The English scientist Sir Isaac Newton was born February 4, 1642 in Lincolnshire. His father, a wealthy landowner died shortly before Newton was born. When Newton was three years old, his widowed mother, Hannah, remarried, left Isaac in the care of his grandmother, and went away to live with her new husband. Newton’s later writings show that he was angry about his mother leaving him, and he disliked his stepfather. I am not surprised that this angry rejected child threatened to burn down the house with his mother and his stepfather inside. Although he didn’t comment this or any other such violent act, his relationship with his mother never was very positive.
|Newton was about 11 years old when his stepfather died and his mother returned with two daughters and a son from her second marriage. His mother had inherited money and property from both Newton’s father and her second husband, but some say she did not share this wealth with Newton, and he went to college as a sizar. A sizar was someone who was given an allowance by the college toward college expenses, in exchange for waiting on other students.
Little is known about the details of Newton’s childhood. Some say he was a loner, and he entertained himself by making complex toys. In one story, Newton is credited with building a working toy windmill that was driven by mice running on a treadmill. Another report claims that Newton caused a UFO scare by flying his kites with lanterns attached. It is known that the boy who played alone apparently grew up to be a conceited and difficult man who had many disagreements with other scientists of the day. He was considered odd, made hardly any friends, and was obsessed by his work.
One of the more well-known stories about Newton is that he discovered gravity when an apple fell on his head. All known for sure about Newton and apples is that there were apple trees on his mother’s farm.
Newton is credited with having written the single most important book in the history of science. This famous book has, among other things, information about gravity, as well as about the three laws that describe the motion of all objects. For information as well as an investigation demonstrating these law, see Newton’s Laws of Motion: Spinning Egg