* 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.