Portrait of Isaac Newton: A copy of one printed in 1689 by Sir Godfrey Kneller, which is owned by the 10th Earl of Portsmouth.

The Newton Institute

The Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences is an international research institute running a series of visitor programmes across the spectrum of the mathematical sciences. Established in 1992, the 350th anniversary of Newton's birth, the Institute itself has no direct historical links with Newton, but was named after him because of his great achievements in the fields of mathematics, optics, physics and astronomy. The Newton Institute continues in this tradition of crossing the boundaries between scientific disciplines.

At the Institute we are often asked about Newton's life and work. We do have a collection of books about Newton and Newton artefacts but they are purely for the benefit of our researchers. However, there are many excellent and informative websites about Newton's life and works and we have put together this guide to help you find out more.

Biography

Newton's Birthplace and Schooling

Newton at Cambridge

Trinity College contains about five portraits of Newton and the famous statue by Roubiliac can be seen in the Chapel. The rooms Newton occupied when he was a Fellow can be seen externally but not entered.

The Wren Library at Trinity College contains the largest intact portion of Newton's library, and some correspondence and papers, which can be viewed by appointment. It also contains two busts of Newton (including one by Roubiliac), a display of Newton memorabilia (including walking sticks, watches, mathematical instruments and a lock of hair) and a stained glass window by Cipriani (1771) depicting an allegorical scene in which Newton is presented to George III. These can be seen during opening hours or by appointment.

Papers of Sir Isaac Newton in Cambridge University Library The most complete collection of Newton's scientific papers available through the Cambridge Digital Library.

The Keynes' Collection in the Modern Archive Centre at King's College contains many of Newton's non-scientific manuscripts, bequeathed to King's by JM Keynes (viewing by appointment).

The Whipple Museum contains a replica Newtonian reflecting telescope, and a number of portraits of Newton.

Isaac Newton Exhibition at Cambridge University Library entitled Footprints of the Lion which ran in 2002

Newton's Works

Newton's 'Principia' Book Two. Lemma II. Latin or English text, in a variety of electronic formats. From the History of Mathematics site at Trinity College, Dublin

The Newton Project Created in 1998, the Newton Project seeks to make facsimiles and transcriptions of Newton's manuscripts available in electronic form and to display their original connections, along with full documentation relating to Newton's reading such as written notes and annotations.

Newton's Three Laws of Motion
Sir Isaac Newton: The Universal Law of Gravitation
Sir Isaac Newton and the Unification of Physics & Astronomy
These three links are all part of the Astronomy Web Syllabus at the University of Tennessee. A clear, accessible and well-illustrated guide to Newton's laws.

The Physics of Classic Pullback Cars: Newton's second law of motion explained with the example of pull-back motors in toy cars. Also other links on acceleration, gravity, speed and velocity.

Newton's Monument

Newton died at Kensington on 20 March 1727 and was buried in Westminster Abbey on 28 March. Newton's Monument dates from 1731. It was designed by William Kent and was executed by Michael Rysbrack.

Artwork

There are many interesting pieces of art which reference or depict Newton. There are numurous statues and busts, as mentioned in the section 'Newton at Cambridge' detailed above. A few additional links are provided here for you to explore.

  • Isaac Newton by NFN Kalyan. This artwork was used on the cover of a book by Ranjan Roy.
  • Sculpture by Eduardo Paolozzi. This sculpture of Isaac Newton takes the form of a painting by william Blake and is displayed in the courtyard of the British Library at St Pancras, London.

    For Children

  • BBC History - detailed biographical summary from a historical perspective
  • Newton's Apple Web Seminar by Kjartan Poskitt. A fun, lively and wacky talk aimed at 11 to 16 year olds about the life and times of Isaac Newton, delivered by a master of children's education.
  • Science Rhymes Fun and facts packed in poems for children. Features a poem about Isaac Newton and his 3 laws of motion by Celia Berrell.