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Sir Isaac Newton, English mathematician and physicist, 1727.


© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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Engraving from Weld's History of the Royal Society, 1848, after Roubilliac's death mask. Isaac Newton (1642-1727) graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge in 1665, becoming Lucasian Profesor of Mathematics there in 1669. His theories, published in his treatise 'The Mathematical Principle of Natural Philosophy' in 1687, exerted a huge influence on science. They included the three laws of motion, the theory of gravitation and the law of cooling. As a mathematican, Newton also discovered the binomial theorem and differential calculus. His work was unique, pointing physics in a new direction and giving mathematical expresion to physical phenomena.
 
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