The Isaac Newton you don’t know
We all know about Sir Isaac Newton, the man who shaped our view towards the universe, changed the way we imagine the universe. A physicist as well as a mathematician, one of the key figures of Science revolution, created the world’s first reflecting telescope in 1668. His exact birth date is still unclear as some say it’s 25th December 1642 and some say the4th January 1643. With the discoveries is optics, motion, and mathematics, the principle of modern physics has been developed by Newton. His book Philosophiae Naturalis, Principia Mathematica has been called the only influential book on Physics world, but being a legend in science his life is full of bizarre and unbelievable facts. Here is the 9 facts about Issac Newton you don’t know.
1. Survived death during his birth
During his birth, Newton was not expected to survive death. He was so small that he could fit in quart mug according to his mother. His father’s name was also Isaac Newton, was a rich local farmer. He died before three months of his birth.
2. Bad relation with family
His mother remarried when he was three leaving him in his grandmother’s care. He didn’t like his stepfather and for this reason, he also had troubled relation with his mother. He wanted his mother’s approval for his success in science, but she never approved. She wanted that he should marry and manage family estate. This may be a reason that Newton never married. He revealed that, during his young age, once he threatened his stepfather and mother to burn them alive with their house.
3. A bad farmer
As he was born into a farmer family, his mother wanted that he should look after their family farm. He was a very bad farmer, but thankfully his uncle convinced his mother to let him study in Trinity College, otherwise, we would never hear about Newton’s law of universal gravitation.
4. Secretive in nature
He was an introvert from his early life and very much protective of his privacy. Even becoming rich, famous and internationally acclaimed scientist, he remained always deeply insecure and due to which he suffered from depression, became short temper, unable to stop him from judging anyone whom he felt threatened. He kept all his theories secret and rarely published it. When German mathematician Gottfried Leibniz published his theory of calculus, Newton countered that he had already invented this theory, but didn’t publish.
5. Religious but didn’t believe in Satan
Newton did a lot of research on Bible to discover the hidden message. He believed that he has been chosen by God especially to explain the actual meaning of Bible. According to him, the world would end no earlier than 2060. He believed in single God who creates and governs all things, but denied the existence of Satan. The orthodox doctrines of the immortal soul, literal demon, a personal devil had been rejected by him. For him, atheism is senseless to humanity. He believed that there is a being that made all these things and has all things in his power and everyone should be afraid about that Almighty. He rejected Leibniz thesis that God would necessarily make a perfect world which requires no intervention from the creator.
6. Elected as a Member of Parliament
In 1689, he elected as a Member of Parliament for one year, but had no interest in politics. In the whole year, he did nothing, except asking for a window to be closed due to cold drought.
7. The apple incident never happened
The story we heard that Newton sat under an apple tree when an apple struck his head is not exactly true. William Stukeley an archeologist and also wrote the biography of Newton which has been published in 1752, mentioned in the conversation between him and Newton that, once he and Newton went to the garden after dinner and stood under some apple trees where the notion of gravitation just came to his mind.
8. An alchemist
You read it right. He believed in alchemist. He spent most of his time in alchemy according to biographer J.W.V.Sullivan. “He spent four to five hours in the laboratory and rarely went to bed before 2 AM or 3 AM especially in autumn or spring. During those times he spent almost six weeks in the laboratory where the fire scarce going out night or day” according to a record by one of his servant. His ambition was to find the secret to turning common metal into gold and few have suggested that he became successful in transmuting lead into gold. As he was secretive in nature he didn’t disclose much about it during his lifetime. The fact about not to publish any work on alchemy doesn’t mean that he had failed in his experiment, it probably he might have been gotten enough success in this field and thought to have something of fundamental importance and so had good reason to keep it secret, but after his death, Royal Society didn’t publish his research as they were not fit to be printed according to them. It was later rediscovered in middle of the twentieth century and most researchers concede that Newton was an alchemist too.
9. Had valuable tooth
In 1816, one of his teeth was auctioned for approx $3,600 (equal to $35,000 today). The tooth was set in a ring during the auction. He had the most valuable tooth in the world according to Guinness World Record.
10. He was a virgin
Newton was once engaged but never married. Physicians and doctors who attended him during his last moments reported that he might not have any physical relation with any woman. Once he had a close friendship with a Swiss mathematician Nicolas Fatio de Duillier whom he met in 1690 in London, but their relationship ended just after three years. In a letter to his friend John Locke, he included the charge that he (Locke) “endeavoured to embroil me with women”.