Before Isaac Newton became the father of physics, an accomplished mathematician, or a leader of the scientific revolution, he was a boy living in an apothecary's house, observing and experimenting, recording his observations of the world in a tiny notebook. Read more...
Before Isaac Newton became the father of physics, an accomplished mathematician, or a leader of the scientific revolution, he was a boy living in an apothecary's house, observing and experimenting, recording his observations of the world in a tiny notebook. As a young genius living in a time before science as we know it existed, Isaac studied the few books he could get his hands on, built handmade machines, and experimented with alchemy--a process of chemical reactions that seemed, at the time, to be magical. Mary Losure's riveting narrative nonfiction account of Isaac's early life traces his development as a thinker from his childhood, in friendly prose that will capture the attention of today's budding scientists--as if by magic. Back matter includes an afterword, an author's note, source notes, a bibliography, and an index.
- ISBN-13: 9780763670634
- ISBN-10: 0763670634
- Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
- Publish Date: February 2017
- Page Count: 176
- Reading Level: Ages 10-UP
- Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.3 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.32 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-12-05
- Reviewer: Staff
In this charming biography of Isaac Newton (16421727), Losure (Wild Boy) posits that this last sorcererthis greatest of all alchemistswas the same man who banished magic from the scientific world. Portrayed as an uncommonly inquisitive, albeit reclusive, thinker with a secret addiction to alchemy (not an unusual preoccupation in a period when the borders between science and magic were uncertain), Newton may have written as many as a million words regarding alchemy, papers he kept while destroying many related to his revolutionary work in other fields: mathematics, optics, and what is now called physics. Interspersing engrossing chapters about alchemy (but largely ignoring the last third of Newtons life), Losure uses a light touch to trace his childhood endeavors, his rise from student to professor at Cambridges Trinity College, his prickly relationship with other scientists in the Royal Society (Newton became a member in 1672), and the publication of his masterpiece, Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, in 1687. Period images and afterwords with curiosity-spiking headings such as Stinks, Bangs & More Chymical Secrets bring additional depth and interest to this study of Newtons surprising pursuits. Ages 10up. (Feb.)