Sir Isaac Newton
English natural philosopher,generally regarded as the most original and influential theorist in thehistory of science. In addition to his invention of the infinitesimal calculusand a new theory of light and color, Newton transformed the structure ofphysical science with his three laws of motion and the law of universalgravitation. As the keystone of the scientific revolution of the 17th century,Newton's work combined the contributions of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo,Descartes, and others into a new and powerful synthesis. Three centurieslater the resulting structure - classical mechanics - continues to be auseful but no less elegant monument to his genius.