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Isaac Newton. Secrets Of The Great Scientist's Genius - Great And Terrible
Isaac Newton. Secrets Of The Great Scientist's Genius - Great And Terrible

Video: Isaac Newton. Secrets Of The Great Scientist's Genius - Great And Terrible

Video: Isaac Newton. Secrets Of The Great Scientist's Genius - Great And Terrible
Video: Isaac Newton - Sixty Symbols 2023, April

Isaac Newton is an English scientist and one of the founders of classical physics. A simple listing of all his discoveries will take a lot of space, many of them are known to us from the school course. We will do something else - take a tour of the pages of the legendary life of a genius

Learned to live in my inner world

Newton's father died before his son was born. In addition to the strangeness of character, the future genius did not inherit anything from his father and close relatives. So where did his genius come from?

From early childhood, the future genius felt like a complete orphan, since his mother got married again, gave birth to three children and she was no longer up to her eldest son.

He was not even three years old, as he was left to the care of his grandmother. Little Newton had no choice but to learn to live in his inner world

Isaac built a peculiar world - he drew the mechanisms he had invented on the wall of his room, and when he grew up, he made them according to these schemes to check whether they would work in reality. Imagination, curiosity and perseverance, the boy was not occupied.

Feelings of orphanhood and abandonment led to thoughts of death, and sometimes turned into anger. He even threatened to set fire to his stepfather's house along with its inhabitants.

Biographers believe that the personality of a teenager has been deformed since childhood; many researchers of Newton's work attribute to him, and not without reason, the properties of an extreme neurotic.

He was always characterized by ambition and suspicion, caution and secrecy. He often burned his own and other people's letters and manuscripts. In order to improve mental abilities, focus attention, sharpen memory, he drove away extraneous thoughts … mortified the flesh, limited himself to a small amount of bread and a small amount of wine and water.

Focused on the most important

Until the age of 12, until he entered the Royal School in Grantham, the boy “experienced a completely natural feeling under such circumstances of abandonment, and perhaps even his own worthlessness. Even as an adult, he … feared emotional contact with other people; he was also suspicious and reticent,”writes researcher Peter Ackroyd. From time to time he continued to experience bouts of anger and aggressiveness.

At school, Isaac did not always study well, did not differ in friendliness to his peers, and even his mother "pulled out" him to the estate to help with household chores. But the school teachers have already paid attention to the young man's unusual abilities in the exact sciences and persuaded his relatives to return him to school, and then continue his education at Cambridge University. Later Newton also worked there.

The great genius in life was an unpleasant person, but his image fully corresponded to the idea of a man whose achievements are called "supernatural" by his contemporaries

Absent-mindedness, eccentricity and, in this regard, not very popular among students are facts that are related and taken for granted. But it was precisely to these years (1664-1666) that a number of his mathematical achievements belong, which were beyond the strength of others.

Newton made a revolution in natural philosophy. For the first time in history, he truly developed such complex areas as integral and differential calculus, split white light into its constituent colors and began to develop the theory of universal gravitation. He was only 24 years old.

How obsession with work led to psychosis

Once upon discovering that his experiment log had burned out, Newton became very agitated. Everyone thought that he had lost his mind, being in a darkened state for another month. But the psyche of the great scientist was not stable in its usual state. He could not stand criticism, was extremely suspicious and irritable.

Newton was always experiencing gratuitous anxiety, being one of those who do not know what peace is. More often he was dominated by an anxious-depressive mood background

Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton

One of the last portraits of Newton (1712, Thornhill)

It is believed that the great physicist suffered two attacks of mental illness in his life. Some biographers suggest that mercury intoxication is the cause. Despite these tests, “his whole existence was filled with work. She was his only hobby. While working, he forgot about everything - about friends … about food … about sleep. Even in these years he slept no more than four or five hours a day, and sometimes he fell asleep only at five or six o'clock in the morning … His lonely existence forced him to listen to himself more, to find all kinds of diseases in himself,”writes Vladimir Kartsev.

Newton appears to be a pronounced hypochondriac who was in excellent health.

But since 1691, signs of a mental disorder appear that begin to catch the eye of others. Newton felt terribly uneasy; the dream was gone, the work did not argue. It seemed to him that they wanted to kill him, they wanted to plunder his laboratory, to steal his works.

This is already an accurate description of the paranoid syndrome that occurs only in a state of psychosis. Under his influence, Newton's creative direction changes. He decided to end philosophy and start making cider. Then a frantic energy awakens again: he suddenly begins to correspond violently with Bentley; the topics are exclusively theological.

Was the scientist really poisoned by mercury vapor?

Contemporaries continued to explain his mental disorder by poisoning with mercury vapor during alchemical experiments. But some believed that the symptoms of the disease were reminiscent of the nervous disorders sometimes seen after influenza. In one of the letters, the scientist stated that he "lost the connection of his thoughts." In this letter, clear signs of a serious mental disorder are noticeable: incoherence of thoughts, unnatural suspicion, extraordinary blues and hostility towards people who have done nothing wrong to him”(Filippov MM, 1997).

Only in the middle of the twentieth century, the outstanding German psychiatrist Ernst Kretschmer, leaving aside mercury intoxication and "influenza", came to the conclusion that Newton's psychotic state, "most likely, can be interpreted as mild late schizophrenia."

Another modern psychiatrist, Oleg Vilensky, decides to establish an "exact" psychiatric diagnosis: "suffered from sluggish schizophrenia, which did not interfere with his gigantic and superproductive scientific creativity."

Newton's behavior remained stereotypical for most of his life: he did not like the theater, did not ride a horse, did not read fiction, and dubbed poetry inventive but absurd chatter

The scientist never married; he had a dislike for female society. The latter fact testifies to his hyposexuality, characteristic of some mental disorders.

Position for a normal genius

In 1696, Isaac Newton was entrusted with the public office of curator of the Mint. Of course, this would be impossible if he gave the impression of a mentally ill person. So you can think about the onset of persistent remission.

Life in London was quite comfortable. Newton almost fit into his new social position. Over time, he acquired his own carriage and hired several servants. The following circumstance can also be considered a sign of material well-being: "among his property are two silver chamber pots."

Service at the Mint brought a good income, which the scientist was not going to neglect. For comparison: here he earned 3,500 pounds a year, and working as a professor at Cambridge - 100 pounds.

Newton's death at the age of 84 came in a state of senile dementia.

Secrets of Creative Thinking

One of his students wrote that the teacher was sometimes able to see something thanks to intuition alone, even without any argumentation. Perhaps the scientist did not want to let others in the secrets of his creative thinking. One of his Cambridge colleagues described him as the most fearful, cautious and suspicious of nature. Newton had paranoia throughout his life. Therefore, it is not surprising that he refused to scientific collaboration with other colleagues.

Recently, the fact that Newton was engaged in the occult sciences a lot and seriously has gained fame. About 10% of his books were treatises on alchemy

It is known that most of the scientist's works are devoted not to physics and philosophy, but to theology. Some biographers believe that the transition from physical research to theological is associated with the consequences of the mental disorder suffered and the influence of the latter on his creative process.

Presumptive diagnosis

Affective and schizophrenic symptoms, combined with the preservation of the intellectual sphere, characteristic of schizoaffective disorder.


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