Talk:Isaac Newton/Archive 3

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Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4

Intro quote

Hi, I changed the previous intro quote:

English poet Alexander Pope was moved by Newton's accomplishments to write the famous epitaph:

To Don Juan apple quote (1821) using better format; I hope no one minds. I searched the quotation books for a while. --Sadi Carnot 16:36, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't know that either really improves the intro, and certainly not one which includes both 'apple' and 'gravitation'. What is is that you like about this particular quote?—eric 17:43, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
The original quote expresses the revolutionary effect of Newton's scientific endeavours; the second is merely a pop cultural reference. The original is the best.--Jack Upland 08:27, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Old Style date of death

A year was switched on March 25 then. As an example, see [1] (question "Handel: 1684 or 1685?") --Mgar 19:54, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

The person commenting above seems to be right. All sources giving Newton's date of death according to the New Style state it as occurring on March 31, 1727 N.S. The Old Style calendar then used in England was 11 days behind the N.S., giving March 20 O.S. But the year didn't "catch up" to the N.S. until New Year's Day March 25, 1727 O.S. New Year's Eve was March 24, 1726 O.S. Four days prior to that was March 20, 1726 O.S. 04:55, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

If all dates are Julian, including the death year on 20 March, he died actually in 1728 N.S. Anyway one of the years is not correct both in 1727 is IMPOSSIBLE, since the new year happened in the middle, in O.S. Kraxler 22:16, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Did he really do that?

In the opening section it suggests that Newton was able to derive Kepler's Laws from his theory of universal gravitation. My recollection is that he showed Kepler's laws, which are entirely empirically based being derived from careful observation, are consistent with his ToUG. In fact Newton used Kepler's laws to demonstrate a radial inverse square law form for an attractive force between Sun and planet described the motions of the planets reasonably well. To suggest Newton derived Kepler's laws puts the cart before the horse somewhat.Fizzackerly 15:12, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Good question -- because undergraduate classical mechanics texts usually derive Kepler's Laws from Newtonian conservation of angular momentum, I always assumed Newton did this himself after he deduced derived the inverse square law for planets from Kepler's observations, but this may have not been the case. LotR 16:35, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
You say it yourself, Newton deduced the inverse square law from Kepler's observations, thus to suggest Newton derived Kepler's laws from his ToUG would simply amount to circular reasoning - right? In any case the article as it's written is a little misleading in that it suggests Newton derived Kepler's Laws, which he didn't, Kepler did that. Newton demonstrated consistency between KL and his ToUG.Fizzackerly 16:46, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Yep, makes sense. The distinction may seem subtle, but it gets at the heart of how the scientific method works. LotR 17:52, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

"Standing on the shoulders of giants"

Hello. I read (I believe it was in Simon Singh's book Big Bang) that this "shoulders of giants" remark was not made out of modesty but of cruelty, as the man to whom he was writing was a hunchback. Can anyone confirm this? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 03:48, 28 February 2007 (UTC).

Never in my life, but it might be a good idea to look at the article Standing on the shoulders of giants. Borisblue 04:22, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
No, Hooke really was a hunch back and at the time Newton sent the letter to him was after the two of them had had a bitter dispute of Newton's book Optiks, which Hooke accused him of stealing from him. The two of them never got along and I was stunned that this was not included anywhere in the article. Hooke actually opposed Newton's inclusion into the Royal Society.(Telindale 03:46, 9 March 2007 (UTC))
Agreed. I thought that this was common knowledge. -- Derek Ross | Talk 07:14, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Hooke's rivalry with Newton is common knowledge, (and is mentioned in the article), but the assertion that the "standing on the shoulders of giants" quote was meant as an insult is Original Research, unless someone comes up with a source. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Borisblue (talkcontribs) 07:18, 9 March 2007 (UTC).
I'm a bit new here, and I'm not clear on all policy, but I recently attended a lecture by Shelly Glashow entitled "The Errors and Animadversions of Sir Isaac Newton" in which he indicated that someone (unfortunately, I cannot remember who) wrote that Newton probably meant that he would stand on Hooke's shoulders in order "to step on his head." Just something to take into consideration I suppose. Mickster810 18:48, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

At least the statement shouldn't be left as only meaning the Newton was modest. Given the agreement here, why hasn't that changed? 1`

