What goes up must come down

By Elise Szylkarski

Sir Issac Newton

Sir Issac Newton was inspired by an apple falling from a tree to develop his law of gravity.  In space, the apple would float but on earth gravity pulls the apple down. Newton is one of the great minds of the seventeenth century Scientific Revolution.

Childhood and Career

Newton was born in Woolsthorpe in Lincolnshire, England in 1642.  Newton was always a top student and went to the University of Cambridge at age nineteen.  Newton was influenced by the writing of Galileo, Nicholas Copernicus and Johannes Kelper. By 1665, Newton began developing a mathematical theory and would go on to discover other important maths theories such as Newton's laws and Newton's theories. In 1670, Newton moved on to the study of optics and developed theories relating to the composition of white light and the spectrum of colours. In one of Newton's experiments, he refracted white light with a prism. When he discovered this he made the first colour wheel. He is also believed to be the first scientist to explain the formation of a rainbow from water droplets dispersed in the atmosphere.  In 1679, Newton continued his work on gravitation and it's effects on the planets. In 1687 he published '' Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica".  In this landmark work, Newton explained his three laws of motion. But, sadly he died in March the 20th 1727.

Contributions to our understanding of the Solar System

Newton discovered that gravity is the force that makes an apple fall from a tree. Gravity is also the force that keeps the moon travelling around the Earth in a path called an orbit.  He also explained the movement of comets in space. These discoveries are so important they helped to form the Science of Astronomy (the study of space science).

Changed the lives of people today

Newton's many discoveries changed the world for ever.  His laws and theories formed the subjects of physics and mathematics still taught in schools and universities today.  Newton's discoveries gave future scientists the ideas to invent space travel.  Because of Isaac Newton we can launch satellites into space, launch space shuttles onto the moon and launch a rover robot onto Mars.  The scientists who improved on his work became famous themselves.  The world might have been a very different place without Sir Isaac Newton.

Even though his work is over three hundred years old, it still helps to guide new technologies and our understanding of Earth and the universe around us.