- June 21, 2020
Thescientific principles and ideas applied in the modern world weredeveloped by scholars who were brave enough to question the myths andconcepts that they were taught by their parents and grandparents. Thedocumentation of the ideas regarding the universe and life in generalmade it possible for them to be shared and propagated to the modernsociety (Smithsonian 1). This paper will discuss one of these ancientscholars, , by focusing on the time period that he lived,how he changed history, how his concepts affect human life today, andrepercussions that could be experienced in the absence of hisdiscoveries.
Descriptionof and the Time Period
Newtonis one of the most influential scholars, which made an impact thatwill never be forgotten in the entire history of the world. He was anEnglish mathematician and a physicist, who lived between 1642 and1727 (Hatch 1). Newton was born in Woolsthorpe Manor, Lincolnshire.His father was also named and his other was HannahAyscough. He spent most of his early life with his grandmother sinceher mother remarried when he was three years. His father had diedsome months before he was born. He got his education at The King’sSchool that was located in Grantham. He was admitted to TrinityCollege that is located in Cambridge in the year 1661 (Hatch 1).
Mostof the contributions made occurred during theenlightenment period. His ideas made a significant contributiontowards the human transformation from Renaissance to enlightenmentperiod. Newton’s ideas about the universe (including theheliocentric shape of the earth and structure of the cosmos) becamesome of the key pillars of the ideology of enlightenment (Hatch 1).His impact on the enlightenment period is confirmed by the roleplayed by his theories, scientific principles, and laws in addressingthe misconceptions as well as wrong thoughts that were held by thesociety during the Renaissance period.
HowNewton Changed History
Thedevelopment of calculus
Newtondeveloped the generalized binomial theorem in 1665. The theoremprovided him with the basis on which he developed the mathematicaltheory that is currently referred to as calculus. His objective wasto address the insufficiencies that he found in the mathematicalprinciples and concepts that were taught during his time as astudent. His fluxions (currently referred as calculus) enabled thescholars to solve problems that were more complex and could not beaddressed using the previous mathematical concepts and principles(Kollerstrom 2). For example, scholars could use the fluxions tosolve problems related to curves, orbits, and other types ofgeometry. Most importantly, his contribution in the field ofmathematics made it possible to study things that were continuallychanging, such as the falling objects. These contributionsrevolutionized the mathematics curriculum that was delivered inschools.
Discoveryof the laws of motion
Newtonlaid down the foundation on which the classical mechanics were based.This was achieved through the developed of the three popular laws ofmotion (Chang 3). These laws were derived from the mathematicalexplanation of gravity and laws of planetary motion that werediscovered by Johann Kapler. The first law helped people understandthe role of force in facilitating the motion of all objects. It isreferred to as the law of inertia and it holds that any object thatis at rest will in that state unless it is acted upon by a larger oran unbalanced force. Similarly, an object that is in motion shouldremain in that state and keep moving in the same direction and at thesame speed until another unbalanced force acts on it (Chang 4). Thesecond law that Isaac developed holds that the acceleration of anyobject that is in motion is caused by some force. Consequently, theforce required to make an acceleration of an object is directlyproportional to the size of its mass. Lastly, Newton develop a lawstating that there exists an equal and opposite reaction for everyaction (Chang 5). A set of the three laws changed history byincreasing the human understanding of the reasons and how themovement of objects takes place.
Theability of Newton to develop the concept of universal gravitationmade a significant breakthrough in the study of trajectory of theheavenly bodies. The concept of universal gravitation holds thatevery point mass must attract each other by a force that functionsalong the line that intersects between these bodies (Smithsonian 1).Newton’s calculations indicated that the force that attracts thepoint masses is directly proportional to their product. However, thesame force is inversely proportional to the squire of the distancethat exists between the two masses. The practical application of theprinciples discussed under the concept of universal gravitationaccounted for the trajectories of the tides, comets, and the rest ofthe astrophysical phenomena.
