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I am going to give a lecture to school children on the lives of Newton, Galileo and Einstein. I have enough literature on Einstein but not enough on the lives of Galileo and Newton. So I am looking for some articles written by prolific physicist or historian about the lives of Newton and Galileo. So can anyone suggest me some articles? Thanks folks in advance.

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  • $\begingroup$ Crossposted from physics.stackexchange.com/q/222855/2451 $\endgroup$ – Qmechanic Dec 8 '15 at 6:58
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    $\begingroup$ Some good material for schoolchildren: Newton was probably gay, probably on the Asperger's spectrum, a secret religious freak, more interested in alchemy than physics, and got great fulfillment out of hanging counterfeitors when he became master of the royal mint. Well, seriously ... If a kid at age 11 is aspergery, or may be starting to wonder if s/he is gay -- it may be good to know that this is compatible with having a great life and excelling at one's chosen field. $\endgroup$ – Ben Crowell Dec 9 '15 at 5:36
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I am not sure how much detail you are looking for. MacTutor has decent short biographies of both Galileo and Newton by O'Connor and Robertson. Einstein wrote a eulogy of Newton in 1927, which also mentions Galileo, but focuses on science rather than personal life. If you want something more detailed and personal there is recent Newton by Iliffe, who is the historian in charge of the NEWTON project. There is analogous book about Galileo by Drake. It is not by physicist or historian but I'll mention it anyway, Bertold Brecht has a famous play Life of Galileo, a literary adaptation highlighting his personal struggles.

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Historian Pietro Redondi wrote a fascinating account of Galileo's tumultuous career in a book entitled Galileo Heretic. There is certainly more detail here than you will need for your lecture but on the other hand it does not contain any technical material in physics except for some very elementary arguments. You can use some of the anecdotes to spice up your lecture. See for example http://www.amazon.com/Galileo-Heretic-Pietro-Redondi/dp/069102426X

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