Isaac Newton was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer,
inventor, philosopher and alchemist. A man of profound genius, he is
widely regarded as one of the most influential scientists in history.
He is associated with the scientific revolution and the advancement of
heliocentrism. Among his scientific accomplishments, Newton wrote the
Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, wherein he described
universal gravitation and, via his laws of motion, laid the groundwork
for classical mechanics. With Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz he shares
credit for the development of differential calculus. Newton was the
first to promulgate a set of natural laws that could govern both
terrestrial motion and celestial motion, and is credited with
providing mathematical substantiation for Kepler's laws of planetary
motion, which he expanded by arguing that orbits (such as those of
comets) could include all conic sections (such as the ellipse,
hyperbola, and parabola).
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Counter-Reformation: The Council of Trent, an ecumenical council
convoked by Pope Paul III in response to the growth of Protestantism,
opened in Trento, Italy.
American Civil War: Union forces under Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside were
decisively defeated in the Battle of Fredericksburg.
Nanking Massacre: Japanese forces under General Iwane Matsui captured
Nanjing, China and began weeks of looting, burning, raping and
Prime Minister Wojciech Jaruzelski declared martial law in Poland,
suspended Solidarity and imprisoned many union leaders.
Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein (pictured) was found hiding in a
spider hole during Operation Red Dawn and captured.
Wikiquote of the day:
The maple tree that nightWithout a wind or rainLet go its
leavesBecause its time had come. -- Eugene McCarthy --