The 1600's was a period of expansive intellectual growth in Western civilization which began during the Renaissance era. The transformation of society during the Renaissance led man to challenge archaic ideas. Changes were seen politically, economically, and socially. The Protestant Revolution advanced opposition to the Catholic Church's political and military power and taught people to fight against the church's oppressive control. Religion and the understanding of the Bible did not accurately explain the physical world. This inspired interest in new ideas and investigations to more accurately explain nature and to help understand the forces within and outside the world.
At the core of these new scientific discoveries was the development of a new mathematics. Numerical calculations were important in areas of navigation, trade, engineering, astronomy and war. Demands increased for these computations to be performed more quickly and accurately. Mathematics was the key to knowledge and mathematicians such as Isaac Newton, Galileo Galilei, and Blaise Pascal made phenomenal mathematical contributions that had a profound impact on the scientific world and beyond. These contributions led to enormous advancements in Western society.
(1642 - 1727).
Isaac Newton, considered one of the greatest mathematicians who ever lived, was born in Lincolnshire, England on December 25, 1642, the year that Galileo died. As a child, Newton was considered puny and was at the bottom of his class academically. One day Newton became furious from the taunting of a school bully, so he challenged the bully to a fight. Newton won, and his teacher then challenged him to surpass the bully in class work. By the end of the year, Newton rose to the top of his class.
Newton was extremely creative and showed great skill in devising clever mechanical models and in conducting experiments. His designed a windmill that pumped water, a wooden clock powered by water, and a miniature mill to grind wheat into flour using live harnessed mice to turn the wheel.