Isaac Newton


English alchemist, physicist, astronomer and mathematician born in Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, Lincolnshire (1643-1727). In 1672, Newton offered an experimental proof that light is composed of particles, and developed a theory of color based on the separation of white light through a prism. This theory was broadly (though not universally) accepted until the 18th century. In 1687, he published the Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, which many considered the most influential book in the history of science. In it, Newton presents his theories of universal gravitation and the laws of motion. He is credited, along with Gottfried Leibniz, for the development of calculus, and he demonstrated a consistency between Kepler's laws of planetary motion and his theory of gravity, dispelling the final doubts in the scientific community over a heliocentric view of the solar system. He also contributed significantly to the development of new technology, inventing the reflecting telescope.

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