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Isaac Newton

Date de naissance: 4. janvier 1643
Date de décès: 20. mars 1727
Autres noms:Sir Isaac Newton

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Isaac Newton est un philosophe, mathématicien, physicien, alchimiste, astronome et théologien anglais, puis britannique. Figure emblématique des sciences, il est surtout reconnu pour avoir fondé la mécanique classique, pour sa théorie de la gravitation universelle et la création, en concurrence avec Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, du calcul infinitésimal. En optique, il a développé une théorie de la couleur basée sur l'observation selon laquelle un prisme décompose la lumière blanche en un spectre visible. Il a aussi inventé le télescope à réflexion composé d'un miroir primaire concave appelé télescope de Newton.

En mécanique, il a établi les trois lois universelles du mouvement qui constituent en fait des principes à la base de la grande théorie de Newton concernant le mouvement des corps, théorie que l'on nomme aujourd'hui « mécanique newtonienne » ou encore « mécanique classique ».

Il est aussi connu pour la généralisation du théorème du binôme et l'invention dite de la méthode de Newton permettant de trouver des approximations d'un zéro d'une fonction d'une variable réelle à valeurs réelles.

Newton a montré que le mouvement des objets sur Terre et des corps célestes sont gouvernés par les mêmes lois naturelles ; en se basant sur les lois de Kepler sur le mouvement des planètes, il développa la loi universelle de la gravitation.

Son ouvrage Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica,, publié en 1687, est considéré comme une œuvre majeure dans l'histoire de la science. C'est dans celui-ci qu'il décrit la loi universelle de la gravitation, formule les trois lois universelles du mouvement et jette les bases de la mécanique classique. Il a aussi effectué des recherches dans les domaines de la théologie et de l'alchimie.

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Citations Isaac Newton

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„I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.“

— Isaac Newton
Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton (1855) by Sir David Brewster (Volume II. Ch. 27). Compare: "As children gath'ring pebbles on the shore", John Milton, Paradise Regained, Book iv. Line 330

„Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.“

— Isaac Newton
This became widely attributed to Isaac Newton after Dominique Pire ascribed it to "the words of Newton" in his Nobel Lecture, 11 December 1958. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1958/pire-lecture.html Pire refers not to Isaac, but to Joseph Fort Newton, who is widely reported to have said "People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges." This appears to be paraphrased from a longer passage found in his essays and addresses, The One Great Church: Adventures of Faith (1948), pp. 51–52: "Why are so many people shy, lonely, shut up within themselves, unequal to their tasks, unable to be happy? Because they are inhabited by fear, like the man in the Parable of the Talents, erecting walls around themselves instead of building bridges into the lives of others; shutting out life."

„If I have seen further it is by standing on ye sholders of Giants.“

— Isaac Newton, The Correspondence Of Isaac Newton
Context: If I have seen further it is by standing on ye sholders of Giants. <!-- This is DELIBERATELY left in archaic form — for modernized renditions see BELOW Letter to Robert Hooke (15 February 1676) The phrase is most famous as an expression of Newton's but he was using a metaphor which in its earliest known form was attributed to Bernard of Chartres by John of Salisbury: Bernard of Chartres used to say that we [the Moderns] are like dwarves perched on the shoulders of giants [the Ancients], and thus we are able to see more and farther than the latter. And this is not at all because of the acuteness of our sight or the stature of our body, but because we are carried aloft and elevated by the magnitude of the giants.<!-- Metalogicon (1159) bk. 3, ch. 4, as quoted in Medieval Rhetoric : A Casebook (2004) by Scott D. Troyan, p. 10 --> Modernized variants: If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.

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„Righteousness is the religion of the kingdom of heaven towards man. Righteousness & Love are inseparable for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.“

— Isaac Newton
Context: Abel was righteous & Noah was a preacher of righteousness & by his righteousness he was saved from the flood. Christ is called the righteous & by his righteousness we are saved & except our righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees we shall not enter into the kingdome of heaven. Righteousness is the religion of the kingdom of heaven & even the property of God himself towards man. Righteousness & Love are inseparable for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

„While the particles continue entire, they may compose bodies of one and the same nature and texture in all ages: but should they wear away or break in pieces, the nature of things depending on them would be changed.“

