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Sir Isaac Newton

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Sir Isaac Newton, mathematician and physicist, was one of the foremost scientific intellects of all time. Born in 1642 at Woolsthorpe, near Grantham in Lincolnshire, he attended school. There he entered Cambridge University in 1661. He was elected a Fellow of Trinity College in 1667, and Lucasian Professor of Mathematics in 1669. He remained at the university, lecturing in most years, until 1696. Of these Cambridge years, Newton was at the height of his creative power as "the prime of my age for invention". He singled out for four years, which was spent largely in Lincolnshire because of plague in Cambridge. During two to three years of intense mental effort he prepared Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica commonly known as the Principia, although this was not published until 1687.

As a firm opponent of the attempt by King James II to make the universities into Catholic institutions, Newton was elected Member of Parliament for the University of Cambridge to the Convention Parliament of 1689, and sat again in 1701. Meanwhile, in 1696 he had moved to London as Warden of the Royal Mint. He became Master of the Mint in 1699, an office he retained to his death in 1727. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1671, and in 1703 he became President, being annually re-elected for the rest of his life. His major work, Opticks, appeared the next year; he was knighted in Cambridge in 1705. As Newtonian science became increasingly accepted on the Continent, and especially after a general peace was restored in 1714, following the War of the Spanish Succession, Newton became

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