Isaac Newton

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An excerpt from a National Geographic News article by Kate Ravilious

The English scientist was born especially tiny but grew into a massive intellect and still looms large, thanks to his findings on gravity, light, motion, mathematics, and more.



Legend has it that Isaac Newton formulated gravitational theory in 1665 or 1666 after watching an apple fall and asking why the apple fell straight down, rather than sideways or even upward.



"He showed that the force that makes the apple fall and that holds us on the ground is the same as the force that keeps the moon and planets in their orbits," said Martin Rees, President of Britain's Royal Society, the United Kingdom's national academy of science, which was once headed by Newton himself.



"His theory of gravity wouldn't have got us global positioning satellites," said Jeremy Gray, a mathematical historian at the Milton Keynes, U.K-based Open University. "But it was enough to develop space travel."



View the original article here

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