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Isaac Newton (1642 – 1727) was an English natural philosopher, physical researcher and theorist. To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction.

Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton – natural philosopher and physical scientist

Isaac Newton quotes sourced from, GoodReads, BrainyQuote, WikiQuotes,


Isaac Newton quotes

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

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, & leave the rest for others that come after you, than to explain all things by conjecture without making sure of any thing.

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.

It is the perfection of God’s works that they are all done with the greatest simplicity. He is the God of order and not of confusion. And therefore as they would understand the frame of the world must endeavor to reduce their knowledge to all possible simplicity, so must it be in seeking to understand these visions.

Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.

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

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

Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.

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

I have not been able to discover the cause of those properties of gravity from phenomena, and I frame no hypotheses; for whatever is not deduced from the phenomena is to be called a hypothesis, and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, whether of occult qualities or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy.

I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

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

Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who sets the planets in motion.

The ancients considered mechanics in a twofold respect; as rational, which proceeds accurately by demonstration, and practical. To practical mechanics all the manual arts belong, from which mechanics took its name. But as artificers do not work with perfect accuracy, it comes to pass that mechanics is so distinguished from geometry, that what is perfectly accurate is called geometrical; what is less so is called mechanical. But the errors are not in the art, but in the artificers. He that works with less accuracy is an imperfect mechanic: and if any could work with perfect accuracy, he would be the most perfect mechanic of all; for 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; for it requires that the learner should first be taught to describe these accurately, before he enters upon geometry; then it shows how by these operations problems may be solved.

A man may imagine things that are false, but he can only understand things that are true.

If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been due more to patient attention, than to any other talent

Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.

I wish we could derive the rest of the phenomena of nature by the same kind of reasoning from mechanical principles; for I am induced by many reasons to suspect that they may all depend upon certain forces by which the particles of bodies, by some causes hitherto unknown, are either mutually impelled towards each other, and cohere in regular figures, or are repelled and recede from each other; which forces being unknown, philosophers have hitherto attempted the search of nature in vain; but I hope the principles here laid down will afford some light either to that or some truer method of philosophy.

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

No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess.

Errors are not in the art but in the artificers.

Live your life as an Exclamation rather than an Explanation

What goes up must come down.

This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.

You have to make the rules, not follow them

Trials are medicines which our gracious and wise Physician prescribes because we need them; and he proportions the frequency and weight of them to what the case requires. Let us trust his skill and thank him for his prescription.

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

Sir Isaac Newton was asked how he discovered the law of gravity. He replied, “By thinking about it all the time.

The main Business of natural Philosophy is to argue from Phenomena without feigning Hypotheses, and to deduce Causes from Effects, till we come to the very first Cause, which certainly is not mechanical.

Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.

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

Every body continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a right line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it.

The alternation of motion is ever proportional to the motive force impressed; and is made in the direction of the right line in which that force is impressed.

To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction; or, the mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal, and directed to contrary parts.

Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy

And to every action there is always an equal and opposite or contrary, reaction.

How came the bodies of animals to be contrived with so much art, and for what ends were their several parts?
Was the eye contrived without skill in Opticks, and the ear without knowledge of sounds?…and these things being rightly dispatch’d, does it not appear from phænomena that there is a Being incorporeal, living, intelligent…?

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 & leave the rest for others that come after than to explain all things by conjecture without making sure of any thing.

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

Blind metaphysical necessity, which is certainly the same always and every where, could produce no variety of things. All that diversity of natural things which we find suited to different times and places could arise from nothing but the ideas and will of a Being, necessarily existing.

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

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

About the times of the End, a body of men will be raised up who will turn their attention to the prophecies, and insist upon their literal interpretation, in the midst of much clamor and opposition.

This principle of nature being very remote from the conceptions of Philosophers, I forbore to describe it in that book, least I should be accounted an extravagant freak and so prejudice my Readers against all those things which were the main designe of the book.

What Descartes did was a good step. You have added much several ways, and especially in taking the colours of thin plates into philosophical consideration. If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.

A Vulgar Mechanick can practice what he has been taught or seen done, but if he is in an error he knows not how to find it out and correct it, and if you put him out of his road he is at a stand. Whereas he that is able to reason nimbly and judiciously about figure, force, and motion, is never at rest till he gets over every rub. (from a letter dated 25 May, 1694)

God who gave Animals self motion beyond our understanding is without doubt able to implant other principles of motion in bodies [which] we may understand as little. Some would readily grant this may be a Spiritual one; yet a mechanical one might be showne, did not I think it better to pass it by.

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

They who search after the Philosopher’s Stone [are] by their own rules obliged to a strict and religious life.

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

To me there has never been a higher source of earthly honor or distinction than that connected with advances in science.


COMMENTS

Oh, Diamond! Diamond! thou little knowest what mischief thou hast done! was Newton’s comment to his dog, who had knocked over a candle and burnt up twenty years of Newton’s personal note papers. It’s possible that Newton had written about something never thought of again by all humanity.

Every body continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a right line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it. This seems like the most obvious observation that a human could make, and yet it took what is considered by many scientists the most profound thinker of all time to make that statement. It makes one wonder if there were other seemingly obvious observations that Newton made that were burned up by his dog Diamond. Over the years I have occasionally presented a coffee shop companion with a pencil and a piece of blank paper and said something like, “If you write something we all probably already know you can totally revolutionize humanity’s understanding of reality.” Newton did it, why can’t you? To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction. There is an equally obvious statement to the one above, and yet these two simple and obvious statements form the basis for constructing much of our modern world.

To me there has never been a higher source of earthly honor or distinction than that connected with advances in science. By that standard Newton is a great champion, and yet if we were able to look at each of his ideas as he was thinking them we might discover they were no more difficult to understand that those previous ones. Newton himself wrote, If I have done the public any service, it is due to my patient thought. He implied that he wasn’t more intelligent than everyone else, but that he applied his intelligence to finding the right questions to be asked and the answers to be found. It is the weight, not numbers of experiments that is to be regarded.

Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things. He discussed other fields more complex than the physical sciences, such as biology and psychology, I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies but not the madness of people, but he knew they were too difficult to work with at his level of understanding. 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 & leave the rest for others that come after than to explain all things by conjecture without making sure of any thing. Newton worked with what he could discover and state with clarity, knowing that with a firm foundation others could follow and answer more complex questions with the clarity he was able to give to the simpler ones.

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