Day School: Isaac Newton - His Life and Times

Ref: C3741205

This day school explores Isaac Newton's life and works, and the personal convictions that drove his mathematical philosophy and his unorthodox research into alchemy, theology and biblical prophecy. It will cover: It will cover: • Pre-Newtonian (early 17th century) science (particularly the astronomical discoveries and theories of Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler) • Newton’s early life • His studies and rapid advancement at Cambridge University • His "Anni Mirabili" - the “miracle years” of 1664-66 • His experiments with light; the laws of motion • Newton’s ascendancy to the peak of status and honours • His disputes with prominent scientists of the day (Liebniz, Hooke and Huygens) • His alchemical and theological obsessions • The Principia Mathematica (1687) and other published works • Newton’s legacy and cultural impact

Additional information about this course

This course is not supported by the Skills Funding Agency and does not have a fee waiver but concessions may be available - contact the Branch for further details.

Course aim

This day school aims to provide an understanding of the historical context of Isaac Newton’s life and works, and the driving forces behind his scientific, alchemic and theological works.

Who is the course for?

- No skills or experience needed - This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

What topics will this course cover

- The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What will it be like?

WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

1. Identify the key events in Newton’s life. 2. Identify and discuss the personal convictions that drove Newton's research 2. Understand and discuss Newton’s scientific discoveries and their impact on 17th century science 3. Analyse Newton’s legacy today

How will I know I'm making progress?

- A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know, do or bring?

- Nothing else is needed

Reading and information sources

- No specific reading required, although the following works provide useful background or reference reading: Richard S Westfall, "Never at Rest – a Biography of Isaac Newton" CUP 1980 James Gleick "Isaac Newton" 4th Estate 2003

What could the course lead to?

- Consider introductory courses in more general History of Science subjects. Learners could undertake a visit to Woolsthorpe Manor, Newton’s family home.

Download full course outline

Day School: Isaac Newton - His Life and Times Course Outline

Enrolment Conditions

You can enrol online if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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