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Britain in the XVII century

2 - The Method to get knowledge, to learn the truth is an experiment

Later on Bacon was forgiven and was returning to London. It was cold, it was snowing and he decided to follow his own theory and to make a scientific experiment himself. He was interested if it was possible to keep meat fresh using snow and ice. It ordered to stop the coach and ordered his servant to buy a hen. He was given the drawn cock. Bacon went to the pond and filled it with snow and ice. Soon Bacon felt badly but went on observing the frozen cock. In two days the philosopher died from pneumonia. The legends says that before the death Bacon ordered to fry the cock, but he hadn’t time to eat it. And since that time the phantom of the cock has usually appeared near the pond. One side of the cock is fried; the other one is blue of cold.

So Bacon gave the start to the experimental science. But it didn’t enter the life easily and at once. There was a long period when people hesitated about its possibilities. They weren’t sure that the experiments could be useful. They were to be checked.

And once a group of scientists organized a society with the aim to check, if the experiments would be useful. They were twelve, and among them were Wren and Hook whom we are going to speak about. The king got interested in the experiments, and presented a name of royal to the society. It was the birth of the British Academy of sciences which has been called Royal society since.

Bacon put forward the idea of experimental science as the way to change the real life. To check up his idea the group of scientists founded the Royal society which has become the British Academy of science


6) Newton’s biography

Now we are going to speak about the main achievements of the British science in XVII century. A person № 1 of English and may be world sciences of the modern history is Isaac Newton.

His main book was called "The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy" or shorter “ The Principles”. It described the principles of the world. Many authors wrote, that it was one of the most important books in history. Its influence on the science and technique has no analogies.

Isaac Newton was born in Christmas night of 1642. This fact made him promise, that he was the only person in the world who could understand the plan of the god.

He was born in the village of Woolsthorpe in Lincolnshire. His father was a farmer. He had died before the birth of Newton. Newton was born so small, that he could be put in a beer mug. It was thought, that he would not survive. But he had survived, lived till 84, which was unusually long for the 17 century. Through all his life his health remained good.

When Newton was 10 his mother sent him to the nearest town to study to school. He lived there in the house of chemist Clark whose wife was a friend of Newton’s mother. In his first years at school Newton studied awfully. He was in the end of the progress list. He could not master Latin, which was the main subject. But not only. He was in the end of the list practically in all the subjects.

He was interested in the other things. He made mechanical toys, lunched kites with fiery lamps in the nights. And people thought that the new comet had appeared.

The chemist had three children - a daughter and two sons. Newton made friendship with the girl, and quarreled with her brothers. Once after a quarrel he decided to bypass brothers in studying. In a short time Newton became the first pupil at school.

The director of the school noticed Newton’s abilities and persuaded his mother to send him to Cambridge. He became the student of the famous «Trinity college». Newton was accepted as a «sider», a poor student, whose duty was to serve bachelors, masters and senior students. Some biographers of Newton pay attention that by this time Newton’s mother was a rich farmer, she was between 2 thousand most succeeding people of England. But she didn’t want to pay for her son’s studying. Newton loved his mother very much. It was proposed that she was offended by his refuse to become a farmer.

In 1664 Newton gets a degree of a bachelor and leaves Cambridge. In 1664-1667 there was an epidemic of plague in England, besides in 1666 people waited for a doomsday. Newton was little more than 20, and for this period became the creative top in its life. Cambridge was closed. There was no sense to teach students before a doomsday. Besides being parted on villages, it was easier to be rescueed from a plague. Newton went to his mother’s farm to Woolsthorpe. There he had a plenty of time to think. There is an expression in Russian «The autumn of Boldino» («Болдинская осенеь»). Pushkin spent the autumn of 1830 in his manor, and it was the time of his highest creative rise. In English there is no expression like «the years of Woolsthorpe», but it was just in Woolsthorpe that Newton outlined the basic positions of his main discoveries. It was impossible to tell, that he "made discoveries". It would take him many years to develop his ideas before he would be able to formulate them. But in Woolsthorpe his theories got the start.

Now it’s time to say what were his main discoveries and inventions

- In mathematics he proposed the method of differential and integrated calculation, which have became the language of modern science.

- In physics he proved the law of universal gravitation and gave an explanation to the nature of light

- His greatest contribution into astronomy was the invention of a reflector telescope

It is necessary to tell what was the sense of his discoveries, what was their result. We are going to speak about it after Newton’s biography.

In 1667 Newton returned to Cambridge and began to teach students. His lectures weren’t popular. Very few students attend them, because they were very difficult. Sometimes there were only 3 students sitting, sometimes nobody came. Newton used to be happy then. He went home to think and write. For 30 years Newton remained the professor of Cambridge.

He stated his scientific ideas in "Memoirs". So were the scientific works called then. Newton wrote and almost never published his writings. And, even if he did it, he had been pressed by his friends.

Newton’s life was full of riddles. Here is one of them. On one hand, he was sure, that he was the only man, who was able to understand the divine plan, and solve how the nature is arranged. But he didn’t want to publish the results of his works.

And there is another paradox of Newton. He was a very reticent person, did not love noise and couldn’t stay any arguments. He spoke rarely, but it was he who created the language of science.

He was absorbed with scientific problems and was extremely absent-minded. Numerous legends tell the examples. There is a story two cats which lived in Newton’s house. There was the big one and the little one. To leave them walking Newton made for them two holes in the door. He was asked, what for? Why did he make two holes? The smaller cat could have passed through the same hole as the bigger cat. Newton answered: “I wasn’t smart enough”. It is easy to guess – why. When he was asked how he had managed to understand the principles the world, he has answered «with a constant thinking about them».

Категория: Лекции по истории Англии | Добавил: Senebty (10.02.2018)
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