There is consensus that Hooke and Newton didn't like each other. There is not a consensus that Newton was referring to Hooke's hunchback in his comment. When you think about it, it wouldn't really make sense -- it would amount to saying "I have achieved my successes by supporting myself on your hunched back," which would only be a half-insult to a man who was probably more proud of his intellect than ashamed of his physique. -- Mark Foskey 15:45, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

The quotation is obviously a statement of modesty, not an insult, but whether it was sincere given the context isn't clear.--Jack Upland 21:08, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

For whatever it's worth, I remember my physics teacher telling me the same thing when we were doing Hooke's law. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:30, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
May I add the following before this original research is blown out of proportion by additional hearsay. In 1675/1676 Hooke and Newton were engaged in making up for previous quarrels. In February 1676, Newton replied to Hooke (who had recently sent a pleasant letter to Newton which effectively expressed the opinion that Newton had superior abilities to his own) with a letter which praised Hooke's "true Philosophical spirit" and welcomed a proposal that Hooke and he correspond privately (rather than their previous public remonstrations in front of the Royal Society). The letter continues:
"What Des-Cartes (sic) did was a good step. You have added much several ways, & especially in taking ye colours of thin plates into philosophical consideration. If I have seen further it is by standing on ye sholders (sic) of Giants." This can be found in Turnbull's Correspondance of Isaac Newton Vol 1 p 416-7.
Steven Inwood, in the book, "The man who knew too much" suggests that this was a conventional compliment rather than heartfelt. He says that the idea of a pygmy on a giant's shoulders is a repeating metaphor going back to the 1st century AD. He further claims that any ideas that Newton used this as a malicious joke on Hooke's deformity is inconsistent with Newton's character (he wanted to end the feud) and the tone of the whole letter. Candy 22:14, 22 September 2007 (UTC)


Can someone add the fact about issac from 64 (number)? I have got notime!!!! --GravityTalk 14:18, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

There's no mention of him there. JackofOz 05:17, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
=P Its here. 2060. --GravityTalk 01:31, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Sir Isaac Newton

Given that most of the readers are not british, and hence do not have to call other people's kings and queens "her majesty", it seems inapropriate to start this entry with "Sir Isaac Newton". I just do not see why this wikipedia entry has to follow the formalities of a cast society...

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:52, 6 March 2007 (UTC).

It's his title. You wouldn't go up to the Queen of England and say, "Hey Elizabeth." It's his title; you would address him and give him his proper respect (if he were still alive). Soulwar 04:43, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

If one is the least interested in how Sir Isaac Newton arrived at his theorems, Address him by his name. If you have ever stood in Saint Paul's Cathedral, observed his experiment with a 300 foot long pendulum demonstrating coriolis acceleration with the pendulum swinging in a circle, please restrain your comments to who funded and fostered this most important discovery and offered undisputable proof silencing the flat earthers with 5 minutes of observations.

I have personally stood in Saint Paul's Cathedral and observed this experiment.

I am also a professional Engineer with 20 years practical experience outside University challenging anyone from MIT or Oxford to dispute my contention that the Wikopedia page reducing Sir Isaac Newton's works to Force = mass times acceleration without all the differential equation components is a disservice to all.. I have seen plenty of 9/11 conspiracy nuts whom apply F=MA to collapsing buildings ignoring the inconvenient fact that energy is not conserved in a collision but momentum is conserved.

[Note: the preceding three paragraphs are an unsigned comment; I'm adding this so that my signature on the comment below does not make anyone infer that the comments above are from me.] -- Terry Carroll 18:20, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

The "Sir" should be maintained in the opening paragraph, per WP:MOSBIO: The honorific[] Sir... should be included in the text inline for baronets, knights bachelor, and members of knightly orders whose rank grants them that dignity...

However, I'm removing it from the picture caption. The picture depicts Newton in 1689, at age 46. He was not knighted until 1705, when he was in his 60s. The picture is of the non-knight Newton.

