What Is Isaac Newton Famous For?

isaac-newton-famous Credit: Andrea Ciambra/CC-BY 2.0

Isaac Newton, a prominent mathematician and physicist, is famous for discovering several laws and theories of physics and motion that are collectively known as Newton's Laws. The laws that he is most famous for are the first, second and third laws of motion and the universal law of gravity.

Pictures of Isaac Newton often show him near an apple tree, as he began research for one of his discoveries, the universal law of gravity, after watching an apple fall from a tree. The cause and effect of gravity served as the basis for most of his theories. The universal law of gravity explains how every particle has a gravitational force that is proportional to the mass of the particle and is dependent on the distance between particles.

Newton's well-known first law of motion explains how force is constant unless an external force is applied. The second law of motion is the mathematical equation F = MA. This equation is used to calculate the mass, acceleration and force of an object. The third law of motion famously states, "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."

These theories and several others were published in Newton's book titled "Principia," which was published in 1687. In addition to theoretical discoveries, Newton made improvements to the telescope by adding mirrors to it.