— Isaac Newton
Context: It seems probable to me that God, in the beginning, formed matter in solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, moveable particles, of such sizes and figures, and with such other properties, and in such proportions to space, as most conduced to the end for which He formed them; and that these primitive particles, being solids, are incomparably harder than any porous bodies compounded of them, even so very hard as never to wear or break in pieces; no ordinary power being able to divide what God had made one in the first creation. While the particles continue entire, they may compose bodies of one and the same nature and texture in all ages: but should they wear away or break in pieces, the nature of things depending on them would be changed.<!-- Book III, Part I, pp.375-376 http://books.google.com/books?id=XXu4AkRVBBoC Query 31 : Have not the small particles of bodies certain powers, virtues, or forces, by which they act at a distance, not only upon the rays of light for reflecting, refracting, and inflecting them, but also upon one another for producing a great part of the Phenomena of nature? <br/> How these Attractions may be perform'd, I do not here consider. What I call Attraction may be perform'd by impulse, or by some other means unknown to me. I use that Word here to signify only in general any Force by which Bodies tend towards one another, whatsoever be the Cause. For we must learn from the Phaenomena of Nature what Bodies attract one another, and what are the Laws and Properties of the attraction, before we enquire the Cause by which the Attraction is perform'd, The Attractions of Gravity, Magnetism and Electricity, react to very sensible distances, and so have been observed by vulgar Eyes, and there may be others which reach to so small distances as hitherto escape observation; and perhaps electrical Attraction may react to such small distances, even without being excited by Friction

„Hitherto Daniel described the actions of the Kings of the North and South; but upon the conquest of Macedon by the Romans, he left off describing the actions of the Greeks, and began to describe those of the Romans in Greece.“

— Isaac Newton
Context: In the same year that Antiochus by the command of the Romans retired out of Egypt, and set up the worship of the Greeks in Judea; the Romans conquered the kingdom of Macedon, the fundamental kingdom of the Empire of the Greeks, and reduced it into a Roman Province; and thereby began to put an end to the reign of Daniel's third Beast. This is thus expressed by Daniel. And after him Arms, that is the Romans, shall stand up. As ממלך signifies after the King, Dan. xi. 8; so ממנו may signify after him. Arms are every where in this Prophecy of Daniel put for the military power of a kingdom: and they stand up when they conquer and grow powerful. Hitherto Daniel described the actions of the Kings of the North and South; but upon the conquest of Macedon by the Romans, he left off describing the actions of the Greeks, and began to describe those of the Romans in Greece. They conquered Macedon, Illyricum and Epirus, in the year of Nabonassar 580. 35 years after, by the last will and testament of Attalus the last King of Pergamus, they inherited that rich and flourishing kingdom, that is, all Asia westward of mount Taurus; 69 years after they conquered the kingdom of Syria, and reduced it into a Province, and 34 years after they did the like to Egypt. By all these steps the Roman Arms stood up over the Greeks: and after 95 years more, by making war upon the Jews, they polluted the sanctuary of strength, and took away the daily sacrifice, and then placed the abomination of desolation. For this abomination was placed after the days of Christ, Math. xxiv. 15. In the 16th year of the Emperor Adrian, A. C. 132, they placed this abomination by building a Temple to Jupiter Capitolinus, where the Temple of God in Jerusalem had stood. Thereupon the Jews under the conduct of Barchochab rose up in arms against the Romans, and in the war had 50 cities demolished, 985 of their best towns destroyed, and 580,000 men slain by the sword; and in the end of the war, A. C. 136, were banished Judea upon pain of death, and thenceforward the land remained desolate of its old inhabitants. Vol. I, Ch. 12: Of the Prophecy of the Scripture of Truth

„It seems probable to me that God, in the beginning, formed matter in solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, moveable particles, of such sizes and figures, and with such other properties, and in such proportions to space, as most conduced to the end for which He formed them“

— Isaac Newton
Context: It seems probable to me that God, in the beginning, formed matter in solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, moveable particles, of such sizes and figures, and with such other properties, and in such proportions to space, as most conduced to the end for which He formed them; and that these primitive particles, being solids, are incomparably harder than any porous bodies compounded of them, even so very hard as never to wear or break in pieces; no ordinary power being able to divide what God had made one in the first creation. While the particles continue entire, they may compose bodies of one and the same nature and texture in all ages: but should they wear away or break in pieces, the nature of things depending on them would be changed.<!-- Book III, Part I, pp.375-376 http://books.google.com/books?id=XXu4AkRVBBoC Query 31 : Have not the small particles of bodies certain powers, virtues, or forces, by which they act at a distance, not only upon the rays of light for reflecting, refracting, and inflecting them, but also upon one another for producing a great part of the Phenomena of nature? <br/> How these Attractions may be perform'd, I do not here consider. What I call Attraction may be perform'd by impulse, or by some other means unknown to me. I use that Word here to signify only in general any Force by which Bodies tend towards one another, whatsoever be the Cause. For we must learn from the Phaenomena of Nature what Bodies attract one another, and what are the Laws and Properties of the attraction, before we enquire the Cause by which the Attraction is perform'd, The Attractions of Gravity, Magnetism and Electricity, react to very sensible distances, and so have been observed by vulgar Eyes, and there may be others which reach to so small distances as hitherto escape observation; and perhaps electrical Attraction may react to such small distances, even without being excited by Friction

