Quotes by Isaac Newton
Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Isaac Newton. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.
Wikipedia Summary for Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726/27) was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian, and author (described in his time as a "natural philosopher") who is widely recognised as one of the greatest mathematicians and most influential scientists of all time and as a key figure in the scientific revolution. His book Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy), first published in 1687, established classical mechanics. Newton also made seminal contributions to optics, and shares credit with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz for developing the infinitesimal calculus.
In Principia, Newton formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation that formed the dominant scientific viewpoint until it was superseded by the theory of relativity. Newton used his mathematical description of gravity to derive Kepler's laws of planetary motion, account for tides, the trajectories of comets, the precession of the equinoxes and other phenomena, eradicating doubt about the Solar System's heliocentricity. He demonstrated that the motion of objects on Earth and celestial bodies could be accounted for by the same principles. Newton's inference that the Earth is an oblate spheroid was later confirmed by the geodetic measurements of Maupertuis, La Condamine, and others, convincing most European scientists of the superiority of Newtonian mechanics over earlier systems.
Newton built the first practical reflecting telescope and developed a sophisticated theory of colour based on the observation that a prism separates white light into the colours of the visible spectrum. His work on light was collected in his highly influential book Opticks, published in 1704. He also formulated an empirical law of cooling, made the first theoretical calculation of the speed of sound, and introduced the notion of a Newtonian fluid. In addition to his work on calculus, as a mathematician Newton contributed to the study of power series, generalised the binomial theorem to non-integer exponents, developed a method for approximating the roots of a function, and classified most of the cubic plane curves.
Newton was a fellow of Trinity College and the second Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. He was a devout but unorthodox Christian who privately rejected the doctrine of the Trinity. Unusually for a member of the Cambridge faculty of the day, he refused to take holy orders in the Church of England. Beyond his work on the mathematical sciences, Newton dedicated much of his time to the study of alchemy and biblical chronology, but most of his work in those areas remained unpublished until long after his death. Politically and personally tied to the Whig party, Newton served two brief terms as Member of Parliament for the University of Cambridge, in 1689–1690 and 1701–1702. He was knighted by Queen Anne in 1705 and spent the last three decades of his life in London, serving as Warden (1696–1699) and Master (1699–1727) of the Royal Mint, as well as president of the Royal Society (1703–1727).
Nature is pleased with simplicity.
Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy.
He who thinks half-heartedly will not believe in God; but he who really thinks has to believe in God.
Genius is patience.
If I have done the public any service, it is due to my patient thought.
I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.
Nothing can be divided into more parts than it can possibly be constituted of. But matter (i.e. finite) cannot be constituted of infinite parts.
I there represent that I sent notice of my method to Mr. Leibnitz before he sent notice of his method to me, and left him to make it appear that he had found his method before the date of my letter.
Through algebra you easily arrive at equations, but always to pass therefrom to the elegant constructions and demonstrations which usually result by means of the method of porisms is not so easy, nor is one's ingenuity and power of invention so greatly exercised and refined in this analysis.
In experimental philosophy, propositions gathered from phenomena by induction should be considered either exactly or very nearly true notwithstanding any contrary hypotheses, until yet other phenomena make such propositions either more exact or liable to exceptions.
The more time and devotion one spends in the worship of false gods, the less he is able to spend in that of the True One.
I keep the subject of my inquiry constantly before me, and wait till the first dawning opens gradually, by little and little, into a full and clear light.
The motions which the planets now have could not spring from any natural cause alone, but were impressed by an intelligent Agent.
The Prophecies of Daniel are all of them related to one another, as if they were but several parts of one general Prophecy, given at several times. The first is the easiest to be understood, and every following Prophecy adds something new to the former.
What Descartes did was a good step. You have added much several ways, and especially in taking the colours of thin plates into philosophical consideration. If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.
'Tis the temper of the hot and superstitious part of mankind in matters of religion ever to be fond of mysteries, and for that reason to like best what they understand least.
The Synthesis consists in assuming the Causes discovered and established as Principles, and by them explaining the Phænomena proceeding from them, and proving the Explanations.
