Sir Isaac Newton is most remembered by his development of the math of calculus, the motions of objects and forces, and optics. Some would say he was the most influential scientist of all time. Let’s look a little into his past.
Isaac was named after his father, who had died only a few months before he was born. His mother later remarried, and Isaac grew to dislike his stepfather. Ironically, the new marriage brought a major upgrade in wealth and status to his (new) family, but the step-father had little interest in a boy who was unrelated to him, so he sent Isaac to live with his grandparents. This must have been a traumatic event for Isaac – to have already lost his father, and shortly after his mother, for there is little to no known reference about his grandparents in Newton’s writings.
A few years after living with his grandparents, the grandmother passed away. Newton was then brought back to his family farm to live with his mother (by that time, she was again a widow). Unfortunately for her, her efforts to teach him the family business were unsuccessful. Newton couldn’t stand working on a farm. After hearing pleas from those who knew Isaac well, she was convinced that he was better off finishing his education. Reluctantly, his mother let him go back to school to attend college.
While studying mathematics, he made contributions to the theory of gravity and optics, among other disciplines. Newton became the top-ranked student; some say that he studied aggressively to spite classmates that bullied him. Only four years after he started college, he contributed the binomial theorem, and soon began to create his work, which later became calculus. Only one year after receiving his M.A, he was elected a fellow of Trinity College. It wasn’t long before he began to make distinctly notable contributions to nearly every field of science. He lived until the age of eighty-five.