10 Isaac Newton's Contributions to Science and Society

The Contributions by Isaac Newton (1642-1727) led the world to a scientific revolution as few in the history of humanity.

This brilliant physicist and English mathematician is, among other things, the author of the book Principia , Considered as the most important scientific work ever written. Why is Newton's work so significant? Basically because his gaze changed forever the way we understand life and the universe.

Isaac Newton made great contributions to the world of science and society.

For example, in 1968 he invented a telescope that allowed him to study outer space and demonstrate his theory of color and light. But his most recognized contribution is his theory of gravity, with which he explained neither more nor less than the movement of the universe.

He studied why the planets orbit and concluded that an object does not move unless force is applied. This led him to answer several scientific questions, for example why the moon orbits the Earth.

Such discoveries and many others formed the basis of physics as we know it today. However, in popular culture, Newton is perhaps best known for the famous anecdote of the apple that fell from a tree and revealed the Theory of Gravity.

Historians say there is probably some truth to this myth, but Newton was already in the midst of some very important discoveries before that supposed incident of fruit at Cambridge University. You may also want to see the 10 most important Galileo Galilei contributions .

10 main contributions of Newton to science and society

Phrases from Isaac Newton

1- The three laws of Newton that laid the foundations of classical mechanics

Newton has three laws of motion: inertia, F = ma, and action-reaction. The three appear in his work"Principia"and describe the relationship between a body and the forces acting on it. That is, when these forces act on a body and produce movement.

These laws laid the foundations of classical mechanics and are fundamental in the study both in mathematics and in physical .

2-Law of Gravitation

As if that were not enough, in Principia , Newton also formulated the law of Universal Gravitation. This law states that each mass attracts other masses by a so-called"gravity"and is formulated as follows:

10 Isaac Newton's Contributions to Science and Society Imagen recovered from Add Junta de Andalucía

Newton used this formula to explain the trajectories of comets, tides, precession of the equinoxes, and other astrophysical phenomena. And also completely eliminated the heliocentric model that held that the sun was in the center of the Universe.

Newton's law of universal gravitation was replaced by Einstein's theory of general relativity, but it is still used as an excellent approximation to the effects of gravity.

3- Principia Is one of the most important works in the history of science

On July 5, 1687 the"Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica de Newton"was first published, known simply as Principia .

In addition to the laws and principles I mentioned earlier, the book was fundamental to the emergence of Industrial Revolution . It is considered not only as Newton's most important work but also as the fundamental work for all modern science.

5-Isaac Newton invented the calculation

Newton also created calculus as a response to the mathematical inadequacies of the period in which he lived.

At first it was called fluxions, and it served to solve complex problems about orbits, curves and other subjects that classical geometry could not solve.

Calculation is extremely useful for this, as it produces information about things that are continually changing, for example the speed of an object falling.

6- The true form of the Earth

The English physicist also predicted that the Earth was formed as a sphere that experienced flattening at the poles. This theory, as we know, was later verified by different measurements.

Why is it so important? Because Newton discovered that the Earth is not perfectly round. Because of this, the distance from the center of the Earth to sea level is approximately 21 kilometers larger at the equator than at the poles.

7- Invented the first reflecting telescope

In 1668, Newton invented the first reflecting telescope, which is now known as the Newtonian telescope. Until that time, the telescopes were big and annoying, but Newton's genius used mirrors instead of lenses. Mirrors are more powerful instruments and ten times smaller than a traditional telescope.

8- Newton revolutionized the world of optics

In the late 1660s and early 1670s, Newton determined that white light was a mixture of colors that can be separated by a prism. He also showed that the multicolored spectrum produced by a prism can be recomposed in white light with a lens and a second prism.

In this way, Newton was able to counteract those who believed that light was simple and homogeneous. From then on, the heterogeneity of light became the basis of physical optics.

9- Other great contributions of Isaac Newton

In addition to this, Newton also formulated an empirical law on cooling, studied the speed of sound, and introduced the notion of"Newtonian fluid."

Beyond his work in mathematics, optics and physics, Newton also spent a significant amount of time studying biblical chronology and alchemy, but most of his work in these areas remained unpublished until well after his death.

10- Sir Isaac Newton was the second scientist to be knight

In 1696, Newton was appointed Guardian of the Royal Mint. He also served as a member of the Parliament of England in 1689-1690 and 1701-1702. He was elected president of the Royal Society in 1703.

As leader of the Royal Mint, Newton used his power to punish the counterfeiters and in 1717, with the"Queen Anne's Law", he moved the sterling silver pattern sterling to the gold standard.

In 1705, Newton was knighted by Queen Anne. In that way, Sir Isaac Newton was the second scientist to be knighted, after Sir Francis Bacon .


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  2. Steve Connor. The core of truth behind Sir Isaac Newton's apple (2010). The Independent. Independent.co.uk.
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  4. Anirudh. 10 MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF ISAAC NEWTON (2016). Learnodo-newtonic.com.
  5. Matt Williams. WHAT DID ISAAC NEWTON DISCOVER? (2016). Universe Today. Universetoday.com.
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  7. Charles Q. Choi. Strange but True: Earth Is Not Round (2007). Scientific American. Scientificamerican.com.
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  9. Anirudh. 10 MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF ISAAC NEWTON (2016). Learnodo-newtonic.com.

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