Sir Isaac Newton

This is the second memorial of a scientific revolution contribution. Newton (1643-1727) have said:

"I do not know what I have appeared to the world, but to myself I seem only have been like a boy playing on the seashore, 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."

One of his nicer looking pebbles was Principia Mathematica of 1687 considered one of the most influential books in the history of science. In Principia one finds the three universal laws of motion and the law of gravity:

Newton's first law, or the law of inertia, states that an object at rest tends to stay at rest and that an object in uniform motion tends to stay in uniform motion unless acted upon by a net external force.

Newton's second law, states that an applied force on an object equals the rate of change of its momentum with time. F=mxa.

The two first laws represent a break with Aristotle who claimed that a force was necessary for maintaining a uniform motion.

Newton's third law, states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Newton's law of gravitation: F=Gxm1xm2/r^2

He proved the relation of Kepler's laws of planetary motion and the law of gravity thus removing the last doubts of the heliocentric theory.

Newton was devout but not a conventional Christian. A heretic, he most probably did not believe in the Trinity concept. He wrote more on religion than on science during his lifetime. Concerning the above laws, for which he became most famous, he said: "Gravity explains the motion of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done." In the 1690s he wrote a number of religious tracts dealing with the literal interpretation of the Bible.

Newton's introductory statement is for me an indication of the vastness of Nature of God like proportions. We have so much more to learn.

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