My principal method for defeating error and heresy is by establishing the truth. One purposes to fill a bushel with tares, but if I can fill it first with wheat, I may defy his attempts.
I have been much amused at ye singular phenomena resulting from bringing of a needle into contact with a piece of amber or resin fricated on silke clothe. Ye flame putteth me in mind of sheet lightning on a small-how very small-scale.
If anyone offers conjectures about the truth of things from the mere possibility of hypotheses, I do not see by what stipulation anything certain can be determined in any science, since one or another set of hypotheses may always be devised which will appear to supply new difficulties.
The motions of the comets are exceedingly regular, and they observe the same laws as the motions of the planets, but they differ from the motions of vortices in every particular and are often contrary to them.
Pictures, propagated by motion along the fibers of the optic nerves in the brain, are the cause of vision.
Christ comes as a thief in the night, and it is not for us to know the times and seasons which God hath put into his own breast.
My Design in this Book is not to explain the Properties of Light by Hypotheses, but to propose and prove them by Reason and Experiments: In order to which, I shall premise the following Definitions and Axioms.
You ask me how, with so much study, I manage to retene my health. Morpheus is my last companion; without 8 or 9 hours of him yr correspondent is not worth one scavenger's peruke. My practices did at ye first hurt my stomach, but now I eat heartily enou' as y' will see when I come down beside you.
The instinct of brutes and insects can be the effect of nothing else than the wisdom and skill of a powerful ever-living agent.
Every body persists in a state of rest or of uniform motion in a straight line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces having impact upon it.
Godliness consists in the knowledge love and worship of God, Humanity in love, righteousness and good offices towards man.
God is able to create particles of matter of several sizes and figures and perhaps of different densities and forces, and thereby to vary the laws of nature, and make worlds of several sorts in several parts of the Universe.
In the reign of the Greek Emperor Justinian , and again in the reign of Phocas , the Bishop of Rome obtained some dominion over the Greek Churches, but of no long continuance. His standing dominion was only over the nations of the Western Empire, represented by Daniel's fourth Beast.
You sometimes speak of gravity as essential and inherent to matter. Pray do not ascribe that notion to me, for the cause of gravity is what I do not pretend to know, and therefore would take more time to consider of it.
This principle of nature being very remote from the conceptions of Philosophers, I forbore to describe it in that book, least I should be accounted an extravagant freak and so prejudice my Readers against all those things which were the main designe of the book.
If the ancient churches, in debating and deciding the greatest mysteries of religion, knew nothing of these two texts, I understand not why we should be so fond of them now the debate is over.
Trials are medicines which our gracious and wise Physician prescribes because we need them; and he proportions the frequency and weight of them to what the case requires. Let us trust his skill and thank him for his prescription.
The changing of Bodies into Light, and Light into Bodies, is very conformable to the Course of Nature, which seems delighted with Transmutations.
If you are affronted it is better to pass it by in silence, or with a jest, though with some dishonor, than to endeavor revenge. If you can keep reason above passion, that and watchfulness will be your best defenders.
Do not Bodies and Light act mutually upon one another; that is to say, Bodies upon Light in emitting, reflecting, refracting and inflecting it, and Light upon Bodies for heating them, and putting their parts into a vibrating motion wherein heat consists?
Gravity must be caused by an Agent acting constantly according to certain laws, but whether this Agent be material or immaterial I have left to the consideration of my readers.
It is reasonable that forces directed toward bodies depend on the nature and the quantity of matter of such bodies, as happens in the case of magnetic bodies.
Qu. 31. Have not the small Particles of Bodies certain Powers, Virtues or Forces, by which they act at a distance, not only upon the Rays of Light for reflecting, refracting and reflecting them, but also upon one another for producing a great part of the Phænomena of Nature?
The smaller the planets are, they are, other things being equal, of so much the greater density; for so the powers of gravity on their several surfaces come nearer to equality. They are likewise, other things being equal, of the greater density, as they are nearer to the sun.
The qualities of bodies, which admit neither intension nor remission of degrees, and which are found to belong to fill bodies within the reach of our experiments, are to be esteemed the universal qualities of all bodies whatsoever.
