Sir Isaac Newton was an English scientist, astronomer and mathematician. Newton believed that the universe was like a massive clock built by a creating god and set into motion. For Newton the universe was a vast machine composed of interacting objects and could therefore be understood as a machine. Newton’s entire view of the universe was based on the concept of inertia. Inertia states that every object remains at rest until moved by another object and every object in motion stays in motion until stopped by another object. Newton’s mechanistic view of the universe was later applied to rationally understanding economics, history, politics and ethics. Newton’s many discoveries included how the universe is held together through his theory of gravitation, secrets of light and color and calculus.
Newton’s discoveries on the laws of motion and the sources of gravitation were published in The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (1687). Newton realized that the force that pulls an object to earth is the same force that keeps the moon in its orbit. He discovered that the force of universal gravitation makes every pair of bodies in the universe attract each other. This force depends on the distance between the bodies being attracted and the amount of matter in the bodies as well as the distance between the bodies. Newton’s Principia Mathematica was considered the greatest contribution to the history of science.
Newton also made significant discoveries in optics. Newton was able to lay the foundation for the science of spectrum analysis and explain why bodies appeared to be colored. This science allows us to determine the chemical composition, temperature and speed of either a star or simply an object heated in the laboratory. Due to Newton’s concept of the mechanical universe a massive amount of empirical knowledge about the physical world erupted. As the amount of observations grew both knowledge and the effort to arrange knowledge increased. Sir Isaac Newton was one of the first people to convert knowledge into a traditional system during the eighteenth century’s scientific revolution.