Newton, Sir Isaac (1642--1727)
Physicist and mathematician, born in Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire, EC England, UK. He studied at Cambridge. In 1665-6 the fall of an apple is said to have suggested the train of thought that led to the law of gravitation. He studiedthe nature of light, concluding that white light is a mixture of colours which can be separated by refraction, anddevised the first reflecting telescope. He became professor of mathematics at Cambridge in 1669, where heresumed his work on gravitation, expounded finally in his famous Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica (1687,Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy). In 1696 he was appointed warden of the Mint, and was master ofthe Mint from 1699 until his death. He also sat in parliament on two occasions, was elected President of the RoyalSociety in 1703, and was knighted in 1705. During his life he was involved in many controversies, notably withLeibniz over the question of priority in the discovery of calculus.
Pascal, Blaise [paskal](1623--62):
Mathematician, physicist, theologian, and man-of-letters, born in Clermont-Ferrand, C France. He invented acalculating machine (1647), and later the barometer, the hydraulic press, and the syringe. Until 1654 he spent histime between mathematics and the social round in Paris, but a mystical experience that year led him to join hissister, who was a member of the Jansenist convent at Port-Royal, where he defended Jansenism against theJesuits in Lettres provinciales (1656--7). Fragments jotted down for a case book of Christian truth were discovered after his death and published as the Pensées (1669, Thoughts).
Babbage, Charles (1791--1871)
Mathematician and inventor, born in London, England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, where he became professor of mathematics (1828--39), and spent most of his life attempting to build two calculating machines. His "difference engine' was intended for the calculation of tables of logarithms and similar functions...
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