-- Terry Carroll 18:24, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Argh, my comment on my change says Newton was not knighted until some 150-20 years after this portrait was made; that should, of course, read Newton was not knighted until some 15-20 years after this portrait was made. -- Terry Carroll 18:29, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

His Personal Life

This article doesn't have a "Personal Life" section. I think the lack of one during his life is definitely an interesting topic. I recently came across this article from The Straight Dope that should be mentioned[2]. --Anon. 01:06, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree. I have heard that Newton died a virgin, but where is this corroborated? ( 19:41, 6 April 2007 (UTC))

It is cited in July 22, 2007 New York Times (Section 4, p. 11, "Separated by Birth). [User: Gollum 18]

Newton had a very close relationship with Swiss mathematician Nicolas Fatio de Duillier, who from the beginning was impressed by Newton's gravitational theory. In 1691 Duillier planned to prepare a new version of Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, but never finished it. Some of Newton's biographers have suggested that the relationship may have been romantic.[1] However, in 1694 the relationship between the two men cooled down. At the time, Duillier was also exchanged several letters with Leibniz. --Zefrog 19:08, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Somehow a couple reports that he may have had relationships with men doesn't make him LGBT, IMHO. -- SatyrTN (talk | contribs) 05:16, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Religious views

There is a big mistake here : there is no difference between eastern orthodox and catholic/protestants' view of the trinity. The reference made mention of arianism, wich is a different problem.

Small grammar error

The opening sentence:

Sir Isaac Newton, (4 January 1643 – 31 March 1727) [ OS: 25 December 1642 – 20 March 1727][1] was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, and alchemist, regarded by many as the greatest figure in the history of science.

This says that he was regarded as the greatest in his lifetime, while I think the intended meaning is that he is currently regarded as the greatest.

Here's a simple correction:

Sir Isaac Newton (4 January 1643 – 31 March 1727) [ OS: 25 December 1642 – 20 March 1727][1] was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, and alchemist, and is regarded by many as the greatest figure in the history of science.

Or it could be split into two sentences. Note the dropped comma after his name. I would change it myself but I can't edit this article. 00:50, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

About "the gratest figure in the history of science"

In a servy that been done outside the U.K Einstein was chosen as the greatest scientict of all time . So, it is preety natural that British peopole will consider Newton , which was British , to be the Greatest -but what is the objective value of such a statement when it cites as a reference the survy that been done by the Royal Society , inside the UK -while only part (acctually one third) of the scientict that been asked to answer to this question answerd is flawd from the mhetodological aspect...might be that you should change it.--Gilisa 17:11, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

I find this complaint to be particularly unseemly and dishonest given that Gilisa himself has gone on a campaign to promote the superiority of Jewish figures on wikipedia. It's pretty clear that he's trying to push Einstein merely because Einstein was Jewish... and that he suffers from precisely the sort of bias that he is accusing the survey of. 05:27, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
Lev Landau, no slouch as far as physicists are concerned (and also no Brit), once classified physicists according to a 0-5 scale, 0 being the highest rank, 5 being the mundane. On this scale, he ranked Newton at 0, Einstein at 0.5, a number of others including the likes of Heisenberg at 1, and himself (Landau) at a modest 2.5. Einstein himself kept a portrait of Newton over his desk. I don't think respect for scientific ability among scientists is a matter of patriotism or nationalism.... LotR 23:56, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Well, Einstein would have to be pretty conceited to keep a portrait of himself over his own desk.-- 15:34, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Irrelevant, since it doesn't explain why it was Newton he picked and not one of the many thousands of other possible scientists.--Michael C. Price talk 21:49, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Royal Mint

Can Newton be categorized with the Royal Mint as an institution? --pizza1512 12:31, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Newton and the Counterfeiters

Great Recoinage points to Royal Mint, which does not mention Great Recoinage. Britannia silver might be a better link, though I'm not sure it really explains the scheme very well.

Newton associated light particles with waves?

I can't find the line in Opticks that would confirm the statment in the article that says:

Newton argued that light is composed of particles, but he had to associate them with waves to explain the diffraction of light (Opticks Bk. II, Props. XII-L).

Is the reference accurate?

