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121 Inspiring Quotes by Isaac Newton

  • Last updated Jul 26 2021

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Isaac Newton.

Wikipedia Summary for Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726/27) was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian, and author (described in his time as a "natural philosopher") who is widely recognised as one of the greatest mathematicians and most influential scientists of all time and as a key figure in the scientific revolution. His book Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy), first published in 1687, established classical mechanics. Newton also made seminal contributions to optics, and shares credit with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz for developing the infinitesimal calculus.

In Principia, Newton formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation that formed the dominant scientific viewpoint until it was superseded by the theory of relativity. Newton used his mathematical description of gravity to derive Kepler's laws of planetary motion, account for tides, the trajectories of comets, the precession of the equinoxes and other phenomena, eradicating doubt about the Solar System's heliocentricity. He demonstrated that the motion of objects on Earth and celestial bodies could be accounted for by the same principles. Newton's inference that the Earth is an oblate spheroid was later confirmed by the geodetic measurements of Maupertuis, La Condamine, and others, convincing most European scientists of the superiority of Newtonian mechanics over earlier systems.

Newton built the first practical reflecting telescope and developed a sophisticated theory of colour based on the observation that a prism separates white light into the colours of the visible spectrum. His work on light was collected in his highly influential book Opticks, published in 1704. He also formulated an empirical law of cooling, made the first theoretical calculation of the speed of sound, and introduced the notion of a Newtonian fluid. In addition to his work on calculus, as a mathematician Newton contributed to the study of power series, generalised the binomial theorem to non-integer exponents, developed a method for approximating the roots of a function, and classified most of the cubic plane curves.

Newton was a fellow of Trinity College and the second Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. He was a devout but unorthodox Christian who privately rejected the doctrine of the Trinity. Unusually for a member of the Cambridge faculty of the day, he refused to take holy orders in the Church of England. Beyond his work on the mathematical sciences, Newton dedicated much of his time to the study of alchemy and biblical chronology, but most of his work in those areas remained unpublished until long after his death. Politically and personally tied to the Whig party, Newton served two brief terms as Member of Parliament for the University of Cambridge, in 1689–1690 and 1701–1702. He was knighted by Queen Anne in 1705 and spent the last three decades of his life in London, serving as Warden (1696–1699) and Master (1699–1727) of the Royal Mint, as well as president of the Royal Society (1703–1727).

woman holding brown umbrella

What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean.

--Isaac Newton

man in white shirt and black pants standing on top of building

When two forces unite, their efficiency double.

--Isaac Newton

mountain summit during sunset

All my discoveries have been made in answer to prayer.

--Isaac Newton

flower garden

I feign no hypotheses.

--Isaac Newton

aerial photography of mountain range covered with snow under white and blue sky at daytime

We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.

--Isaac Newton

blue and white abstract painting

It may be that there is no such thing as an equable motion, whereby time may be accurately measured. All motions may be accelerated or retarded, but the true, or equable, progress of absolute time is liable to no change.

--Isaac Newton


aerial photography of pine trees with mist

The changing of Bodies into Light, and Light into Bodies, is very conformable to the Course of Nature, which seems delighted with Transmutations.

--Isaac Newton

brown and gray floral textile

Godliness consists in the knowledge love and worship of God, Humanity in love, righteousness and good offices towards man.

--Isaac Newton


dew drops on glass panel

'Tis the temper of the hot and superstitious part of mankind in matters of religion ever to be fond of mysteries, and for that reason to like best what they understand least.

--Isaac Newton



white wall paint with black shadow

Atheism is so senseless. When I look at the solar system, I see the earth at the right distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance.

--Isaac Newton


yellow and blue painted wall

Plato is my friend, Aristotle is my friend, but my greatest friend is truth.

--Isaac Newton

low angle photo of starry night

To arrive at the simplest truth requires years of contemplation.

--Isaac Newton

four coffee cups on floor

You have to make the rules, not follow them.

--Isaac Newton

high-angle photography of beach side

You sometimes speak of gravity as essential and inherent to matter. Pray do not ascribe that notion to me, for the cause of gravity is what I do not pretend to know, and therefore would take more time to consider of it.

