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Newton, one of the greatest scientists of all time, was born on the 25th of December 1642 at the little village of Woolsthorpe in Lincolnshire, not far from the old university town of Cambridge. His father was a farmer and had died before Newton was born. When Newton was a schoolboy, he liked to make things with his own hands and once he made a primitive wooden clock.

When he was fifteen, Newton's family wanted him to become a farmer. He did his best but was a poor farmer and his uncle sent him back to school. At the age of 18 he was sent to Cambridge where he studied mathematics and took his degree in 1665. Some years later he was appointed professor to the chair of physics and mathematics at Cambridge.

In 1665 the great plague broke out in England and the University was closed. Newton went home fora period of eighteen months. During that time, between the ages of 22 and 24 Newton made his great discoveries - the discovery of the differential calculus of the nature of white light, and the laws that govern the forces of gravitation.

Newton was interested in the problem of light and he showed that white light was made up of various colours of the rainbow.

He developed the theory of gravity when he was only 24. It is interesting how the idea which led to the discovery of the law of gravitation first came to him. Once, as he sat in his garden, he saw the fall of an apple from a tree. The fall of an apple was not unusual event but it made Newton think why apples always fell perpendicularly to the ground. So the sight of the falling 100 apple led to a great scientific discovery and Newton began to apply this property of gravitation to the motion of the Earth and the heavenly bodies round the Sun. He calculated the force of gravity acting between the Sun and the planets.

Newton thought that gravity was the cause of the motion of the Moon but his calculations showed that it was not. Only 6 years later, in 1672 when the true size of the Earth was established, Newton started new calculations which proved that gravity was the cause of the motion of the Moon.

In 1687 Newton's great work Principia was published. Newton demonstrated the uniformity of things; he showed that the laws of the motion of the planets were the results of universal gravitation.

Newton died when he was 84, in 1727. His funeral ceremonies were those of a national hero. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.

break out (broke out, broken out) вспыхивать

differential calculus дифференциальное исчисление

forces of gravitation силы тяжести

take one's degree получать степень

wanted him to become зд. хотели, чтобы он стал (сложное дополнение)

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