Thecorrect shape of the earth
Theidea about the true shape of the earth was a highly controversialissue that was surrounded by many theories and misconceptions. Manypeople believed that the earth was a flat object, which was based onthe notion that human beings could only be able to stand and walk ona relatively flat surface. However, Newton addressed these confusionsby predicting that the earth was spherical and had two poles inopposite sides (Smithsonian 1). Newton used the term “oblatespheroid” to explain that the overall shape of the earth wasspherical, but it had some relatively flat surfaces at the poles.Newton’s idea sounded illogical to people who always believed thattheir planet was flat.
Newton’scontribution to the field of optics
Newtonstarted working on optics in the year 1666 after discovering thatcolor was one of the key characteristics of light. He startedstudying the properties of light using prism. The refraction of lightis one of the key properties that he studied extensively. He was ableto set up an experiment to demonstrate that a multicolored spectrumthat was produced by prism could then be recomposed to form a beam ofwhite light (Smithsonian 1). This spectrum was recomposed using alens and another prism. These observations resulted in thedevelopment of the Newton’s theory of color. This theory holds thatcolor is a product of the interaction between objects that light thatis already colored. This was a controversial theory since itcontravened the historical beliefs that objects different objectshave colors. He also developed the idea of chromatic aberration,which holds that a lens of the refracting telescope could potentiallysuffer from dispersion of the natural light into different colors.These ideas facilitated the development of telescopes that are widelyapplied, even in the modern world.
HowNewton’s Discoveries Affect People Today
AlthoughNewton died (1727) several centuries ago, his concepts of calculushave a wide application in the modern society and they have made asignificant impact on the lives of the people. For example, themodern credit card firms are able to use calculus to determine theminimum payment that is due on statements at the exact time when theyare processed (Wakely 123). This is accomplished using differentvariables, such as fluctuation in the available balance and changesin the interest rates. The calculus concepts and formulas are alsoapplied in many fields, including the biology, electricalengineering, architect, space flight engineering, and researchanalysis, among other. These applications have helped the modernsociety find solutions to emerging challenges, increase efficiency inthe business operations, and make life easier.
Newton’sideas have also helped the members of the modern society understandthe true nature, structure, and the organization of their universe byclearing the misconceptions help by their ancestors. The developmentof the concept of universal gravitation removed all myths and doubtsheld by the ancient communities regarding different astrophysicalphenomena. For example, the idea of trajectories of tides and cometsis generally accepted across the world. This implies that modernscholars agree with the fact heliocentric model that was developed byNewton to indicate the structure as well as the organization of thecosmos (Wakely 124). It is generally agreed that the sun is locatedat the center and surrounded by other heavenly bodies.
Inaddition, Newton’s insight into the field of optics has a lot ofapplication in the modern society. For example, the production ofmicroscopes used in the health care sector as well as scientificresearch, telescopes, laser diodes, and lenses is based on the ideasthat were put forward by Newton (Wakely 123). All these products haveimpacted human life positively. For example, the microscopes havemade it possible to observe and study different microorganisms(including those that cause diseases), thus helping the scientistsfind solutions to diseases that affect the modern society. Similarly,Newton’s discovery of the telescope has enabled people to explorethe universe easily.
Adiscussion on Newton’s discoveries and contribution towards thedevelopment of the modern science suggests that life could bedifficult in the absence of his ideas. For example, members of themodern society could still be arguing that the world is flat. Inaddition, hundreds of products that are manufactured using theNewton’s discovery about the properties of light could not beavailable in the modern markets. For example, optic fiber is anextension of the Newton’s explanation of prisms and the propertiesof light (Wang 57). This suggests that the breakthrough made in themodern telecommunication industry would not have been possible in theabsence of his contribution.
IsaacNewton is one of the key founders of the modern science that havemade a lot of impact in many, if not all sectors of economy and humanlife. He was born at a time when the society had a lot ofmisconceptions about the universe and life in general. His criticalmind helped him question a lot of wrong ideas that had been passedfrom generation to another. His courage and the ability to makearguments, base them on practical experiments, and defend them fromcriticism distinguished him from other scholars. This has allowed hisideas to make an impact in human life, centuries after his death.
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