ISAAC NEWTON - 190
What is Newton IQ?We have no way to know what his IQ test score 190 would have been. For modern scientists, the famous sometimes have very high IQs but sometimes just moderately high, lower thn other scientist who did nothing notable.
Robert Boyle was rated the greater scientist at the time. But his chemical and physical work was soon overtaken. So was Newton’s work on light, his corpuscular theory was displaced by early Wave Theory, and was different from modern quantum theory.
He supposed that light in water or glass would be speeded up, when it was actually slowed.
Newton was also co-inventor with Leibniz of modern Calculus which itself had a long history. Newton’s notation system was discarded. His most famous contribution was Universal Gravity. Everyone knew there was such a thing as gravity, a tendency for object to fall. Galileo had clarified it and even in mediaeval times there were people who thought there might be many “centers of gravity” rather than the Aristotelian notion of just one.
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And Kepler had worked out the Laws of Motion, centred on the sun and with the obvious implication that it was the sun. And likewise the relationship between the tides and the moon was suspected by Kepler, though Galileo unfortunately rejected it:
Newton took three vital steps
- Correctly saying that an apple falling and the orbit of the moon were two aspects of a single force, despite apparent differences;
- Working out in great detail what this would mean and how it explained planetary motion;
- Doing the same for the tides, explaining why you get high tide when the moon is on the other side of the Earth as well as when it was overhead.
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Since their motions also matched those recorded by the Classical Greeks, he assumed that God must be stepping in to adjust them as a human might adjust a clock. It needed later workers, notably Pierre-Simon Laplace to show that there were long-term cycles that kept the system stable.
Despite this, the basic Law of Gravitation held out wonderfully till the early 20th century and General Relativity. New worlds like Uranus and Neptune were found and conformed with Neptune correctly predicted on the assumption that Newtonian rules were solid.
He was brilliant but perhaps hyped beyond the very high level that he genuinely merited.
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