* December 25, 1642 [January 4, 1643, New Style],
Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire, England,

+ March 20 [March 31], 1727, London

English physicist and mathematician, who was the
culminating figure of the scientific revolution of the 17th
century.

In optics, his discovery of the composition of
white light integrated the phenomena of colours into thescience of
light and laid the foundation for modern physical optics. In
mechanics, his three laws of motion, the basic principles of
modern physics, resulted in the formulation of the *law of
universal gravitation*. In mathematics, he was the original
discoverer of the *infinitesimal calculus*. Newton's
Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical
Principles of Natural Philosophy), 1687, was one of the most
important single works in the history of modern science.