I can't find where he refers to light as particles (he just refers to "rays"), but the reference to waves is easy to find. Take Prop. XII. He says "Whether it [the cause of interference] consist in a circulating or vibrating motion of the ray, or of the medium, or something else?" And in Prop. XIII he says "And hence Light is in fits of easy reflexion and easy transmission, [from] ... its first emission from luminous Bodies, and continues in them during all its progress."
He has already used the word "waves" to describe the appearance of interference rings, so this could be one reason why he doesn't reuse the term for light waves which he instead calls "fits".
He also says in Book III Query 8 "Do not all fixt bodies when heated beyond a certain degree, emit Light and shine, and is not this emission performed by the vibrating motions of their parts?" and in Query 13 "Do not several sort of rays make vibrations of several bignesses, which according to their bignesses excite sensations of several Colours...?"
Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that he associated them with "vibrations", rather than waves. --Heron 19:48, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
But that's what a "wave" is, a "vibration". --Michael C. Price talk 21:51, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

I have a question ...

Sir Isaac Newton is considered the "greatest scientist of all time" (et cetera) by almost every source about him that I have found. What are the major reasons for this status? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 16:21, 15 April 2007 (UTC).

All his major accomplishments are on the article. Borisblue 13:22, 29 April 2007 (UTC)


Isaac Newton was famous for studying gravity, but the article dosn't mention too much about that. Whizmaster 07:13, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

"markedly enunciated"?

This strikes me as odd and unnatural phrasing:

In mechanics, Newton also markedly enunciated the principles of conservation of momentum and angular momentum.

The word "markedly" sounds as if it's referring to the emphasis in Newton's actual spoken voice when he literally "enunciated" those principles, which surely can't be the intention? Suggest simply removing the word "markedly", or changing to something like In mechanics, Newton was also notable for enunciating the principles... Matt 13:56, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

In relation to 2060s

Isaac Newton apparently predicted the world would end in 2060, but there is no mention of it on this page. I for one would like to hear more about this, and i'm sure as hard-working Wikipedians, your job is to do such. - 14:29, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

According to the AP, Newton predicted the world would end no earlier than 2060. "It may end later, but I see no reason for its ending sooner," Newton wrote.[3] --JHP 02:35, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Poor-quality footnotes

The quotes that use "Tiner, J.H. (1975). Isaac Newton: Inventor, Scientist and Teacher. Milford, Michigan, U.S.: Mott Media." as a reference don't include page numbers in the footnotes. Lack of page numbers makes it extremely difficult to verify the quotes. Omitting page numbers in footnotes is a very poor citation habit because it makes verification difficult. The ability to verify information is the whole purpose of using references in the first place. --JHP 02:35, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Newton's Apple

As a former pupil of the King's school, I never heard the school make any claims that they uprooted the tree and moved it to the headmaster's garden, rather the tree was grown from a seed from an apple from the tree at Woolsthorpe. I think the claims that the school makes needs to be further investigated. Scaddy 16:30, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Mr. Newton and the end of the world date

It is stated in the article under Religious Views "he estimated that the world would end no earlier than 2060"... As I read further going to Occult Studies I saw that it is stated, "he estimated the end of the world by the year 2060."[1]

They conflict: No earlier than 2060 is quite different than by 2060...this needs to be editted to state this appropriate Newton concept.--Fraasema 19:40, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Good catch -- I went ahead and cut-pasted the text from this page to that page. LotR 17:22, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Missing Book

I noticed that the part of the article on Newton's writings left out one of the books that he wrote; namely, "Commentaries upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John". It's a very good book, well thought-out, and the article could benefit greatly from its inclusion. --User:Rebellious Waffle 8:12 16 July 2007

additional ref for crucifixion date

The existing ref for, "Newton also placed the crucifixion of Jesus Christ at 3 April, AD 33, which agrees with one traditionally accepted date." is <ref>John P. Meier, ''[[John P. Meier#A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus|A Marginal Jew]]'', v. 1, pp. 382-402 after narrowing the years to 30 or 33, provisionally judges 30 most likely.</ref>. I see no reason not to also include the original source. Presumably Meier also included it. Pdbailey 18:55, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

More Influential Than?

Why does the Article contain the phrase 'Newton was deemed more influential than Albert Einstein'? I certainly agree with the statement but there are probably a million other scientists that Newton outclassed, why aren't they mentioned too?

Darwin, Clerk-Maxwell, Dirac, etc etc.

This article is about Newton not about the 'also-ran' scientists of history.

Implicit is the fact the Einstein is being considered #2... LotR 18:36, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

1665 - Working at Home?

