Isaac Newton, English physicist

Isaac Newton, English physicist

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Credit: GARY BROWN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Caricature of the English physicist Isaac Newton (1643-1727) holding a copy of his book 'Principia Mathematica'. As a mathematician Newton discovered the binomial theorem and developed differential and integral calculus. His book Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica ('Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy', 1687) laid the foundations of classical mechanics. As a physicist he devised laws of motion, formulated the general theory of gravitation and wrote on optics. As an astronomer he invented the reflecting telescope. Newton wrote extensively on alchemy, and tried in vain to discover a 'philosopher's stone' which would convert common metals into gold. Newton also wrote extensively on biblical Creation and biblical prophecies.

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