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Sir Isaac Newton Sir Isaac Newton 1643-1727 was an English mathematician and physicist he is considered one of the greatest scientists in history who made important contributions to many fields of science His discoveries and theories laid the foundation for much of the progress in science since his time Newton was one of the inventors of the branch of mathematics called calculus the other was German mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz He also solved the mysteries of light and optics formulated the three laws of motion and derived from them the law of universal gravitation Newton was born on January 4 1643 at Woolsthorpe near Grantham in Lincolnshire When he was three years old his widowed mother remarried leaving him in the care of his grandmother Eventually his mother by then widowed a second time was persuaded to send him to grammar school in Grantham Later in the summer of 1661 he was sent to Trinity College at the University of Cambridge Newton received his bachelors degree in 1665 After a break of nearly two years to avoid the plague Newton went back to Trinity which elected him to a fellowship in 1667 He received his masters degree in 1668 Newton ignored much of the established curriculum of the university to pursue his own interests mathematics and natural philosophy Proceeding entirely on his own he investigated the latest developments in mathematics and the new natural philosophy that treated nature as a complicated machine Almost immediately he made fundamental discoveries that were instrumental in his career in science The Fluxional Method Newtons first achievement was in mathematics He generalized the methods that were being used to draw tangents to curves and to calculate
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