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Text 4. Isaac Newton Read the text and do the exercises that follow it.

Study the following vocabulary before reading the texts:

the binomial theorem – бином Ньютона

the law of gravity – закон притяжения

the “Principia”Начала

to enable – сделать возможным

to bind (bound) – связывать

indispensable – необходимый, обязательный

differential and integral calculus – дифференциальное и интегральное исчисление

Sir Isaac Newton (1642–1727) is universally recognized as one of the greatest scientist of all times.

He was born in 1642 in a small village in England. His father was a poor farmer. When the boy was 14 his father died. Newton left school and helped his mother on the farm. But the boy didn’t like farming, he was fond of poetry and mathematics. So Newton was sent back to school where he studied well and made his first scientific experiments. At the age of 19 he was sent to Cambridge University to study mathematics where he displayed remarkable ability in science. In the autumn of 1660, Cambridge University was closed. The Great Plague spread in England and Newton had to return to his village and stay there for 18 months. At home he went on with his studies. When he was 21 Newton formulated the binomial theorem.

After graduating Newton lectured on mathematics at Cambridge University. At 26 Newton became a professor at the University. His main interests were mathematics, electrical mechanics and physical optics.

At 22 Newton began studying the theory of gravity that had been known long before his time. He extended the law of gravity to the whole universe. He realized that it was gravity which bound the Moon to the Earth and other planets to the Sun. His great work, the “Principia” was published in 1687. In this book Newton clarified all that he had discovered about the movements of planets and their satellites.

The laws of gravity enabled him to explain many mysteries of the structure of the universe. Newton showed how the mass of the sun could be calculated from the speed and distance of any planet. He calculated the force of gravity between the sun and the planets and the quantity of matter in all these objects. He showed that the weight of the same body would be 23 times greater at the surface of the sun than at the surface of the earth. He found the true size and shape of the earth.

Newton’s results were better than anything that human reason had reached before Newton. He proved that mechanical laws acting on the earth, that is, in the world in which we live, are connected with mechanical laws of the whole universe.

Newton developed a mathematical method indispensable in all questions concerning motion. This method is known by the name of differential and integral calculus. He discovered laws of motion which are still considered to be the basis of all calculations concerning motion.

But light was Newton’s favourite study. Having made a number of experiments with lenses, he proved that white light consisted of rays of different coloures, and that white light is a mixture of all these coloured rays. These results laid the foundation of modern spectrography and greatly enriched the field of optics.

In 1703 his countrymen elected Newton president of the Royal Society. In 1727 he died and was buried in Westminster Abbey. There is a monument to Newton in Trinity College at Cambridge with the inscription: “Newton, Who Surpassed All Men of Science”.

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