--Isaac Newton


None

Every particle of matter is attracted by or gravitates to every other particle of matter with a force inversely proportional to the squares of their distances.

--Isaac Newton


flat lay photography teacup on top of saucer

If I have done the public any service, it is due to my patient thought.

--Isaac Newton


None

The moon gravitates towards the earth and by the force of gravity is continually drawn off from a rectilinear motion and retained in its orbit.

--Isaac Newton

silhouette of a woman with pink and purple sky

I there represent that I sent notice of my method to Mr. Leibnitz before he sent notice of his method to me, and left him to make it appear that he had found his method before the date of my letter.

--Isaac Newton


white and blue building under clear sky

The motions of the comets are exceedingly regular, and they observe the same laws as the motions of the planets, but they differ from the motions of vortices in every particular and are often contrary to them.

--Isaac Newton

bonfire near mountain

We build too many walls and not enough bridges.

--Isaac Newton


flowers beside yellow wall

To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age.

--Isaac Newton

Longer Version:

To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age. Tis much better to do a little with certainty and leave the rest for others that come after than to explain all things by conjecture without making sure of any thing.



woman in black sports bra and black leggings

My principal method for defeating error and heresy is by establishing the truth. One purposes to fill a bushel with tares, but if I can fill it first with wheat, I may defy his attempts.

--Isaac Newton

snowflake

I shall not mingle conjectures with certainties.

--Isaac Newton

black wooden louver door window

If I am anything, which I highly doubt, I have made myself so by hard work.

--Isaac Newton

silhouette of mountain during sunset

The great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

--Isaac Newton


green leaf in close up photography

Nature is pleased with simplicity.

--Isaac Newton

Longer Version:

Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy.


black mountain under blue sky during night time

I have explained the phenomena of the heavens and of our sea by the force of gravity, but I have not yet assigned a cause to gravity.

--Isaac Newton

two birds on flight

If the ancient churches, in debating and deciding the greatest mysteries of religion, knew nothing of these two texts, I understand not why we should be so fond of them now the debate is over.

--Isaac Newton


red and white led lighted heart decor

Every body persists in a state of rest or of uniform motion in a straight line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces having impact upon it.

--Isaac Newton



white and blue building under clear sky

My Design in this Book is not to explain the Properties of Light by Hypotheses, but to propose and prove them by Reason and Experiments: In order to which, I shall premise the following Definitions and Axioms.

--Isaac Newton


yellow textile

The Synthesis consists in assuming the Causes discovered and established as Principles, and by them explaining the Phænomena proceeding from them, and proving the Explanations.

--Isaac Newton

black textile in close up photography

Pictures, propagated by motion along the fibers of the optic nerves in the brain, are the cause of vision.

--Isaac Newton

brown sands

Philosophy is such an impertinently litigious lady that a man had as good be engaged in lawsuits as have to do with her.

--Isaac Newton



seashore at daytime

Poetry is a kind of ingenious nonsense.

--Isaac Newton

tree and ranchhouse

Whence arises all that order and beauty we see in the world?

--Isaac Newton




photo of underwater

No sciences are better attested than the religion of the Bible.

--Isaac Newton

view of mountaintops with clouds

Gravity must be caused by an Agent acting constantly according to certain laws, but whether this Agent be material or immaterial I have left to the consideration of my readers.

--Isaac Newton

body of water

He who thinks half-heartedly will not believe in God; but he who really thinks has to believe in God.

--Isaac Newton

None

If you are affronted it is better to pass it by in silence, or with a jest, though with some dishonor, than to endeavor revenge. If you can keep reason above passion, that and watchfulness will be your best defenders.

--Isaac Newton

stars across the sky view at the desert

Christ comes as a thief in the night, and it is not for us to know the times and seasons which God hath put into his own breast.

--Isaac Newton

sunset

For I see not what there is desirable in publick esteeme, were I able to acquire and maintaine it. It would perhaps increase my acquaintance, the thing which I chiefly study to decline.

