Isaac Newton's productivity

Isaac Newton's productivity

In 1665 Isaac Newton, a young scholar of Trinity College, fled from the Bubonic plague to his home, about sixty miles from the university. While in solitude, he would invent calculus, create the science of motion, unravel gravity, an more.

The plague created the conditions in which modern science could be created. Or at least, that is the inspirational story that is being touted as a model.

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The Truth About Isaac Newton's Productive Plague

newyorker.com

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The idea that the plague woke the brilliance in Newton is wrong and misleading as a measure of how well we apply ourselves during our own plague spring.

Isaac Newton had begun to think about the most pressing questions in science in 1664, a year before the plague broke out. Similarly, when the epidemic finally burned itself out in 1666, Newton kept on doing the same kind of work when he returned to Trinity College. Retreating to the country itself was not the decisive reason for his inventions.

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Doing the work was what mattered to Isaac Newton. He kept at it before the plague, during, and after his return to college. He wrote that during the plague year, he had been in the prime of his age for invention and minded Mathematics and Philosophy more than at any time since.

Newton was able to do what he did not because of the forced solitude, but because of who he was. You should use this time of solitude, not to emulate an impossible standard, but to keep going at whatever aspect of your life that fires your passion.

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Isaac Newton's Quarantine

During the bubonic plague in 1665, Newton was among the students forced to return home from Trinity College, Cambridge.

Away from university life, curriculum constraints, and professors to guide him, Newton seemed to thrive. At home, he built bookshelves and created a small office for himself. Free from distractions, Newton discovered differential and integral calculus, formulated a theory of universal gravitation, and explored optics.

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How Isaac Newton Turned Isolation From the Great Plague Into a "Year of Wonders" | Kerry McDonald

fee.org

Famous Eureka Moments

The falling apple has caused physicist Isaac Newton to formulate his laws of gravity. Archimedes took a bath and figured out how to calculate volume and density.

Anna Marie Roos, a historian of science, advises us to take these eureka moments with a grain of salt. However, she thinks they give insight into the creative process.

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How 'Eureka' Moments in Science Happen

nationalgeographic.com

Gravity is one of the universe's fundamental forces

Scientists know four forces - things that attract or repel one object from another. The strong force and the weak force operate only inside the centres of atoms. The electromagnetic force rules objects with excess charge, and gravity directs objects with mass.

People have long speculated about gravity. While ancient Greek and Indian philosophers observed gravity, it was the insight from Isaac Newton that made it possible to measure and predict the phenomenon.

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What Is Gravity?

space.com