Sir Isaac Newton, English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, and alchemist, was the father of modern science. In his treatise *Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica*, published in 1687, he described universal gravitation and the three laws of motion, laying the groundwork for classical mechanics, which dominated the scientific view of the physical universe for the next three centuries and is the basis for modern engineering. Demonstrating the consistency between Kepler's laws of planetary motion and his theory of gravitation, Newton showed that the motions of objects on earth and of celestial bodies are governed by the same set of natural laws. With this, he removed the last doubts about heliocentrism and advanced the scientific revolution.

His conception of the universe based upon natural and rationally understandable laws became the seed of Enlightenment. These principles were available for all people to discover. It allowed people to pursue their own aims fruitfully in this life, not the next, to perfect themselves with their own rational powers.

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