## SIR ISAAC NEWTON

Sir Isaac Newton Born 25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726 was an
English physicist and mathematician who
is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time and
as a key figure in the scientific revolution. His book Philosophiæ Naturalis
Principia Mathematica, first published
in 1687, laid the foundations for classical mechanics. Newton also made seminal
contributions to optics and shares credit with Gottfried Leibniz for the
invention of calculus.

Newton's Principia formulated the laws of motion and
universal gravitation, which 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 then 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 cosmos. This work also demonstrated
that the motion of objects on Earth and of celestial bodies could be described
by the same principles. His prediction that the Earth should be shaped as an
oblate spheroid was later vindicated by the measurements of Maupertuis, La Condamine,
and others, which helped convince most Continental European scientists of the
superiority of Newtonian mechanics over the earlier system of Descartes.