The article currently says "for the next 18 months Newton worked at home on calculus, optics and the law of gravitation." Given Whiteside's observation in Newton's Marvellous Year: 1666 and All That (JSTOR link) observation that he returned to residence much sooner for a 13 week period, and a lot of his work was done whilst he was in Cambridge, isn't the article currently misleading? I'm not sure how best to rephrase it, but I do feel the current statement is too strong. Rec53 00:53, 11 August 2007 (UTC)


In mathematics, Newton shares the credit with Gottfried Leibniz for the development of calculus? But the calculus have been in use much before that in India. expecially in Kerala. -- 07:54, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

It would need to be something that you would want to argue on the Kerala School page first I would expect. The main point as I understand it is they didn't develop a comprehensive theory or the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. I suppose in a similar way we would otherwise have to argue that it was discovered earlier in the Western Tradition - useful results were being obtained earlier than Newton/Leibniz Rec53 00:58, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Would the editors kindly explain why my comment with specific reference to Manchester university research was deleted? Or is it that anything that shows non-whites having done better work ealier is taboo on wikipedia? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:20, 25 September 2007 (UTC) Newton's "research" into value of pi and the infinite series was predated by QUARTER OF A MILLINIA by ndian scholors and their writuings were llegedly copied (palgerised/stolen?) by jesuit scholors and passed onto Newton who just rewrote then in English/Latin and published and the skin color being right he became the discoverer!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:34, 25 September 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:31, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Bernhard Varenius

James Jurin "updated Newton's edition of Bernhard Varenius's Geography (1672) by adding supplements on meteorology, tides, and properties of air." ODNB Was this a volume of Newton's library or a work Newton edited?Cutler 08:35, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

A Brief History of Time's Paragraph about Newton

From A Brief History of Time (A translated version I'm translating back), after explaining the lack of an absolute state of rest in Chapter 2: Space and Time:

"Newton was very worried by this lack of an absolute position, or absolute space, as it was called, because it didn't fit with his idea of an absolute god. In fact, he refused to the no-existence of an absolute space, even though it was implied by his own laws. He was harshly criticized by a lot of people due to this irrational belief, standing out the criticism of the bishop Berkeley, a philosopher who believed all material objects, along with space and time, are an illusion. When the famous Dr. Johnson found out about Berkeley's opinion he yelled 'I refute it with this!' and hit with the tip of his foot a large boulder."

What's up with this paragraph? Did Newton not believe in a basic consequence of his own laws or is Hawking wrong? 20:31, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Newton used his "rotating water in a bucket" experiment to demonstrate the existence of absolute space and time. When Newtonian theory is assumed, the concave surface which the stirred water adopts is easy to explain when one assumes that the water is rotating and the universe is stationary but it is impossible to explain when one assumes that the universe is rotating and the water is stationary. That is why Newton would have said that his laws implied absolute space and time. Apparently, there is no such problem when one assumes GR laws to be true since GR can use "frame dragging" to explain the difference. -- Derek Ross | Talk 21:01, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the info, for a while I thought it was something worth adding to the article. 22:34, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Timing of the Second Coming

Has anyone heard about that Newton calculated that the second coming, from the book of Ezekiel would have to be before 3150, because by then only one person would believe in him, due to the number believing in Jesus was diminishing? A00yuri 19:40, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

No I have'nt but thanks for telling me. Thats very interesting. But the end of the world probably won't be 3150 because even though in Newtons time the amount of Christians was going down it is starting to rise dramatically. Super Brain... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:45, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Vandalism rash

What is it with the current rash or vandalism? Or is this par for the course for this article? (It just recently got onto my watchlist as I was reverting one specific vandal). — Coren (talk) 00:20, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

