Sir Isaac Newton | Sunday Observer
Scientists and inventors – 6

Sir Isaac Newton

11 September, 2022

Our knowledge of the Law of Gravity, of the principle by which the whole universe of sun, moon and stars exist and move is due in the main to Sir Isaac Newton.


Isaac Newton’s birth

Something important in the history of science happened on Christmas day in 1642 when Hannah Newton of Woolsthorpe gave birth to Isaac Newton. Three years later Mrs Newton married again.

Her second husband was Barnabas Smith, rector of North Witham, Lincolnshire. Little Newton was left in charge of his grandmother. She sent him to the Grammar School at Grantham, but he did not take much interest in his studies.


A bully

At the Grammar School a big bully started harassing Newton. Although Newton was not well-built, he taught the bully a good lesson.

With this little victory, Newton gained self-confidence. He started doing his studies seriously. When his mother’s second husband died, she withdrew him from the Grammar School and asked him to help her in the farm. Newton, however, was more interested in his studies than working in a farm.

His uncle – William Ayscough – asked Mrs Newton to send the boy back to the Grammar School.

In 1661, Newton gained admission to Trinity College, Cambridge. After his graduation he discovered the binomial theorem.


A falling apple

While walking in the garden at Woolsthorpe a falling apple suggested to Newton the Law of Gravitation. In 1668, he made his first reflecting telescope with which he was able to see the satellites of Jupiter.

In the following year, he was appointed the Professor of Mathematics at Trinity.



In 1727, Newton fell seriously ill and died in Kensington on March 20 of the same year. The best tribute to the memory of the world’s greatest natural philosopher is the epitaph written by Alexander Pope. It is inscribed on a tablet in the room where Newton was born:

“Nature and Nature’s laws lay hid in night,

God said: ‘Let Newton be’ and all was light.”