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This richly detailed 1981 biography captures both the personal life and the scientific career of Isaac Newton, presenting a fully rounded picture of Newton the man, the scientist, the philosopher, the theologian, and the public figure. Professor Westfall treats all aspects of Newton's career, but his account centres on a full description of Newton's achievements in science. Thus the core of the work describes the development of the calculus, the experimentation that altered the direction of the science of optics, and especially the investigations in celestial dynamics that led to the law of universal gravitation.
This richly detailed 1981 biography captures both the personal life and the scientific career of Isaac Newton, presenting a fully rounded picture of Newton the man, the scientist, the philosopher, the theologian, and the public figure. Professor Westfall treats all aspects of Newton's career, but his account centres on a full description of Newton's achievements in science. Thus the core of the work describes the development of the calculus, the experimentation that altered the direction of the science of optics, and especially the investigations in celestial dynamics that led to the law of universal gravitation.
Destined to become the standard biography of Isaac Newton, this meticulously detailed work centers on his scientific career, but also deals with every facet of his life. Westfall has drawn on recent research which has fundamentally altered our perception of Newton.
Isaac Newton was indisputably one of the greatest scientists in history. His achievements in mathematics and physics marked the culmination of the movement that brought modern science into being. Richard Westfall's biography captures in engaging detail both his private life and scientific career, presenting a complex picture of Newton the man, and as scientist, philosopher, theologian, alchemist, public figure, President of the Royal Society, and Warden of the Royal Mint. An abridged version of his magisterial study Never at Rest (Cambridge, 1980), this concise biography makes Westfall's highly acclaimed portrait of Newton newly accessible to general readers.
In this elegant, absorbing biography of Isaac Newton (1642-1727), Rupert Hall surveys the vast field of modern scholarship in order to interpret Newton's mathematical and experimental approach to nature. Mathematics was always the deepest, most innovative and productive of Newton's interests. However, he was also a historian, theologian, chemist, civil servant and natural philosopher. These diverse studies were unified in his single design as a Christian to explore every facet of God's creation. The exploration during the past forty years of Newton's huge manuscript legacy, has greatly altered previous stories of Newton's life, throwing new light on his personality and intellect. Hall's discussion of this research, first published in 1992, shows that Newton cannot simply be explained as a Platonist, or mystic. He remains a complex and enigmatic genius with an immensely imaginative and commonsensical mind.
Isaac Newton was born in a stone farmhouse in 1642, fatherless and unwanted by his mother. When he died in London in 1727 he was so renowned he was given a state funeral—an unheard-of honor for a subject whose achievements were in the realm of the intellect. During the years he was an irascible presence at Trinity College, Cambridge, Newton imagined properties of nature and gave them names—mass, gravity, velocity—things our science now takes for granted. Inspired by Aristotle, spurred on by Galileo’s discoveries and the philosophy of Descartes, Newton grasped the intangible and dared to take its measure, a leap of the mind unparalleled in his generation. James Gleick, the author of Chaos and Genius, and one of the most acclaimed science writers of his generation, brings the reader into Newton’s reclusive life and provides startlingly clear explanations of the concepts that changed forever our perception of bodies, rest, and motion—ideas so basic to the twenty-first century, it can truly be said: We are all Newtonians. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Isaac Newton is one of the greatest scientists in history, yet the spectrum of his interests was much broader than that of most contemporary scientists. In fact, Newton would have defined himself not as a scientist, but as a natural philosopher. He was deeply involved in alchemical, religious, and biblical studies, and in the later part of his life he played a prominent role in British politics, economics, and the promotion of scientific research. Newton’s pivotal work Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, which sets out his laws of universal gravitation and motion, is regarded as one of the most important works in the history of science. Niccolò Guicciardini’s enlightening biography offers an accessible introduction both to Newton’s celebrated research in mathematics, optics, mechanics, and astronomy and to how Newton viewed these scientific fields in relation to his quest for the deepest secrets of the universe, matter theory and religion. Guicciardini sets Newton the natural philosopher in the troubled context of the religious and political debates ongoing during Newton’s life, a life spanning the English Civil Wars, the Restoration, the Glorious Revolution, and the Hanoverian succession. Incorporating the latest Newtonian scholarship, this fast-paced biography broadens our perception of both this iconic figure and the great scientific revolution of the early modern period.

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