Biographies

Newton and the laws of dynamics (celestial mechanics)

Newton and the laws of dynamics (celestial mechanics)

Sir Isaac Newton was a mathematician, physicist, astronomer, inventor and philosopher who revolutionized science. He discovered the law of universal gravitation and formulated the basic laws of classical mechanics. He also studied the nature of light and developed mathematical calculation.

Isaac Newton was born in Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire, England on January 4, 1643. His childhood life was practically that of an orphan, due to his father's death and his mother's new marriage, living with his uncles. This changes in childhood made him a lonely, difficult man.

His first years of study did not bear very good results, his reports highlighted little attention in school activities. He later joined Trinity College Cambridge, where instruction was dominated by Aristotle's philosophy. However, he also studied Descartes, Gassendi, Hobbes and Boyle.

The study of the algebraic description of the Descartes movement led Newton to develop a written dynamic in an alternative form of algebra, geometry. and then put the geometry in motion with the development of infinitesimal calculus. He received his bachelor's degree in April 1665.

When the University of Cambridge was reopened after a plague, Newton was named a junior professor at Trinity College and after his teaching degree he was elected senior professor. In 1669 it was recommended to occupy the Lucasian chair. His first job in the chair was about optics. He designed and built the first reflector telescope.

He concluded that white light is not a single entity after observing the chromatic aberration of his telescope and performing the prism experiment where he could observe the spectrum - of spectrum, ghost - of the individual components of white light and recompose it with a Second Prism He discovered Newton's rings, a series of light and dark stripes due to light interference, which appear when two glass surfaces are joined, one flat and the other convex.

In 1666 Newton imagined that the gravity of the earth influenced the Moon and counterbalanced the centrifugal force. With his law on centrifugal force and using Kepler's third law, he deduced the three fundamental laws of celestial mechanics: Law of inertia. Every body has to maintain its state of motion as long as no other external force acts on it. Fundamental law of dynamics. The force is equal to the mass by acceleration. Law of action and reaction. Every force is always opposed by a reaction of the same magnitude, but in the opposite direction.

Newton showed that the gravitational force decreases according to the square of the distance, and that this gives rise to Kepler's laws of planetary motion. He exhibited his famous Law of universal gravitation thus: Between two bodies an attractive force is exerted directly proportional to the product of their respective masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance that separates their centers of gravity.

In 1687 Newton published Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, where he established the basic principles of theoretical mechanics and fluid dynamics. He applied the first mathematical treatment to the wavy movement, deduced Kepler's laws from the law of inverse squares of gravitation and explained the orbits of comets; He calculated the masses of the Earth, the Sun and the planets with their satellites, explained the crushed form of the Earth and used this idea to explain the precession of the equinoxes, in addition to establishing the theory of the tides.

After suffering a nervous breakdown in 1693, Newton withdrew from the investigation. He traveled to London where he became the custodian guardian of the mint and director in 1699. In these positions Newton became a very rich man. In 1703 he was elected president of the Royal Society and was re-elected every year until his death. He was knighted by Queen Anne in 1705. He died on March 31, 1727 in London.

◄ PreviousNext ►
Modern astronomyHalley and the orbits of comets