Title page of Newton's 'The method of fluxions and infinite series', 1736.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Isaac Newton's (1642-1727) theories exerted a huge influence on science. They included the binomial theorem, the three laws of motion, the theory of gravitation and the law of cooling. His work was unique, pointing physics in a new direction and giving mathematical expresion to physical phenomena. His invention of differential calculus, which, though published at a later date, appeared to be simultaneous with, and independent of, Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716), Newton's rival. The dispute as to which of the two men invented calculus was partially resolved in 1711 when the Royal Society formally sided with Newton, but the matter was never fully settled. Title page from Newton's 'The method of fluxions and infinite series', published in London in 1736.