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HISTORY MIDTERM REVIEW SHEET: Sir Isaac Newton: Period: late 17 th early 18 th century Nationality: English Field: Mathematics, astronomy, Natural Philosophy, Significance: Newton began the study of classical physics. He drew on Copernicus’ theory of sun centered astronomy, Kepler’s explanation of planetary motion, Galileo’s invention of telescope, law of falling bodies, and that projectiles fall in a parabolic shape. He came up with the Law of Universal Gravitation, which applied to the attraction of the celestial world. It also allowed for there to be quantitative calculations of force which could be used to compare observations. It also separated physical law from the idea of causation. New wrote the Principia which had geometrical diagrams and demonstrations, he was a master on classical geometry. He also wrote Opticks which is based on his discovery of how white light is made up of several different rays. Newton saw light rays as waves (Euclidean Geometry). Newton also came up with the three laws of motion, body stay in a uniform state of motion unless acted upon by outside force, f=ma, and two bodies exert equal but opposite forces on one another. Newton was pivotal to advancement of science, much of the 18 th century Physics was built and expanded off of Newton’s ideas. Pierre Maupertuis: Period: Early-middle 18 th Century Nationality: French Field: Mathematics, Philosopher Significance: Lapland Expedition in 1736- 1737 to determine the shape of the earth. He was appointed as chief of the expedition by King Louis XV. Alexis Clairaut: Period: Early to Middle 18 th Century Nationality: French Field: Mathematics Significance: Went on Lapland Expedition, and wrote Theory on the Figure of the Earth (1743). The Lapland expedition was important in that it confirmed the Newtonian version of the early as onion shaped. In addition, Clairaut measured the polar diameter of the earth (the equatorial diameter) and found it to be .994, as opposed to Newton’s theoretical value of .996. Benjamin Franklin: Period: middle to late 18 th century Nationality: Mathematics Field: Experimentalist, Electricity Significance: First theory on electricity was proposed by B. Franklin. Until Franklin’s experiment, America was considered to be on the periphery of science. His theory was that electricity is a fluid that consist of submicroscopic particles that can flow from one another. Electrical particles repel one another but attract other matter. In addition positive charge represents an excess of electrical fluid, while negative charge is a deficiency of electrical fluid. Invented a lighting rod to test his theory that clouds are charged with electrical fluid in a thunderstorm. Voltaire:
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This note was uploaded on 12/08/2009 for the course HISTORY 30b taught by Professor Lesch during the Spring '09 term at Berkeley.

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