--Isaac Newton

black bird flying under white clouds during daytime

I can measure the motion of bodies but I cannot measure human folly.

--Isaac Newton

green leaf

The motions which the planets now have could not spring from any natural cause alone, but were impressed by an intelligent Agent.

--Isaac Newton


four white balloons on white wall

Opposite to godliness is atheism in profession, and idolatry in practice. Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind, that it never had many professors.

--Isaac Newton

worm's eye view photography of pink cheery blossom tree

My powers are ordinary. Only my application brings me success.

--Isaac Newton




raging waves through shores

The more time and devotion one spends in the worship of false gods, the less he is able to spend in that of the True One.

--Isaac Newton

man and woman holding hands

Genius is patience.

--Isaac Newton


pug lying on pet bed

Nothing can be divided into more parts than it can possibly be constituted of. But matter (i.e. finite) cannot be constituted of infinite parts.

--Isaac Newton




forest at sunset

A man may imagine things that are false, but he can only understand things that are true, for if the things be false, the apprehension of them is not understanding.

--Isaac Newton


Longer Version:

The best and safest way of philosophising seems to be, first to enquire diligently into the properties of things, and to establish those properties by experiences experiments and then to proceed slowly to hypotheses for the explanation of them. For hypotheses should be employed only in explaining the properties of things, but not assumed in determining them; unless so far as they may furnish experiments.


old cowboy boots

A body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted on by an outside force.

--Isaac Newton

white pendant lamp

I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily.

--Isaac Newton

Longer Version:

I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by men who were inspired. I study the Bible daily. Opposition to godliness is atheism in profession and idolatry in practice. Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind that it never had many professors.



snow covered mountain under blue sky during daytime

Yet one thing secures us what ever betide, the scriptures assures us that the Lord will provide.

--Isaac Newton


white textile in close up photography

It is reasonable that forces directed toward bodies depend on the nature and the quantity of matter of such bodies, as happens in the case of magnetic bodies.

--Isaac Newton

green ceramic mug beside book

An object that is at rest will tend to stay at rest. An object that is in motion will tend to stay in motion.

--Isaac Newton

Clear blue ocean washing on the sandy shore on a clear day in Cancún

All variety of created objects which represent order and life in the universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, whom I call the 'Lord God.'

--Isaac Newton

coconut tree near body of water

The instinct of brutes and insects can be the effect of nothing else than the wisdom and skill of a powerful ever-living agent.

--Isaac Newton

None

In the beginning of the year 1665, I found the method of approximating series and the rule for reducing any dignity of any binomial into such a series.

--Isaac Newton


adult black and white dog leaning on wooden fence

It is the weight, not numbers of experiments that is to be regarded.

--Isaac Newton

yellow textile

The description of right lines and circles, upon which geometry is founded, belongs to mechanics. Geometry does not teach us to draw these lines, but requires them to be drawn.

--Isaac Newton


full moon in the sky

Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy.

--Isaac Newton


gray elephant

I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.

--Isaac Newton

lighted candle in dark room

There are more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history.

--Isaac Newton



closeup photo of lounger chairs and beach umbrellas

Nature does nothing in vain when less will serve; for Nature is pleased with simplicity and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes.

--Isaac Newton




white and gray floral bed sheet

I keep the subject of my inquiry constantly before me, and wait till the first dawning opens gradually, by little and little, into a full and clear light.

--Isaac Newton




brown wooden dockside beside sea

No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess.

--Isaac Newton

sunset

As a blind man has no idea of colors, so have we no idea of the manner by which the all-wise God perceives and understands all things.

--Isaac Newton



selective focus photo of four green humming birds with red flowers

Let me think... I wonder if an anvil will drop like an apple?

--Isaac Newton

sunset dirt road

God created everything by number, weight and measure.

--Isaac Newton

yellow flower field under clear sky

To myself I am only a child playing on the beach, while vast oceans of truth lie undiscovered before me.

--Isaac Newton



water droplets on green leaf

I can see so far because I stood on the shoulders of giants.

--Isaac Newton



person holding yellow petaled flower

Errors are not in the art but in the artificers.

--Isaac Newton

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