Isaac Newton was born in Lincolnshire, England in 1643. By the time of his birth Newton’s father had already died, and by the age of three his mother re-married and left her young son in the care of his grandparents.
From the age of twelve Newton was educated at a nearby school where he would remain for the next five years.
At the age of seventeen he returned to his village of birth on his mother’s request. She wanted her son to become a farmer but it was clear that young Isaac had no interest in working the land.
As a result he was sent back to school shortly after to complete his studies.
By the age of 18 he gained entrance to Cambridge University. There he developed an interest in astronomy, although at the time ancient Greek and Roman theories about a geocentric universe were still being taught.
The Great Plague forced the closure of the university in 1665, as a result Newton returned home. He spent his time away profitably, he experimented with light, discovering that it was composed of various colors and deducing that it is light that gives objects color, contrary to the contemporary view that objects created their own color.
He used his new discoveries to create a reflecting telescope, which used curved mirrors to reflect light into a focused point, providing a sharper image. These types of telescopes are now known as Newtonians and are widely used in astronomy today.
By 1672 Newton had become a fellow of Trinity College Cambridge and the Royal Society. By the late 1670’s he began to spend more time investigating his theories on the laws of motion, and how an invisible force, which he referred to as gravitas, applied to everything in the universe.
With assistance from the astronomer Edmund Halley, Newton published "The Principia" in 1687. The book outlined his three laws of motion and laws of universal gravitation. The publication truly was a revolution in scientific thinking, far exceeding anything that had gone before, taking science into a new era. It also finally put an end to the geocentric theory that placed the Earth at the center of all things.
As a result of his work Newton not only became famous in England but throughout the world. In the later years of his life he became Sir Isaac Newton after he was knighted in 1705 by Queen Anne. He died peacefully in his sleep in 1727 aged 84.