It gets hit every so often, but yes, there is an unusual amount recently. Not a clue why, but then again, I don't understand the whole vandalism thing anyway. Must be psycho-hormonal. --Trippz 04:57, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Is it "vandalism" or is it racist intolarance to non-whites? (I do not know what was written earlier and who corrected. But I know that when I pointed out research and results of Kerala as authenticated by Manchester Univerity, it was simply deleted. Is it vandalism to point out recent research or is it vandalism to refuse the airing of other properly documented resarch? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:23, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Huh, what? — Coren (talk) 03:18, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Yea ... huh, what? You need to sign your comment, otherwise nobody can possibly deduce what you are speaking of. If you aren't willing to sign up and ID yourself, at the very least reference the edits (via history) you are talking about so that we can look over what you are trying to point out and make a determination for ourselves. If there has been some verifiable research that was removed, I for one would like to know why as well. Could have been any number of reasons, but who knows?? If someone is removing good data, by all means speak out about it so the rest of us will know. Not sure why you are claiming racial intolerance, but again, there really isn't a way to know what you are talking about without some additional information being supplied. I'm not even sure what a "Kerala" is (except, thanks to WP, maybe a state in India). As a heads-up, its generally not a good idea to drop a racist bomb without providing coherent support for your statement. That's a pretty hefty charge to lay out there and not back it up with info and a signature. If your work has been deleted then discussion is a good place to bring it to light, otherwise some of us just aren't even going to notice. --Trippz 16:04, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Isaac Newton Research

If anybody could help me. I am doing research on Sir Isaac Newton and would like to know if anyone could offer me some info on him that is not on here. Please if you could help me I would really appreciate.

Thanks, Haseo72443 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Haseo72443 (talkcontribs) 17:55, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Check the further reading section, work cited, external links, etc. Maybe you'll find some more info in them, or some pointers for other material. --Trippz 13:07, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

It is believed that Newton suffered from Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism. Numerous writers and academics have suggested this, including Simon Baron-Cohen and Ioan James. Check out the Wiki entry for people speculated to have been autistic for references. It's a fascinating area of research, one which many people would be interested in, and would welcome further information.

Late years/death?

The article has sections for "Early years" and "Middle years," and that's it. Shouldn't there be something for late years, and documenting his death?

I was just curious how Newton had died, and was surprised to see that the discussion of his life stops around 1679, with 1680-1728 unaccounted for.

-- Terry Carroll 22:12, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Just following up to myself: it looks like it was deleted by vandalism several months ago. I've restored text from May 31, 2007, specifically this from version 134988879. -- Terry Carroll 21:10, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Isaac Newton

Earlier this year I was Reading a book about Isaac Newton. So when my maths teacher asked me to do an assignment about a famous mathemtician I began to study more on the life Newton. Through my studies I have discovered a large amount of information I had not previously been aware of. I thank Wikepedia for a large percentage of this information. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:30, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

yeah go in add it in —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:23, 28 October 2007 (UTC)


I once heard that Newton, using his excellent knowledge of physics figured out that there must be a ninth planet. And he did it all without a calculator. Of course if the story is true ten he is obviously carrect. A remarkable accomplishment. By Super Brain about a Super Brain. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:41, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Technically, Pluto is no longer a planet. I've never heard anything suggesting Newton figured there must be ninth planet, but maybe he did some hypothetical calculations for fun. I doubt it. I think Neptune wasn't recognized as a planet until long after Newton's death, so why would Newton suspect a ninth planet if a eighth wasn't known for sure until the 1800s. I don't even think Uranus was known during Newton's lifetime as a planet. But both planets may have been observed much earlier. Newton's laws were part of the eventual discoveries of later planets, however, nothing I have heard indicates his direct connection to their discovery. --Trippz 12:06, 22 October 2007 (UTC)


Was there any controversy about Newton or his theorys and ideas? I have to write an 8 page essay on a scientist/mathmatition that had controversy in his life about his findings (ans whether he was right).

Thanks, Spitfire2170 12:24, 17 October 2007 (UTC)spitfire2170

Yes. The most well known is the Leibniz and Newton calculus controversy. Good material for writing a paper. Also check Isaac Newton's occult studies for some potential philosophical controversy subjects. --Trippz 17:18, 17 October 2007 (UTC)


Under enlightenment philosophers, it says "Newton was also a well-known drug abuser." Please remove. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:17, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing this out. It's fixed now. -- Derek Ross | Talk 14:32, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Was Newton celtic or germanic?