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„The Simplicity of Figures depend upon the Simplicity of their Genesis and Ideas, and an Æquation is nothing else than a Description“

— Isaac Newton
Context: The Simplicity of Figures depend upon the Simplicity of their Genesis and Ideas, and an Æquation is nothing else than a Description (either Geometrical or Mechanical) by which a Figure is generated and rendered more easy to the Conception.<!--p.251

„What is there in places empty of matter? and Whence is it that the sun and planets gravitate toward one another without dense matter between them? Whence is it that Nature doth nothing in vain?“

— Isaac Newton
Context: What is there in places empty of matter? and Whence is it that the sun and planets gravitate toward one another without dense matter between them? Whence is it that Nature doth nothing in vain? and Whence arises all that order and beauty which we see in the world? To what end are comets? and Whence is it that planets move all one and the same way in orbs concentrick, while comets move all manner of ways in orbs very excentrick? and What hinders the fixed stars from falling upon one another? Query 28 : Are not all Hypotheses erroneous in which Light is supposed to consist of Pression or Motion propagated through a fluid medium?

„The event will prove the Apocalypse; and this Prophecy, thus proved and understood, will open the old Prophets, and all together will make known the true religion, and establish it. For he that will understand the old Prophets, must begin with this; but the time is not yet come for understanding them perfectly, because the main revolution predicted in them is not yet come to pass.“

— Isaac Newton
Context: The folly of Interpreters has been, to foretell times and things by this Prophecy, as if God designed to make them Prophets. By this rashness they have not only exposed themselves, but brought the Prophecy also into contempt. The design of God was much otherwise. He gave this and the Prophecies of the Old Testament, not to gratify mens curiosities by enabling them to foreknow things, but that after they were fulfilled they might be interpreted by the event, and his own Providence, not the Interpreters, be then manifested thereby to the world. For the event of things predicted many ages before, will then be a convincing argument that the world is governed by providence. For, as the few and obscure Prophecies concerning Christ’s first coming were for setting up the Christian religion, which all nations have since corrupted; so the many and clear Prophecies concerning the things to be done at Christ’s second coming, are not only for predicting but also for effecting a recovery and re-establishment of the long-lost truth, and setting up a kingdom wherein dwells righteousness. The event will prove the Apocalypse; and this Prophecy, thus proved and understood, will open the old Prophets, and all together will make known the true religion, and establish it. For he that will understand the old Prophets, must begin with this; but the time is not yet come for understanding them perfectly, because the main revolution predicted in them is not yet come to pass. In the days of the voice of the seventh Angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the Prophets: and then the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of our Lord and his Christ, and he shall reign for ever, Apoc. x. 7. xi. 15. There is already so much of the Prophecy fulfilled, that as many as will take pains in this study, may see sufficient instances of God’s providence: but then the signal revolutions predicted by all the holy Prophets, will at once both turn men’s eyes upon considering the predictions, and plainly interpret them. Till then we must content ourselves with interpreting what hath been already fulfilled. Amongst the Interpreters of the last age there to scarce one of note who hath not made some discovery worth knowing; and thence I seem to gather that God is about opening these mysteries. The success of others put me upon considering it; and if I have done any thing which may be useful to following writers, I have my design. Vol. II, Ch. 1 : Introduction, concerning the time when the Apocalypse was written

„Fidelity & Allegiance sworn to the King is only such a fidelity and obedience as is due to him by the law of the land; for were that faith and allegiance more than what the law requires, we would swear ourselves slaves“

— Isaac Newton
Context: 1. Fidelity & Allegiance sworn to the King is only such a fidelity and obedience as is due to him by the law of the land; for were that faith and allegiance more than what the law requires, we would swear ourselves slaves, and the King absolute; whereas, by the law, we are free men, notwithstanding those Oaths. 2. When, therefore, the obligation by the law to fidelity and allegiance ceases, that by the Oath also ceases... Letter to Dr. Covel Feb. 21, (1688-9) Thirteen Letters from Sir Isaac Newton to J. Covel, D.D. (1848)

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