






















84 years




Sir Isaac Newton was an English mathematician, astronomer, and physicist (described in his own day as a "natural philosopher") who is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time and a key figure in the scientific revolution. His book Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica ("Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy"), first published in 1687, laid the foundations of classical mechanics. Newton also made pathbreaking contributions to optics, and he shares credit with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz for developing the infinitesimal calculus.
Newton's Principia formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation that dominated scientists' view of the physical universe for the next three centuries. By deriving Kepler's laws of planetary motion from his mathematical description of gravity, and using the same principles to account for the trajectories of comets, the tides, the precession of the equinoxes, and other phenomena, Newton removed the last doubts about the validity of the heliocentric model of the Solar System and demonstrated that the motion of objects on Earth and of celestial bodies could be accounted for by the same principles. Newton's theoretical prediction that the Earth is shaped as an oblate spheroid was later vindicated by the geodetic measurements of Maupertuis, La Condamine, and others, thus convincing most Continental European scientists of the superiority of Newtonian mechanics over the earlier system of Descartes.
Newton also built the first practical reflecting telescope and developed a sophisticated theory of colour based on the observation that a prism decomposes white light into the colours of the visible spectrum. Newton's work on light was collected in his highly influential book Opticks, first published in 1704. He also formulated an empirical law of cooling, made the first theoretical calculation of the speed of sound, and introduced the notion of a Newtonian fluid. In addition to his work on calculus, as a mathematician Newton contributed to the study of power series, generalised the binomial theorem to noninteger exponents, developed a method for approximating the roots of a function, and classified most of the cubic plane curves.
Newton was a fellow of Trinity College and the second Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. He was a devout but unorthodox Christian, who privately rejected the doctrine of the Trinity and who, unusually for a member of the Cambridge faculty of the day, refused to take holy orders in the Church of England. Beyond his work on the mathematical sciences, Newton dedicated much of his time to the study of alchemy and biblical chronology, but most of his work in those areas remained unpublished until long after his death. Politically and personally tied to the Whig party, Newton served two brief terms as Member of Parliament for the University of Cambridge, in 1689–90 and 1701–02. He was knighted by Queen Anne in 1705 and he spent the last three decades of his life in London, serving as Warden (1696–1700) and Master (1700–1727) of the Royal Mint, as well as president of the Royal Society (1703–1727).



Sir Isaac Newton was an English mathematician, astronomer, and physicist (described in his own day as a "natural philosopher") who is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time and a key figure in the scientific revolution. His book Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica ("Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy"), first published in 1687, laid the foundations of classical mechanics. Newton also made pathbreaking contributions to optics, and he shares credit with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz for developing the infinitesimal calculus.
Newton's Principia formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation that dominated scientists' view of the physical universe for the next three centuries. By deriving Kepler's laws of planetary motion from his mathematical description of gravity, and using the same principles to account for the trajectories of comets, the tides, the precession of the equinoxes, and other phenomena, Newton removed the last doubts about the validity of the heliocentric model of the Solar System and demonstrated that the motion of objects on Earth and of celestial bodies could be accounted for by the same principles. Newton's theoretical prediction that the Earth is shaped as an oblate spheroid was later vindicated by the geodetic measurements of Maupertuis, La Condamine, and others, thus convincing most Continental European scientists of the superiority of Newtonian mechanics over the earlier system of Descartes.
Newton also built the first practical reflecting telescope and developed a sophisticated theory of colour based on the observation that a prism decomposes white light into the colours of the visible spectrum. Newton's work on light was collected in his highly influential book Opticks, first published in 1704. He also formulated an empirical law of cooling, made the first theoretical calculation of the speed of sound, and introduced the notion of a Newtonian fluid. In addition to his work on calculus, as a mathematician Newton contributed to the study of power series, generalised the binomial theorem to noninteger exponents, developed a method for approximating the roots of a function, and classified most of the cubic plane curves.
Newton was a fellow of Trinity College and the second Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. He was a devout but unorthodox Christian, who privately rejected the doctrine of the Trinity and who, unusually for a member of the Cambridge faculty of the day, refused to take holy orders in the Church of England. Beyond his work on the mathematical sciences, Newton dedicated much of his time to the study of alchemy and biblical chronology, but most of his work in those areas remained unpublished until long after his death. Politically and personally tied to the Whig party, Newton served two brief terms as Member of Parliament for the University of Cambridge, in 1689–90 and 1701–02. He was knighted by Queen Anne in 1705 and he spent the last three decades of his life in London, serving as Warden (1696–1700) and Master (1700–1727) of the Royal Mint, as well as president of the Royal Society (1703–1727).
More














Aristotle, Greek Philosopher
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and scientist. At eighteen, he joined Plato's Academy in Athens and remained there until the age of thirtyseven (c. 347 BC). His writings cover many subjects – including physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic... 






Euclid of Alexandria, Father of Geometry
Euclid, sometimes called Euclid of Alexandria to distinguish him from Euclides of Megara, was a Greek mathematician, often referred to as the "father of geometry". He was active in Alexandria during the reign of Ptolemy I (323–283 BC). His Elements i... 






