Isaac Newton Lesson for Kids: Biography & Facts

Instructor: Crystal Ladwig
Imagine being so smart that Albert Einstein calls you the smartest person who ever lived. Wouldn't that be awesome! That really is what Einstein said about Sir Isaac Newton. Read on to find out more about one of the smartest people ever!

Isaac Newton the Man

Isaac Newton is considered to be one of the most famous scientists of all time. But that almost didn't happen. Born in England in 1643, his mother wanted him to be a farmer and even took him out of school to make sure that happened. But he wasn't very good at farming and was soon allowed to go back to school. He became a scientific leader and even created new areas of study in math and science. People who knew him agreed that he was a genius but that he was also very difficult to work with. Do you know anyone like that?

Sir Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton

Discoveries

Newton was a math and science professor at Cambridge University in England. His discoveries are things that you've probably used or heard about already.

Gravity

Newton is the first scientist to 'discover' gravity, although it's always been there. Gravity is a force that pulls one object toward another. A big object like a planet will have a lot of gravity. Newton realized that gravity explains why planets and stars move the way they do and why things fall down on earth. Legend says that he came up with this theory after he saw an apple fall from a tree. He wondered why it fell straight down instead of in another direction. He realized that a force must be causing it to go down. As Newton sought to prove his ideas, he developed a new form of math that is studied in schools throughout the world, calculus. You'll probably study it one day, too!

Reflecting Telescope

Have you ever looked up at the night sky through a telescope? If you have, then you've probably used one of Newton's inventions. He created a reflecting telescope that used mirrors to reflect light (like the light from stars and planets) to make them bigger through the telescope. Almost all telescopes today still use this technology, even the Hubble Space Telescope orbiting Earth right now!

Images like this one taken from the Hubble Space Telescope would not be possible without the discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton.
Hubble Starburst

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