Godfrey Kneller's depiction of Newton (1689) Image:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton

By Kelly Strzepek

There is more than one reason to celebrate today. Religious and commercial festivities aside, we should also be celebrating the birth of one of the greatest and most influential scientists who ever lived. Sir Issaac Newton was born on this day in 1642.

Amongst his many credits, he laid the foundations for classical mechanics, built the first practical reflecting telescope, and developed the theory of colour from refracted white light through a prism. He helped develop differential and integral calculus, and most famously, rather than eating the fallen apple, developed the theory of universal gravitation. Now whether he really was inspired by the falling apple or he was just hungry, we may never know, but in any case I raise my egg nog to you good sir. Merry Christmas and a very Happy Birthday.