# The Dark Secrets of Isaac Newton - A Hidden Life - Full Documentary

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A Complicated Man - Is the Newton-and-the-apple story true? Does anybody really understand the Principia? Was he a nice guy? Sir Isaac Newton's accomplishments border on the uncanny, as does his image in the world of science. With time, the historical Newton receded into the background, overshadowed by the very legacy he helped create. Newton thus metamorphosed into science personified. So what is that legacy? What were those accomplishments? Here, familiarize yourself with Newton's greatest contributions.

Invented the reflecting telescope

The standard telescope of Newton's time, the refracting telescope, was not ideal. Its glass lenses focused the different colors inherent in light at different distances. This resulted, at the edges of any bright objects seen through the telescope, in colored fringes that rendered those objects slightly out of focus. Newton solved the "chromatic aberration" problem by using mirrors instead of lenses. His original reflecting telescope, which he built himself in 1668, was just six inches long. This modest device not only eliminated the colored fringes but magnified whatever it focused on by 40 times, which, as Newton noted at the time, "is more than any 6 foot Tube can do." After presenting his scope to the Royal Society, the then-unknown Newton was proposed for membership; he later served as its president for 24 years, until his death in 1727.

Proposed new theory of light and color

Not long after he donated his telescope to the Royal Society, Newton delivered a paper to that august body about his novel theory of light and colors. Using prisms and his usual very exacting experimental technique, Newton had discovered that sunlight is comprised of all the colors of the rainbow, which could not only be separated but recombined into white light. Though he made his experiments on light as early as 1666, when he was only 24 years old, he didn't publish his classic Optics, which summarized his findings on light and color, until 1704.

Discovered calculus

When Newton began to muse on the problem of the motion of the planets and what kept them in their orbits around the sun, he realized that the mathematics of the day weren't sufficient to the task. Properties such as direction and speed, by their very nature, were in a continuous state of flux, constantly changing with time and exhibiting varying rates of change. So he invented a new branch of mathematics, which he called the fluxions (later known as calculus). Calculus allowed him to draw tangents to curves, determine the lengths of curves, and solve other problems that classical geometry could not help him solve. Interestingly, Newton's masterwork, the Principia, doesn't include the calculus in the form that he'd invented years before, simply because he hadn't yet published anything about it.

Developed three laws of motion.

Invented the reflecting telescope

The standard telescope of Newton's time, the refracting telescope, was not ideal. Its glass lenses focused the different colors inherent in light at different distances. This resulted, at the edges of any bright objects seen through the telescope, in colored fringes that rendered those objects slightly out of focus. Newton solved the "chromatic aberration" problem by using mirrors instead of lenses. His original reflecting telescope, which he built himself in 1668, was just six inches long. This modest device not only eliminated the colored fringes but magnified whatever it focused on by 40 times, which, as Newton noted at the time, "is more than any 6 foot Tube can do." After presenting his scope to the Royal Society, the then-unknown Newton was proposed for membership; he later served as its president for 24 years, until his death in 1727.

Proposed new theory of light and color

Not long after he donated his telescope to the Royal Society, Newton delivered a paper to that august body about his novel theory of light and colors. Using prisms and his usual very exacting experimental technique, Newton had discovered that sunlight is comprised of all the colors of the rainbow, which could not only be separated but recombined into white light. Though he made his experiments on light as early as 1666, when he was only 24 years old, he didn't publish his classic Optics, which summarized his findings on light and color, until 1704.

Discovered calculus

When Newton began to muse on the problem of the motion of the planets and what kept them in their orbits around the sun, he realized that the mathematics of the day weren't sufficient to the task. Properties such as direction and speed, by their very nature, were in a continuous state of flux, constantly changing with time and exhibiting varying rates of change. So he invented a new branch of mathematics, which he called the fluxions (later known as calculus). Calculus allowed him to draw tangents to curves, determine the lengths of curves, and solve other problems that classical geometry could not help him solve. Interestingly, Newton's masterwork, the Principia, doesn't include the calculus in the form that he'd invented years before, simply because he hadn't yet published anything about it.

Developed three laws of motion.