Does anyone know if there had been any y-chromosome test done on Isaac Newton's remains to see if he had a celtic or germanic y-chromosome? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:14, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

It would help if you did not ask idiotic questions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:26, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

he was decendant from normans, idiot, it dosent matter anyway

Year of death

1727 and 1728 are both given as Newton's date of death, both with the same style. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:24, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Fixed. In the future, please use a more descriptive heading rather than something uninformative like "Still." I've changed it to "Year of Death". Even better, add it to an existing section on the same matter, such as "Old Style date of death." -- Terry Carroll 15:09, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

request citation

I think the following can be challenged in the future if not cited:

Newton claimed that he had been reluctant to publish his calculus because he feared being mocked for it.

Does anyone have a citation to it? --Kushalt 22:35, 30 October 2007 (UTC) Kushalt

It doesn't sound like Newton. It was not characteristic of Newton to be concerned with other people's opinions. Least of all, he wouldn't have cared about being mocked. What did the words or thoughts of other people matter in relation to his own words and thoughts? He had his own ways of thinking and he did not place a high value on what other people thought. He probably didn't publish his calculus because he didn't care if other people could find it useful. He, himself, found it useful and that is all that mattered to him. As a matter of fact, he tried to avoid controversy by keeping his thoughts to himself and not sharing them with the world.Lestrade 23:07, 30 October 2007 (UTC)Lestrade
seems to have come from this site, having read through the Britannica and the Cambridge Newton site, it seems he couldn't take criticism well, to the point of having a nervous breakdown, so it makes sense to me. I won't ref it myself, as I am unsure personally if that is true or not. Dureo 15:49, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Refs for insecurity here and secrecy and hiding work here Dureo 15:56, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
There is no evidence that he had a nervous breakdown or near–nervous breakdown as a result of being criticized.Lestrade 20:53, 31 October 2007 (UTC)Lestrade
The site that is mentioned here is of no value, as can be concluded from its final, juvenile sentences.Lestrade 20:56, 31 October 2007 (UTC)Lestrade

[outdent]Just going by the Britannica article, I know nothing about Newton regarding this subject, just looked around a bit, so I may be off.

Newton was also engaged in another exchange on his theory of colours with a circle of English Jesuits in Liège, perhaps the most revealing exchange of all. Although their objections were shallow, their contention that his experiments were mistaken lashed him into a fury. The correspondence dragged on until 1678, when a final shriek of rage from Newton, apparently accompanied by a complete nervous breakdown, was followed by silence. The death of his mother the following year completed his isolation. For six years he withdrew from intellectual commerce except when others initiated a correspondence, which he always broke off as quickly as possible.

Encyclopædia Britannica - the Online Encyclopedia, accessed here

though that is regarding his optical work, it was going on at the same time as his calc work, so it seems. I have no opinion on it one way or the other, just adding some info I found. Dureo 06:01, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

This sentence is of great significance to the Newton Leibniz debate. Thus, it is imperative that it be sourced. If it is sourced, it could make its way to Newton and Leibniz calculus controversy without violating the Wikipedia policy on no original research. --Kushalt 21:46, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

possible useful/interesting potential external link : ) --Emesee 05:18, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Physical Deformity?

In the book "Strange brains and genuis" by Clifford Pickover on page 258 Newton is listed as one af many famous intellectuals who "all had a physical deformity of one kind or another." What could this be a reference to in Newton's case? I don't think this article mentions any deformity, unless I have missed something. Is there any substance to this claim? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:53, 11 December 2007 (UTC)


Was Newton left or right handed or ambidextrous? Any evidence from paintings of Newton or his handwriting? It seems to me that left-handeness is unusally common amongst geniuses, and that's why I'm interested. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

According this site Newton were left-handed: [4]. And looks like there is book wich states that Newton really were left-handed: [5] -- (talk) 11:35, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Hi, how do I know which birth date and death date to put on my report? It is going to be my whole science and physics grade for this quater of school. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:14, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Inventor of reflecting telescope?

Sentence 2, para 2 of the article states that "In optics, he invented the reflecting telescope and...". My understanding is that Gregory's design, at least, predates Newton's design for a reflecting telescope. Perhaps a more correct description would be consistent with the Wikipedia article on reflecting telescopes which states "Sir Isaac Newton is credited with constructing the first "practical" reflecting telescope after his own design in 1668." Construction of the first working model is not invention.

I too believe I have read on several occasions that Newton refined the reflecting telescope and produced telescopes for sale. He did not invent it. --Candy (talk) 10:31, 18 December 2007 (UTC)