The hypothesis of matter's being at first evenly spread through the heavens is, in my opinion, inconsistent with the hypothesis of innate gravity without a supernatural power to reconcile them, and therefore, it infers a deity.
The best and safest method of philosophizing seems to be first to inquire diligently into the properties of things, and establishing those properties by experiments, and then to proceed more slowly to hypotheses for the explanation of them.
The best and safest way of philosophising seems to be, first to enquire diligently into the properties of things, and to establish those properties by experiences experiments and then to proceed slowly to hypotheses for the explanation of them. For hypotheses should be employed only in explaining the properties of things, but not assumed in determining them; unless so far as they may furnish experiments.
I do not love to be printed on every occasion, much less to be dunned and teased by foreigners about mathematical things or to be thought by our own people to be trifling away my time about them when I should be about the king's business.
Every particle of matter is attracted by or gravitates to every other particle of matter with a force inversely proportional to the squares of their distances.
Philosophy is such an impertinently litigious lady that a man had as good be engaged in lawsuits as have to do with her.
God in the beginning formed matter in solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, movable particles, of such sizes and figures, and with such other properties, and in such proportion to space, as most conduced to the end for which he formed them.
Nature does nothing in vain when less will serve; for Nature is pleased with simplicity and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes.
I know not how I seem to others, but to myself I am but a small child wandering upon the vast shores of knowledge, every now and then finding a small bright pebble to content myself with while the vast ocean of undiscovered truth lay before me.
To myself I am only a child playing on the beach, while vast oceans of truth lie undiscovered before me.
An object that is at rest will tend to stay at rest. An object that is in motion will tend to stay in motion.
To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age.
To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age. Tis much better to do a little with certainty and leave the rest for others that come after than to explain all things by conjecture without making sure of any thing.
If a projectile were deprived of the force of gravity, it would not be deflected toward the earth but would go off in a straight line into the heavens and do so with uniform motion, provided that the resistance of the air were removed.
Opposite to godliness is atheism in profession, and idolatry in practice. Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind, that it never had many professors.
Atheism is so senseless. When I look at the solar system, I see the earth at the right distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance.
God made and governs the world invisibly, and has commanded us to love and worship him and no other God; to honor our parents and masters, and love our neighbours as ourselves; and to be temperate, just, and peaceable, and to be merciful even to brute beasts.
All variety of created objects which represent order and life in the universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, whom I call the 'Lord God.'
The moon gravitates towards the earth and by the force of gravity is continually drawn off from a rectilinear motion and retained in its orbit.
Infinites, when considered absolutely without any restriction or limitation, are neither equal nor unequal, nor have any certain proportion one to another, and therefore, the principle that all infinites are equal is a precarious one.
I have explained the phenomena of the heavens and of our sea by the force of gravity, but I have not yet assigned a cause to gravity.
The description of right lines and circles, upon which geometry is founded, belongs to mechanics. Geometry does not teach us to draw these lines, but requires them to be drawn.
In the beginning of the year 1665, I found the method of approximating series and the rule for reducing any dignity of any binomial into such a series.
A man may imagine things that are false, but he can only understand things that are true, for if the things be false, the apprehension of them is not understanding.
As a blind man has no idea of colors, so have we no idea of the manner by which the all-wise God perceives and understands all things.
We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.
That the divided but contiguous particles of bodies may be separated from one another is a matter of observation; and, in the particles that remain undivided, our minds are able to distinguish yet lesser parts, as is mathematically demonstrated.
Gravity may put the planets into motion, but without the divine Power, it could never put them into such a circulating motion as they have about the Sun; and therefore, for this as well as other reasons, I am compelled to ascribe the frame of this System to an intelligent Agent.
It may be that there is no such thing as an equable motion, whereby time may be accurately measured. All motions may be accelerated or retarded, but the true, or equable, progress of absolute time is liable to no change.
I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily.
I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by men who were inspired. I study the Bible daily. Opposition to godliness is atheism in profession and idolatry in practice. Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind that it never had many professors.
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