1642 - 1727
Isaac Newton is one of the greatest names in the history of human thought.
Newton was born in Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire, UK. He studied at Cambridge. Legend has it that the fall of an apple initiated the train of thought that led to the law of gravitation. As professor of mathematics at Cambridge he worked on his famous Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica, which supplied a complete proof of the law of gravitation. This law explained celestial motions, the tides, and terrestial gravitation, and is regarded as one of the greatest scientific achievements.
He deveolped a new kind of mathematics known as the calculus. He also invented the reflecting telescope, and discovered that white light is a combination of all colors by using prisms. Newton sat in parliament on two occasions, was elected President of the Royal Society in 1703, and was knighted in 1705.