Regarded as one of the most influential scientists of all time, Isaac Newton’s contributions to the field of physics are unparalleled. His book, the Principia Mathematica, is still one of the most important and relevant scientific works in history, even now, 300 years after it was first published. Even so, Isaac Newton was more than just the work he produced; he was a man with many dimensions and eccentricities.
1. One genius dies, another one is born. Isaac Newton was born in 1642, the same year that Galileo Galilei died.
2. He could have been a farmer. Newton was born to a farming family so the initial plan was for him to take over the farm when he was old enough. Newton tried, but given his lack of interest in the field, was a very poor farmer. Eventually, his uncle managed to convince his mother to let him go to college.
3. He was Master of the Royal Mint. Newton took this job very seriously and personally pursued counterfeiters. Back then counterfeiting was considered high treason and punishable by death. Newton apprehended multiple counterfeiters, his most famous case being that of William Chaloner.
4.He was an alchemist. Probably the weirdest fact about Newton is that he was a firm believer in alchemy. One of his greatest ambitions was to find the philosopher’s stone – the secret to turning common metals into gold.
5. The “apple tree” story never happened. We all know the famous story of how Newton was resting under a tree when an apple fell on his head, creating a famous “Eureka” moment and leading to his laws of gravitation. However, that is all apocryphal. By Newton’s own admission, he merely saw an apple fall from a tree while walking through the garden, although some believe this story to be a myth, as well.