Posts Tagged ‘Isaac Newton’

I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

—   Sir Isaac Newton

[This quote was originally found on one of the blogs I follow, maintained by Deodatta Shenai-Khatkhate:  Deo Volente  at: (http://dshenai.wordpress.com/)
The actual post is: http://dshenai.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/thanks-for-the-sunshine-award/
Thanks, Deo! — KMAB]

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If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of giants.
  —  Sir Isaac Newton
(Letter to Robert Hook, 5 Feb. 1676)


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Loosely translates from the Latin, “Of all humans, there is no greater intellect“.
This is the inscription at the base of the statue of Isaac Newton at Trinity College, Cambridge, England.
Today I read “Introducing Newton“, written by William Rankin, (1993©).  The book is basically a dummies guide to Newton.  That doesn’t make it – or him – any less interesting.  It merely describes the level of the book’s content.
Let’s see: invents calculus (check), invents optics (check), redefines the study of physics (check), innovates astronomical dating (check), explains – tides, elliptical orbits and the earth tilting (check, check and check).  And in his spare time investigates God, the divinity of Christ and predicts the end of the world based on the study of religious texts.  Yup, sounds like a full life to me.  Oh, I forgot to mention he was mostly self-taught in math and science.
I guess the closest thing I can find on this side of the pond is our Thomas Jefferson and I’m pretty sure Tom suffers by the comparison.  Anyway, the book is very brief and offers a very readable story explaining the history of science and physics.  I recommend it as a primer to further reading on Newton.  I will look for more myself…  I only wish I had the math skills to more fully appreciate Newton’s work in the original.

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