Newton’s most important work is the ‘PRINCIPIA’ or the ‘Philosophiæ Naturalis Principiæ Mathematica’ which means Mathematical principles of the Physics Philosophy. With this work he established the foundations of mechanics using a very strict but also analytic model. These foundations were so rigid that lasted at least 250 years. The first earthquake came by Albert Einstein in 1905, with his theory of relativity.
The reality is though that Einstein’s theory did not questioned Newton’s laws, but rather completed it. The relativity theory led to different results only when the speed of the inertial system (of a body traveling when a force is applied to it) reaches the speed of light.
A second questioning/expansion of the Principia came also by Albert Einstein in 1915, with the ‘General Theory of Relativity’ which despite its title is a gravitational theory. Here the differentiation was in the curvature of the time-space domain next to strong gravitational fields. In cases like these the Euclidean geometry is not valid any more and it is substituted by the geometrical laws of Riemann.
Newton also worked extensively with light. He is the first scientist who divided the light into the six color spectrum: (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple) when he drove a light beam inside a glass prism. When he isolated one of the colors and drove it through a second prism, he saw that the color was divided into another spectrum any further. He also carried out the reverse experiment and composed white light out of the six color spectrum when he constructed a disc with colored circular parts.
Newton described also the light reflection using his laws of mechanics. He belied that light consists of micro elastic balls and moved like pool balls on the side walls of a pool table. The Dutch Christiaan Huygens believed that light was a waveform, and although this contradicted Newton’s theory, Newton did not fight him as he did with most of the scientists who contradicted him. Newton’s idea of light particles was partially validated when in 1900 Max Planck introduced the Quantum theory.
Another very important discovery of Newton’s is the reflecting telescope. In this instrument the collecting lens is substituted by a parabolic mirror. Such telescopes were produced in a large scale with diameters larger than six meters allowing observations deeply in the universe and slightly in other stars and far galaxies.
Newton was a secretive, introvert, ambitious, egoist who was often snob and sometimes insidious. He rarely published his works and with great delay. In other words on a personal level Newton was all the things that a scientist should be. But bare in mind that we are back in dark times when information could not travel as fast as in your time, and ownership of ideas was really difficult. Max and Phoebe tell me often that academic knowledge is free and should be and should be disseminated to the largest extend possible, bit I still have my doubts, because knowledge is a powerful thing. It can be a strong weapon and weapons are not for free.
Newton was locked in his laboratory and worked for 7 days a week, 18 hours per day, isolated from the rest of the world. He had very few secret assistants like my father, but almost no one knows about it. If you do not believe me, take his nephew’s words, Humphrey Newton: I can not recall once seeing him sitting at the table on his own initiative. His food could be waiting for him served, for hours.
He often went to bed at two past midnight, sometimes wearing his clothes and at five in the morning he was fully recovered ready to continue his work. He wore his long blond hair loose, down his shoulders. He tied it only on formal occasions.
Newton detested and despised women. He kept all women far away, accusing them of being prostitutes, only eager to know him with the goal of stealing his scientific discoveries.
In 1678 Newton had a nervous break-down. His mother’s death next year made things worse. For six years he stopped any contact with the outside world even mailing to other scientists.
In 1693 Newton has a second nervous break down. I was not in Cambridge at that time as you will find out by reading the TIME SQUATTERS Book One, but rumors had it that it because of a mercury poisoning, possibly from his alchemical substances. Traces of mercury were found on his hair when examined in the 21st century. Newton was an alchemist, do not have any doubt about it. He kept it a secret, but it was so widely known that it was almost impossible at that time. He wrote more than 1 million words about Alchemy but in an encoded, secret writing, open only to the ones with the right keys of unlocking this power.
Newton was one of the scientists who received many honors from the crown and other scientific bodies. In 1705 he was given the title of knighthood, the second scientist after Francis Bacon who received this honor.
In 1695 he received the position of the head of England’s National Mint. He is the one who introduced the Sterling as England’s currency and substituted silver with gold as the monetary worthwhile.
In 1703 Newton was the head of the Royal Company after Robert Hooke’s death.
He died in his sleep, as I’ve heard, on March 31st, aged 85. He was buried in Westminster Abbey
On his tomb there are engraved verses of Alexander Pope: Nature and nature’s laws lay hid in night; God said “Let Newton be” and all was light.