Sir Isaac Newton

Inventor of the Law of Gravity

Early Life

Isaac Newton was born on Dec. 25, 1642, in Woolsthorpe, England. His father died before he was born, and when he was only three his mother, Hannah Newton, remarried and moved away, leaving him to be raised by an uncle. He was sent to the local grammar school, and for a time it was expected that he would grow up to manage his mother's property. But he nonetheless persisted in the pursuit of his wider interests, and after leaving the grammar school he enrolled at Trinity College, at the University of Cambridge, in 1661. He received his bachelor of arts in 1665, and was named a fellow of the College two years later.


His most important innovation was the concept of gravity, the attraction between bodies in space that holds planets, moons and comets in orbit, and draws falling objects toward the earth. His theory of gravity, however, remained incomplete and unverifiable; it would not be published for two decades.In the field of optics, the study of light, he developed and proved his theory that white light is composed of a mixture of other colors of light, which, when split apart by a prism, form a band of color called a spectrum. This was a revolutionary advance, and equally revolutionary was his work in mathematics, where he developed a binomial theorem and worked out a method of calculating the slope of curves and the area under them, paving the way for the field of math known as calculus.