Isaac Newton is a towering and iconic figure in the history of science. He’s commonly seen as the dividing point between “modern” and “pre-modern” science. This is why the History of Science department at the University of Oklahoma has long divided its two-semester survey of the history of science into “Before Newton” and “After Newton.”
Isaac Newton’s life and intellectual pursuits were a complex mixture of things we consider modern (the mathematization of physics, the development of calculus, and the concept of gravity) and things we consider pre-modern (biblical interpretation and alchemy). But for Newton, all of these elements were a coherent whole. There are a number of scholars who have written about the various aspects of Newton’s thought, including several who have written for a general public and in open access media. This page is a collection of links to various websites and blogs where scholars discuss Newton’s work and influence.
What Kepler and Newton Really Did (Thony Christie)
Why Newton’s Apple is not a Good Story (Thony Christie)
Isaac Newton: The Last Lone Genius? (Thony Christie)
Newton’s Prism Experiments and Theory of Color (Thony Christie)
Is Newtonian Physics Newton’s Physics? (Thony Christie)
Was Newton a scientist or a sorcerer? (Thony Christie)
Newton and alchemy: a constant surprise? (Rebekah Higgitt)
Isaac Newton spent a lot of time on junk ‘science,’ and this manuscript proves it
Two important collections of Isaac Newton’s papers are The Newton Project and The Chymistry of Isaac Newton. Both sites also have biographical information on Newton, and historical analyses of his work. The latter has videos of reconstructions of Newton’s alchemical experiments, including how to transmute silver into gold.