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Isaac Newton.

Shirley Griffith.

Steve Ember

Galileo

Nicholas Copernicus

Woolsthorpe

Edmund Halley

Alexander Pope

Marilyn Christiano

Frank Beardsley

Isaac Newton, One of Histories Greatest Scientists

This is Shirley Griffith.

And this is Steve Ember with the VOA Special English program, Exploration. Today we tell about one of the world greatest scientists, Isaac Newton.

Much of today science of physics is based on Newton’s discovery of the three Laws of Motion and his Theory of Gravity. Newton also developed one of the most powerful tools of mathematics. It is the method we call Calculus. Late in his life, Newton said of his work: “If I saw further than other men, it was because I stood on the shoulders of giants”.

One of those giants was the great Italian scientist Galileo. Galileo died of same year Newton was born. Another of the giants was the Polish scientist Nicholas Copernicus. He lived a hundred years before Newton. Copernicus had begun a scientific revolution.

It led to a completely new understanding of how the universe worked. Galileo continued and expanded the work of Copernicus. Isaac Newton built on the ideas of these two scientists and others. He found and proved the answers for which they searched.

Isaac Newton was born in Woolsthorpe, England, on December, 25th 1642. He was born early. He was a small baby and very weak. No one expected him to survive. But he surprised everyone. He had one of the most powerful minds in history. And he lived until he was eighty-four. Newton’s father died before he was born. His mother married again a few years later. She left Isaac with his grandmother.

The boy was not a good student. Yet, he liked to make things, such as kites and clocks and simple machines.

Newton also enjoyed finding new ways to answer the questions or solve problems. As a boy, for example, he decided to find a way to measure the speed of the wind. On a windy day, he measured how far he could jump with the wind at his back. Then he measured how far he could jump with the wind in his face. From the different between the two jumps, he made his own measure of the strength of the wind.

Strangely, Newton became a much better student after a boy kicked him in the stomach. The boy was one of the best students in the school. Newton decided to get even by getting higher marks than the boy who kicked him. In a short time, Newton became the top student at the school.

Newton left school to help on the family farm. It soon became clear, however, that the boy was not a good farmer. He spent his time solving mathematic problems, in stead of taking care of the crops. He spent hours visiting a book store in town, instead of selling his vegetables in the market. An uncle decided that newton would do better as a student than a farmer. So he helped the young man enter Cambridge University to study mathematics. Newton completed his university studies five years later, in 1665. He was twenty years old.

At that time, a deadly plague was spreading across England. To escape the disease, Newton returned to the family farm. He did more thinking than farming. In doing so, he found the answers to some of the mysteries of science.

Newton used his great skill in mathematics to form a better understanding of the world and the universe. He used methods he had learned as a boy in making things. He experimented. Then he studied the results and used what he had learned to designed new experiments.

Newton’s work led him to create a new method in mathematics for measuring area curved in shape. He also used it to find how much material was contained in solid objects. The method he created became known as Integral Calculus.

One day, sitting in the garden, newton watched an apple fall from a tree. He began to wonder if the same force that pulled the apple down also kept the moon circling the earth. Newton believed it was. And he believed it could be measured. He called the force “Gravity”. He began to examine it carefully. He decided that the strength of the force keeping a planet in orbit around the sun depended on two things. One was the amount of mass the planet and the sun. The other was how far apart they were.

Newton was able to find the relationship between distance and gravity. He multiplied the mass of one space object by the mass of the other. Then he divided that number by the square of their distance apart. The result was the strength of the gravity force that tied them to each other.

Newton proved his idea by measuring how much gravity force would be needed to keep the moon orbiting the earth. Then he measured the mass of the earth and the moon, and the distance between them. He found that his measurement of the gravity force produced was not the same as the force needed. But the numbers were close.

Newton did not tell anyone about his discovery. He put it aside to work on other ideas. Later, with correct measurements of the size of the earth, he found that the number was exactly the same.

Newton spent time studying light and colors. He used a three-sided piece of glass called a prism.

He sent a beam of sunlight through the prism. It fell on a white surface. The prism separated the beam of sunlight into the color of a rainbow. Newton believed that all these colors mixed together in light produced the color white. He proved this by letting the beam of rainbow-colored light pass through another prism. This changed the coloured-light back to white light

Newton’s study of light led him to learn while faraway objects seen through a telescope do not seem sharp and clear. The curved glass lenses at each of the telescope acted like prisms. They produced a circle of coloured-light around an object. This created an unclear picture. A few years later, Newton built a different kind of telescope. It used a curved mirror to make faraway objects seem larger. Light reflected from the surface of the mirror, instead of passing through a curved glass lens. Newton’s reflecting telescope produced much clearer pictures than the old kind of telescope.

Years later, the British astronomer Edmund Halley visited Newton. He said he wanted Newton to help in finding an answer to a problem no one had been able to solve. The question was this: What is a path of a planet going around the sun. Newton immediately gave Halley the answer: an egg-shaped path called an ellipse.

Halley was surprised. He asked for Newton’s proof. Newton no longer had the paper from his earlier work. He was able to recreate them, however. he showed them to Halley. He also showed Halley all his other scientific works. (em xin phép tự cho thêm “s” dù trong phiên âm ko có).

Halley said Newton’s scientific discoveries were the greatest ever made. He urged Newton to share them with the world. Newton began to right a book to explain what he had done. It was published in 1667. Newton called his book “The mathematical principles of natural philosophy”. The book is considered the greatest scientific work ever written.

In his book Newton explains the three natural laws of motion. The first law is that an object not moving remains still. And one that is moving continues to move at unchanging speed, so long as no outside force influences it.

Objects in space continue to move, because nothing exists in space to stop them. Newton’s second law of motion describes force. It says force equals the mass of an object, multiplied by the change in speed it produces in an object. His third law says that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

From the three laws, Newton was able to show how the universe worked. He proved it with easily understood mathematics. Scientist everywhere accepted Newton’s ideas. The leading English poet of Newton’s time, Alexander Pope honoured the scientist with these words: “Nature and nature’s laws lay hid in night. God said “let Newton be” – and all was light”

This special English program was written by Marilyn Christiano and Frank Beardsley. This is Shirley Grifffith.

And this is Steve Ember. Listen again next week for another exploration’s program on the Voice of America.

Cô ơi, em cảm ơn cô rất nhiều. Cô thật tuyệt vời, cô ạ! Em chỉ viết thôi mà đã đau đầu lắm rồi. Vậy mà cô ngồi phiên âm chắc mệt lắm cô nhỉ? Em xin phép Cô cho em vào lớp nhé và em xung phong hoàn thành part I trước tết. Tính em ẩu lắm cô ạ mà trong bài lại có cả dấu Second stress nên thỉnh thoảng em nhầm nên lỡ đặt chấm, phẩy lung tung, cô nhẹ tay giúp em.hic.. Em chúc Cô và gia đình ăn tết vui, khoẻ, rôm rả và hạnh phúc ạ.

PS: Em có một thắc mắc, mong cô giải đáp khi chấm bài. Theo phiên âm /'aɪzək 'nju:tn, wʌn əv 'hɪstrɪz 'greɪtəst 'saɪəntɪsts/ thì /'hɪstrɪz/ không thể là history được mà phải là histories, vậy xin cô giải thích giúp em tại sao ở đây lại dùng ở dạng plural ạ. Cảm ơn cô.