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Newton’s Theory of Gravity

Sir Isaac Newton was an English mathematician, physicist, philosopher, theologian, and astronomer, who lived between 1642 and 1727. It is alleged that Newton’s thinking about the gravitational force was initiated by a falling apple. Newton was seated under an apple tree one summer afternoon in 1665 taking tea when an apple fruit falling from an overhanging branch hit him on the head, a situation which inspired Newton’s inspiration on the theory of gravitation (Bellis, n.d).

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Newton questioned why an object would fall on its own without any tangible force acting upon it. Newton noticed that there were forces that attracts all objects towards each other. However, the force of attraction varies from the size of the object. Larger masses attract smaller masses and the force ranges with the distance between the objects. It was weaker when the objects were further apart. It was when he discovered that there exists a certain universal force on earth which pulls all objects towards the center of the earth, or makes objects fall, and referred to that force as the “force of gravity.” (Newton’s Theory of Gravity, n.d).

Newton’s contribution to modern science

Newton’s contribution to modern science is quite significant particularly from his theory of gravity and laws of motion, among other scientific works. Newton is greatly credited for discovering the first reflective telescope. In mathematics, Sir Isaac Newton made significant contributions in today’s differential and integral calculus and the binomial theorem. However, his gravity theory is the one that has had a great impact in today’s science arena (Bellis, n.d).

Through the theory of gravity and mathematics, Sir Isaac Newton explained several phenomena in the functioning of the universe. His formulation of gravitation and motion laws contributed a lot to science. Sir Newton did not limit his theory of gravity on earth only but went further to explain why other celestial bodies such as the planets revolved around the sun in their orbits, and why the moon revolved around the earth in its orbit (Bellis, n.d).

Newton’s Laws of Motion

Newton used his three laws of motion to explain the movements of objects, i.e. the Newton laws of motion. Newton’s first law of motion states that an object remains still or stationary if it’s not compelled by an external force i.e. through push or pull, or it continues moving in a straight line. The second Newton law of motion was centered on providing an explanation of the effect of external forces on an object. This law indicated that an object moves in the direction of movement the force compelling the object. Newton’s third law of motion states that an object pulls or pushes equally in the opposite direction against the force compelling on it. All these theories of motion are incorporated in today’s science particularly in physics and in general life. For instance, in rocketry, all three of Newton’s laws of motion are applied (Bellis, n.d).

Newton utilized the works of other great scientists such as Kepler, Copernicus, and Galileo in the theory of gravity. His works were also used by other famous scientists in the world such as Albert Einstein. For instance, Einstein’s works on the theory of gravitational waves were an inspiration of Newton’s theory of gravity (Newton’s Theory of Gravity, n.d).

References

  1. Bellis, Mary (n.d). “Sir Isaac Newton” About.com: inventors. 2009. Web.
  2. Newton’s Theory of Gravity (n.d). 2009.

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1. StudyCorgi. "Newton’s Theory of Gravity." November 8, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/newtons-theory-of-gravity/.


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