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Uncle Isaac

"Master Isaac Newton in His Garden at Woolsthorpe, in the Autumn of 1665", Robert Hannah, 1856

the Publication of Principia Mathematica

Jul 5

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.".

~ Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

Isaac Newton, English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian, and author was described in his own day as a "natural philosopher" and ranks as one of the most influential scientists of all time and a key figure in the scientific revolution. Although it has been said that the famous falling apple story, leading to his discovery of the concept of gravity is a myth and that Newton did not arrive at this theory in any single moment, acquaintances of Newton do in fact confirm the incident, saying that Newton himself often told the story! 🍎

Uncle Isaac

This John Drewry Dance was composed in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Cambridge University Scottish Society and is named for Sir Isaac Newton, one of the university's many illustrious sons, whom John's mother claimed as a distant relation.

Sir Isaac Newton (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726/27) was an English mathematicianastronomer, and physicist (described in his own day as a "natural philosopher") who is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time and a key figure in the scientific revolution.


His book Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica ("Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy"), was first published this day, July 5th in 1687, and laid the foundations of classical mechanics.    

Between the summer of 1665 and July 5, 1687, there are records of Isaac Newton's communication with other scientists regarding laws of gravitation. He made three important discoveries during the summer of 1665 while Trinity College was shut down because of the plague. These discoveries included calculus, the components of white light, and theories of motion and gravity.  According to Newton himself, he observed an apple falling from a tree while he was drinking tea. He realized that the same force which caused the apple to fall also caused the moon to orbit the earth.


Although it has been said that the apple story is a myth and that he did not arrive at his theory of gravity in any single moment, acquaintances of Newton do in fact confirm the incident, and Newton himself often told the story.

Centuries later, gravitational waves were predicted by Albert Einstein and were detected for the first time in September 2015.   The latest detection occurred on Jan. 4, 2017.  Twin lasers in Louisiana and Washington picked up the faint vibrations of two black holes that were 20 and 30 times more massive than the sun, respectively, before they spiraled toward each other and merged into a larger black hole.

For more about this latest detection of gravitational waves, click the artistic rendering of Isaac Newton below.

See below for a video of the dance performed by The Red Thistle Dancers in 2016.

Uncle Isaac

Click the dance cribs or description below to link to a printable version of the dance!

Uncle Isaac

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