Copernicus, Earth moves around the Sun
Nicolaus Copernicus was a Renaissance and Reformationera mathematician and astronomer who formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than the Earth at the center of the universe, likely independently of Aristarchus of Samos, who... 






Scientific Revolution
The scientific revolution was the emergence of modern science during the early modern period, when developments in mathematics, physics, astronomy, biology (including human anatomy) and chemistry transformed views of society and nature. The scientifi... 






Johannes Kepler, Laws Planetary Motion
Johannes Kepler was a German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer. A key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution, he is best known for his laws of planetary motion, based on his works Astronomia nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome of Co... 






Thomas Hobbes, Philosopher
Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy. His 1651 book Leviathan established the foundation for most of Western political philosophy from the perspective of social contract theory.... 






René Descartes, I think, therefore I am
René Descartes was a French philosopher, mathematician, physicist, and writer who spent most of his adult life in the Dutch Republic. He has been dubbed the "Father of Modern Philosophy", and much of subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his... 






Cavalieri, Infinitesimal Calculus
Bonaventura Francesco Cavalieri was an Italian mathematician. He is known for his work on the problems of optics and motion, work on the precursors of infinitesimal calculus, and the introduction of logarithms to Italy. Cavalieri's principle in geome... 






Christiaan Huygens, Dutch Scientist
Christiaan Huygens was a prominent Dutch mathematician and scientist. He is known particularly as an astronomer, physicist, probabilist and horologist.
Huygens was a leading scientist of his time. His work included early telescopic studies of the... 






Robert Hooke, Natural Philosopher
Robert Hooke, natural philosopher, inventor, architect, chemist, mathematician, physicist, engineer. Robert Hooke is one of the most neglected natural philosophers of all time. The inventor of, amongst other things, the iris diaphragm in cameras, the... 






Gottfried W. Leibniz, Discovery of Calculus
Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz was a German mathematician and philosopher. He occupies a prominent place in the history of mathematics and the history of philosophy.
Leibniz developed calculus independently of Isaac Newton, and Leibniz's mathematic... 






Edmond Halley, Astronomer
Edmond Halley, Astronomer, remembered because his name is attached to a comet. Leaving Queen's College, Oxford, without a degree in 1676, he went to St Helena to map the southern stars. After a famous meeting with Wren and Hooke, he visited Newton in... 






The Royal Society of London
The origins of the Royal Society lie in a group of men who began meeting in the mid1640s to discuss the new philosophy. Its official foundation date is 28 November 1660, when 12 of them met at Gresham College after a lecture by Christopher Wren, the... 






Johann Bernoulli, Mathematician
Johann Bernoulli was a Swiss mathematician and was one of the many prominent mathematicians in the Bernoulli family. He is known for his contributions to infinitesimal calculus and educated Leonhard Euler in his youth. Throughout Johann Bernoulli’s e... 






George Berkeley, Philosopher "Esse is Percipi"
George Berkeley was one of the three most famous (Locke and Hume) eighteenth century British Empiricists. He is best known for his motto, esse is percipi, to be is to be perceived.
He was an idealist: everything that exists is either a mind or de... 






William Stukeley, Stonehenge Investigator
William Stukeley was an English antiquarian who pioneered the archaeological investigation of the prehistoric monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury, work for which he has been remembered as "probably... the most important of the early forerunners of th... 






Willem 's Gravesande, Mathematician
Willem Jacob 's Gravesande was a Dutch philosopher and mathematician. His chief contribution to physics involved an experiment in which brass balls were dropped with varying velocity onto a soft clay surface. His results were that a ball with twice t... 






Pierre Louis Maupertuis, Mathematician
PierreLouis Moreau de Maupertuis was a French mathematician, philosopher and man of letters. He became the Director of the Académie des Sciences, and the first President of the Berlin Academy of Science, at the invitation of Frederick the Great. Mau... 






Euler, Mathematician and Physicist
Leonhard Euler was a pioneering Swiss mathematician and physicist. He made important discoveries in fields as diverse as infinitesimal calculus and graph theory. He also introduced much of the modern mathematical terminology and notation, particularl... 






PierreSimon, Marquis de Laplace
PierreSimon, marquis de Laplace, was an influential French scholar whose work was important to the development of mathematics, statistics, physics, and astronomy. He summarized and extended the work of his predecessors in his fivevolume Mécanique C... 






Fraunhofer, Founding Stellar Spectroscopy, 1814
Joseph Ritter von Fraunhofer is known for discovering the dark absorption lines known as Fraunhofer lines in the Sun's spectrum, and for making excellent optical glass and achromatic telescope objectives.
In 1814 Fraunhofer invented the spectrosco... 






Michael Faraday, Producing Electricity
Michael Faraday was an English chemist and physicist (or natural philosopher, in the terminology of the time) who contributed to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. Although Faraday received little formal education and knew little of... 






Erik Verlinde, Physicist and String Theorist
Erik Peter Verlinde is a Dutch theoretical physicist and string theorist. He is the identical twin brother of physicist Herman Verlinde. The Verlinde formula, which is important in conformal field theory and topological field theory, is named after h... 



















© 20032017 Timeline Index 
