School, University of Cambridge, Trinity College
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom
- PLACE OF DEATH: London, England, United Kingdom
- Full Name: Sir Isaac Newton
- AKA: Isaac Newton
Best Known For
English physicist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton, most famous for his law of gravitation, was instrumental in the scientific revolution of the 17th century.
Sir Isaac Newton - Full Episode (44:21)
Watch a short biography of Isaac Newton, a key figure in the scientific revolution who is most famous for formulating laws of gravity.
Sir Isaac Newton's scientific genius defined the laws of gravity, but his personal life was lonely and unhappy.
A look at the later years of Sir Newton's life.
A look at how Isaac Newton's research influences the way we look at the world today.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
In 1705, he was knighted by Queen Anne of England. At this point in his life, Newton's career in science and discovery had given way to a career of political power and influence.
Newton never seemed to understand the notion of science as a cooperative venture, and his ambition and fierce defense of his own discoveries continued to lead him from one conflict to another with other scientists. By most accounts,
Newton's tenure at the society was tyrannical and autocratic; he was able to control the lives and careers of younger scientists with absolute power.
In 1705, in a controversy that had been brewing for several years, German mathematician Gottfried Liebniz publically accused Newton of plagiarizing his research, claiming he had discovered infinitesimal calculus several years before the publication of Principia. In 1712, the Royal Society appointed a committee to investigate the matter. Of course, with Newton as president, he was able to appoint the committee members and oversee its investigation. Not surprisingly, the committee concluded Newton's priority over the discovery.
That same year, in another of Newton's more flagrant episodes of tyranny, he published without permission the notes of astronomer John Flamsteed. It seems the astronomer had collected a massive body of data from his years at the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, England. Newton had requested a large volume of Flamsteed's notes for his revisions to Principia. Annoyed when Flamsteed wouldn't provide him more information as quickly as he wanted it, Newton used his influence as president of the Royal Society to be named the chairman of the body of "visitors" responsible for the Royal Observatory.
He then tried to force the immediate publication of Flamsteed's catalogue of the stars, as well as all of Flamsteed's notes, edited and unedited. To add insult to injury, Newton arranged for Flamsteed's mortal enemy, Edmund Halley, to prepare the notes for press. Flamsteed was finally able to get a court order forcing Newton to cease his plans for publication and return the notes -- one of the few times that Newton was bested by one of his rivals.
Toward the end of this life, Newton lived at Cranbury Park, near Winchester, England, with his niece, Catherine (Bancroft) Conduitt, and her husband, John Conduitt. By this time, Newton had become one of the most famous men in Europe. His scientific discoveries were uchallenged. He also had become wealthy, investing his sizeable income wisely and bestowing sizeable gifts to charity. Despite his fame, Newton's life was far from perfect: He never married or made many friends, and in his later years, a combination of pride, insecurity and side-trips on peculiar scientific inquiries led even some of his few friends to worry about his mental stability.
By the time he reached 80 years of age, Newton was experiencing digestion problems, and had to drastically change his diet and mobility. Then, in March 1727, Newton experienced severe pain in his abdomen and blacked out, never to regain consciousness.
profile name: Isaac Newton profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Steve Jobs wasn't the only person in history to turn the apple into a significant cultural symbol. Somewhere in between the origin of the Adam and Eve story and the invention of the iPod, there were dozens of notable people who transformed the forbidden fruit into a significant statement.
Apple Icons 10 people in this group
Historic Hair Band Members 17 people in this group
Examine some of the world's greatest tech-savvy minds, who have bolstered industries like computer science, space exploration and mass communications through their ingenious works. These individuals are responsible for shaping the world we live in today, and have affected how we complete some of our most basic daily tasks. Delevop your own theories about these famous pioneers of technology by exploring Biography.com's Tech Giants group, including Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Marie Curie, Bill Gates, Aristotle, Stephen Hawking and several other brilliant minds in the field of technology.
Tech Giants 12 people in this group
presented by Tech Giants