Neil deGrasse Tyson: My Man, Sir Isaac Newton


Who’s the greatest physicist in history?DeGrasse
Tyson:    Isaac Newton.  I mean, just look… You read his writings.  Hair stands
up… I don’t have hair there but if I did, it would stand up on the back of my neck. 
You read his writings, the man was connected to the universe in ways that I never seen
another human being connected.  It’s kind of spooky actually.  He discovers the laws
of optics, figured out that white light is composed of colors.  That’s kind of freaky
right there.  You take your colors of the rainbow, put them back together, you have
white light again.  That freaked out the artist of the day.  How does that work? 
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet gives you white.  The laws of optics.  He discovers
the laws of motion and the universal law of gravitation.  Then, a friend of his says,
“Well, why do these orbits of the planets… Why are they in a shape of an ellipse, sort
of flattened circle?  Why aren’t… some other shape?”  He said, you know, “I can’t…
I don’t know.  I’ll get back to you.”  So he goes… goes home, comes back couple of
months later, “Here’s why.  They’re actually conic sections, sections of a cone that you
cut.”  And… And he said, “Well, how did find this out?  How did you determine this?” 
“Well, I had to invent integral and differential calculus to determine this.”  Then, he turned
26.  Then, he turned 26.  We got people slogging through calculus in college just
to learn what it is that Isaac Newtown invented on a dare, practically.  So that’s my man,
Isaac Newton.  Question: Who’s the greatest physicist in
history?DeGrasse Tyson:    Isaac Newton.  I mean, just look… You read his writings. 
Hair stands up… I don’t have hair there but if I did, it would stand up on the back
of my neck.  You read his writings, the man was connected to the universe in ways that
I never seen another human being connected.  It’s kind of spooky actually.  He discovers
the laws of optics, figured out that white light is composed of colors.  That’s kind
of freaky right there.  You take your colors of the rainbow, put them back together, you
have white light again.  That freaked out the artist of the day.  How does that work? 
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet gives you white.  The laws of optics.  He discovers
the laws of motion and the universal law of gravitation.  Then, a friend of his says,
“Well, why do these orbits of the planets… Why are they in a shape of an ellipse, sort
of flattened circle?  Why aren’t… some other shape?”  He said, you know, “I can’t…
I don’t know.  I’ll get back to you.”  So he goes… goes home, comes back couple of
months later, “Here’s why.  They’re actually conic sections, sections of a cone that you
cut.”  And… And he said, “Well, how did find this out?  How did you determine this?” 
“Well, I had to invent integral and differential calculus to determine this.”  Then, he turned
26.  Then, he turned 26.  We got people slogging through calculus in college just
to learn what it is that Isaac Newtown invented on a dare, practically.  So that’s my man,
Isaac Newton.

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