Did Isaac Newton Have Any Interests besides Math and Physics?

Isaac Newton once said that anyone who spends a lot of time thinking has to believe in God. And Newton is famous as a man of thought. He is credited with developing what is now known as classical mechanics -- which explains the basic foundations of motion -- and with "discovering" gravity. But what England's most famous mathematician devoted much of his life to may surprise those who think of Newton exclusively as a physicist or mathematician. The fact is, Newton was more interested in religion than anything else, and it showed: Newton spent countless hours researching and writing about Christianity and faith. But he didn't necessarily agree with all church doctrine. He devoted years of his life to trying to finding out the real truth about God, Jesus, and other Christian beliefs through meticulous study of ancient manuscripts. His plan was to eventually publish a five-volume account of his work and discoveries, but he died before he could complete it to his satisfaction.

Knowing Newton:

  • Isaac Newton didn't "discover" gravity because an apple dropped on his head, but he might have seen one fall from a tree, piquing his curiosity.
  • Isaac Newton served in Parliament but allegedly spoke only once, to ask a colleague to close a window.
  • Stephen Hawking, Paul Dirac and computer pioneer Charles Babbage have all held the same post at the University of Cambridge that Isaac Newton held in the mid-17th century.

While Isaac Newton may have been more interested in religion than in the physics and math for which he's famous, there's no denying his contributions to science. And for those of us who struggle with the latter subjects, a physics tutor may be just what we need to make sense of it all. Because if there's anything we can learn from Newton, it's that with enough time, effort, and curiosity, even the most complex of subjects can be understood. So whether you're aiming for the stars or just trying to pass your physics class, don't be afraid to seek help from a knowledgeable tutor - after all, even Newton knew when he needed to ask for assistance (although he may have just asked someone to close a window).


More Info: Science magazine

Discussion Comments


I hope somebody here can tell us more about this bright mind. I heard that he predicted that the world will end in 2065. Does anybody know anything about this? Also he kept his personal notes in Greek instead of English.


I am interested in knowing more about the earth attraction, and gravity also.

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