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Sir Isaac Newton's Biography

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Sir Isaac Newton was born in the 1640s (1642 or 1643 depending on whether you use the Gregorian calendar or the present calendar) in Woolsthorpe in Lincolnshire.

His father, Isaac Newton senior died before Newton was born. When Newton was three years old, his mother Hanna married the Rev Barnabas Smith.

Isaac Newton went to school in Grantham, but initially struggled. Samuel Smiles in Self Help asserts that Newton was at the bottom of the lowest form but one, however when a boy above Newton kicked him, Newton not only challenged him to a fight and beat him, but also resolved to vanquish his antagonist as a scholar and he rose to the top of the class.

Isaac Newton then went to Cambridge University, but because of a plague epidemic he returned to Woolsthorpe, where he reportedly started mulling over ideas connected to gravitational forces and also 'fluxions' (calculus).

It is the subject of debate whether he had a 'eureka' type moment watching an apple fall.

Sir Isaac Newton returned to Cambridge, where he became a fellow of Trinity College and then a Professor of Mathematics.

The biography of Sir Isaac Newton from the University of St Andrews has a detailed account of his important contributions to mathematics and science, including his reflecting telescope, his discoveries on the composition of light, and his views on gravity as expounded in De Motu Corporum and then in Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy), which also featured Newton's three laws of motion.

For a brief period, Sir Isaac Newton was MP for Cambridge University.

He was also elected president of the Royal Society.

Isaac Newton was knighted by Queen Anne. He was the first man to be knighted for his scientific work.

Sir Isaac Newton died in 1727 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

The BBC has an interesting take on the Isaac Newton's quote from his letter to Robert Hooke:

"If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants."

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