“Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”- Sir Isaac Newton.1
When you hear the name Isaac Newton, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Gravity? The apple tree story? Surely. But how many of you know about his countless other astounding contributions to the fields of science and math? Despite being primarily associated with gravity and the tale of the apple tree in the minds of most people today, Newton is regarded by many as the most significant person in human history. A legend among mathematicians worldwide, Newton greatly influenced subsequent mathematical advancements.
Newton developed his thoughts and notes on elliptical and hyperbolic lenses and published a paper on them. Newton’s first paper on light and color was published in the scientific journal, “Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.”2 Despite his desire to be well known by all, he was unable to publish his works because he was afraid of feedback. 3
Nevertheless, Newton created a new theory of light, discovered and measured gravitation, and invented an entirely new concept of math called infinitesimal calculus, which laid the foundation of differential and integral calculus during the time of the Great Plague. 3
He authored “Principia,” which is now known as “a book dense with the theory and application of the infinitesimal calculus,” and is now regarded as a pivotal work in math. 4 He is also credited with discovering the generalized binomial theorem, Newton’s identities and methods, coordinate geometry-based solutions to Diophantine equations, and infinite power series. 5
After graduating from Cambridge, Newton was chosen to serve in the Convention Parliament, which was established to address challenges that were caused by the numerous wars and revolutions that had wreaked havoc and devastation throughout England.3
- Fundamental Theorem of Calculus
- Cubic Plane Curve
- Newton’s Method
- Newton’s Identity
- Newton’s Polynomial
- Generalized Binomial Theorem
- Infinite Series
- Laws of Motions
- Theory on Light and Optics
- Forward Difference Formula
- Theory of Gravity
Many tried to solve mathematical puzzles, but Sir Isaac Newton was the one who finally made the connection between classical and modern math. He produced theorems that are still widely used today and contributed significantly to the enormous advances in math. His theory of calculus made it possible for mathematicians and engineers to understand the motion and dynamic change in the ever-changing environment around us, including the movement of fluids, planets, and other objects. Newton has invested in the future of science, math, and technology by providing us with the tools for today’s understanding of science and math.
Discover more about other great mathematicians by reading the articles below.
You can also visit BYJU’S FutureSchool Blog to read more inspiring articles on math and coding.
- Sir Isaac Newton: Quotes, facts & biography | Space. (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2022, from https://www.space.com/15898-isaac-newton.html
- The Evolving Structure of Newton’s Theory of White Light and Color on JSTOR. (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2022, from https://www.jstor.org/stable/230172
- Isaac Newton – The Principia | Britannica. (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2022, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Isaac-Newton/The-Principia
- 1970JHA…..1..116W Page 116. (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2022, from https://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?bibcode=1970JHA…..1..116W&db_key=AST&page_ind=0&data_type=GIF&type=SCREEN_VIEW&classic=YES
- Isaac Newton and his Contributions to Mathematics | 3010tangents. (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2022, from https://3010tangents.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/isaac-newton-and-his-contributions-to-mathematics/
- (PDF) ISAAC NEWTON. (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2022, from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/308077178_ISAAC_NEWTON
- Isaac Newton (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2022, from https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/newton/#NewWorInf
- Sir Isaac Newton | TheSchoolRun. (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2022, from https://www.theschoolrun.com/homework-help/sir-isaac-newton
(used for general reference to check chronology)