Monday, January 4, 2010
Happy Birthday Sir Isaac Newton
I just noticed early this morning when I opened the google site there is an apple branch on top of the logo. I wonder what's this about. Well, google celebrate the birthday of a man with a brilliant mind--Sir Isaac Newton. Born on January 4, 1643. He was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian, in fact he is one of the most influential scientists in history. Newton showed that the motions of objects on Earth and of celestial bodies are governed by the same set of natural laws by demonstrating the consistency between Kepler's laws of planetary motion and his theory of gravitation, thus removing the last doubts about heliocentrism and advancing the scientific revolution.
He also built the first practical reflecting telescope and developed a theory of colour based on the observation that a prism decomposes white light into the many colours that form the visible spectrum. He also formulated an empirical law of cooling and studied the speed of sound.
In mathematics, He shares the credit with Gottfried Leibniz for the development of the differential and integral calculus. He also demonstrated the generalised binomial theorem, developed the so-called "Newton's method" for approximating the zeroes of a function, and contributed to the study of power series.
Newton remains influential to scientists, as demonstrated by a 2005 survey of members of Britain's Royal Society (formerly headed by Newton) and in 1999, leading physicists from all over the world voted Einstein "greatest physicist ever".
Newton was also highly religious, though an unorthodox Christian, writing more on Biblical hermeneutics than the natural science he is remembered for today.
So, why apple? Newton often told the story that he was inspired to formulate his theory of gravitation by watching the fall of an apple from a tree.