English_Pioneers[1] - English Pioneers and Their...

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English Pioneers and Their Discoveries There were many discoveries and inventions by English pioneers which forever changed England’s position in the world economically, diplomatically, and socially. David Berlinski, Dava Sobel, and Tom Standage have each written on these respective subjects. Each of their books tell a story of a particular invention or discovery and what the English and abroad scientific communities felt about it. These literary works explain why the discoveries involve an international effort. The authors elaborate well to explicate the government’s participation in the processes, as well as England’s interest in each. In the book Newton’s Gift: How Sir Isaac Newton Unlocked the System of the World, David Berlinski explores Isaac Newton’s strange childhood and eventual career in government, but spends most of book focused on the Cambridge years and especially on the development of the Principia . He adequately touches on Newton co-inventing calculus, discovering gravity, and organizing physics around mathematical laws. The author credits him with these as well as other findings in math and optics establishing him as the great mind of his age. Berlinski chose to start the book with the final hours of Newton’s life and to recount the famous event of the apple falling on his head. In this amusing and somewhat sad examination of Newton’s life, the author observes the mathematical breakthroughs as well as the many changes that one thought in the latter half of the seventeenth century. Along the way, Berlinski examines Newton’s awkward college days at Cambridge and 1
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the astonishing year in which, working alone, he laid the foundation for his system of the world, the Principia Mathematica. Berlinski takes on the man’s history by approaching it through his work, leaving out many details of his strange personal life. The author does go into some detail of his life when personalities contribute in some way to his work in physics. The story is easy to follow as he readily uncovers Newton’s ordinary childhood to the ensuing immense feuds, such as that with Gottfried Leibniz over which of them discovered calculus, or the lifelong feud of a jealous wrath with Robert Hooke. These disputes, among others, eventually gave way to a mental break down in 1678. After reading the book one can sense a feeling of envy among many of Newton’s professional colleagues and presumably, Newton had as many adversaries as admirers. Newton’s major discovery of gravity led to a huge international change of
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This note was uploaded on 04/03/2010 for the course HIST 1301 taught by Professor Daniels during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas-Tyler.

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English_Pioneers[1] - English Pioneers and Their...

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