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1

Newton's Legacy

Mainly, Theology, Alchemy, but today he's known as hero of Scientific Movement, physics

Born year Gal died
->succeedor in mathematics + nature
Killed Aristotelean thought
->his model becomes it

2

Early Life

Premature farmer baby
->disliked family, no social skills
Studies at King's College Cambridge
->learns in Scholastic

Comes home, Plague
->but eventually returns

Transitions to Arts
->becomes Lucasian Professor of Mathematics
->must lecture weekly - chose Optics!

3

Opticks

(Actual publication comes much later)

Light, not vision is the question
->Newton asks how white light gets colour on material

Prevailing theory: White light = pure light
->not yet altered, impressed by colours

Knows objects have refractive indices, Snell
->suggests each colour has own refractive index
->and each material reflects different amounts each col
->key step is in splitting, THEN RECOMBINING light

So it's the light joining and splitting, not the prism impressing qualities

Also worked on telescopes
->solved Chromatic Abberation with mirrors > glass
->telescope makes it to King, who wants Newton in RS
->encourages him to publish

Hooke criticises him
->"derivative" of his own microscopes
->disagrees with light being a constitution
Newton withdraws, since he's a recluse
->swears to never publish
->continues theology, alchemy

4

Alchemy

Experiment to make substances more valuable
->chemists are experimental, not concerned with origin
->chemist = pharmacist, follow recipes to make products

Newton was an alchemist
->reads obscure works (really strange wording)
->understand true nature of world & reality
->not so much about making gold

Alchemists:
1) Wrote in flowery vague language with strange terminology
2)Though ancients had ultimate alchemical knowledge
->Greek, Roman poems were actually encoded formulae
->they went deeeep into their mythology
->seek Phil Stone in their writing
->Ancients had "true philosophy, true theology"

His work was not "good science" or following good principles as we know today

5

Theology

Jesus was not divine
->unsupported by 1st testament
->a heretic! Kept it to himself

Widely disagreed with views, but he kept them

SACRED/TRUE THEOLOGY
->"The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended"
->tried to correct dates of prophecies
->concerned with end of world
->2016, comet hits sun, giant solar flare
->like humanism, glorify the Ancients
->MODERN CHURCH IS CORRUPTION OF FAITH
->true faith is found back in Adam & Eve's time

He really thought he could reconstruct the Ancient's sacred, perfect knowledge
->but Fermat, Keppler too...
->just speculatively reconstructing them

6

Physics

Principia?
->Halley asks him what orbits would look like, if inverse squared to distance
->Why ellipses? Wanted to show from inverse square law
->Newton sends short write up to Halley, who pushes him to publish

Principia - Begins with the 3 Laws
1) Inertia (EZ)
2) F = ma (EZ)
3) equal and opposite force (NEW shocker)

Then goes on to show Universal Gravitation
->holds for any pair!!!!!
->same motion in heaven and earth!!!! No realms!
Literally a rock star after Principia

7

Newton's Reception

Elevates to head of RS, King of Science
->only legit if you're with Newton

Hooke goes off again, derivative
->Newton just slaps him down, doesn't even respond
Publishes Opticks after Hooke dies
->includes Calc
->another rivalry with Leibniz, who disagrees with Grav too

Newton thought Calculus was Ancient Knowledge though
->no big deal, neither of us invented it
->thought the ancients just preferred geometric proofs, so he used it too for Principia
Creates a committee to investigate, then clears his name himself.

8

Occult Properties in Newton?

Revised Principia to say he "feigns no hypotheses"
->though includes 31 questions at the end
->31: but don't bodies have action at a distance though?

9

Newton's Legacy

It's important to say how, before why.
->1st priority is describe events

Recall: Only efficient causes for Descartes!

Allows subsequent scientists to only worry about how
->And Faraday, Einstein can go describe
->Others can go later and find why
->like Pythagoreans, finding math comes first