Newton - Prominent English Scientist (1643 -1727)

Newton, one of the greatest scientists of all time, was born in the year in which Galileo died at the little village near Lincolnshire. His farther was a farmer. His mother was a housewife and very clever woman. Newton's school days were not remarkable. At school he was a strange boy, interested in constructing mechanical devices of his own design, curious about the world around him, but showing no signs of unusual brightness. He seemed to be rather slow in his studies in his age.

In the late 1650s he was taken out of school to help on his mother's farm, where he was clearly the world's worst farmer. His uncle detecting the scholar in the young man said that he had to be sent to Cambridge. In 1660 this was done and in 1665 Newton graduated. The plague hit London and he retired to his mother's farm to remain out of danger. He had already worked out the binomial theorem in mathematics.

At his mother's farm something greater happened. He watched an apple fall to the ground and began to wonder if the same force that pulled the apple down also' held the Moon in its grip. The story of the apple has often been thought a myth, but according to Newton's own words, it is true. This event led him to a great scientific discovery.

Newton theorized that the rate of fall was proportional to the strength of the gravitational force and that this force fell off according to the square of" the distance from the centre of the Earth. (This is the famous inverse square law); He made his calculations which appeared to be wrong and did not prove his observation. He was dreadfully disappointed and put the problem of gravitation aside for fifteen years.

In this same period 16651666 Newton conducted startling optical experiments. Newton's prism experiments made him famous. In 1669 his mathematics teacher resigned in his favour and Newton at twenty-seven found himself a professor of mathematics at Cambridge. He was elected to the Royal Society in 1672. His famous n Mathematica was published in 1687. It is the greatest scientific work ever written.

Newton was respected in his lifetime as no scientist before him. When he died he was buried in Westminster Abbey along with England's heroes. The great French literary figure Voltaire, who was visiting England at that time, commented with admiration that England honoured a mathematician as other nations honoured a king. The Latin inscription on his tomb ends with the sentence, Mortals! Rejoice at so great an ornament to the human r!


Reading Text

I. Read and translate the text.


On March 29, 1919 there was an eclipse of the Sun. It was a particularly important eclipse. For years astronomers had eagerly awaited it, since it would enable them to check a revolutionary new theory in physics, proposed four years earlier by a scientist named Albert Einstein.

On the day of the eclipse one group of astronomers was stationed in Northern Brazil, another on an island of the western coast of Africa. Delicate cameras were set up and waiting. Pictures would be taken during the eclipse - not of the eclipsed Sun, but of the stars and appear in the suddenly darkened sky around the Sun.

Einstein had said that the position of the stars would be somewhat changed, since the rays of starlight passing near the Sun would be bent by the Sun's mass. To many scientists this sounded impossible. How could light, which was immaterial, they argued, be affected by gravity? If Einstein were correct the picture of the Universe built up by the great Newton more than two hundred years earlier would have to be considerably revised.

The eclipse came. The pictures were taken and developed. The distances of the stars from the Sun and from one another were carefully measured. There could be no doubt about the results. Einstein was right. The light rays had been bent by the attraction of the Sun. One of the key points of Einstein's theory had been experimentally confirmed.

It was said that only twelve persons in the world really understood exactly at that time what Einstein meant in his theory of relativity. Yet throughout the civilized world everyone who read the newspapers knew that Einstein was a genius, that he had overthrown the foundation on which physics, chemistry and astronomy had rested for two hundred years, and upset all earlier concepts of the Universe. Later they learned that this revolution had made possible the development of the photoelectric cell, television, a whole series of electronic inventions, and, finally, the harnessing of atomic energy.

II. Complete the following sentences:

1) The eclipse of the Sun enabled scientists to_________.

a) see the stars in the day time

b) check a revolutionary new theory in physics

c) watch the suddenly darkened sky around the Sun

d)accurately calculate the stars

2) On the day of the eclipse astronomers__________.

a) got everything ready and waited

b) gathered in their laboratories

c) were stationed in Brazil and on an island near Africa

d)were stationed high in the mountains.

3) Cameras were set up to take pictures of ___________.

a) the eclipse Sun

b) the eclipsed Sun and the stars that appear around it

c) the stars that appear around the Sun

d)the Earth under suddenly darkened sky

4) The position of the stars was somewhat changed because

a) the Sun's mass had bent them

b) they cannot be clearly seen

c) the earlier calculations were not correct

d)they were immaterial

5) Many scientists thought that the light rays could not be affected by______.

a) the delicate cameras

b) the mass of the stars

c) the attraction of the Earth

d) the attraction of the Sun

6) As a result of Einstein's theory Newton's picture of the
Universe ______.

a) remained unchanged

b) was proved one more time

c) was considerably revised

d)was found wrong

7) The astronomers measured the distances of the stars from______.

a) one another

b) the Sun

c) the Earth

d)the Sun and from one another

8) Great Einstein is the founder of the theory of ________.
a) relativity

b) numbers

c) the Sun and the stars

d)species origin

9) Einstein's theory has overthrown the foundations of __________.

a) physics, mathematics and logics

b) physics, mathematics and astronomy

c) man's knowledge about the Sun and the stars

d)man's understanding of the life on the planet

10) The theory made it possible to ________.

a) develop many branches of industry

b) start new branches of fundamental science

c) harness atomic energy

d)understand how man appeared on the Earth.

Reading Text

III. Put questions to the words in bold type:

1. Albert Einstein compared the discovery of atomic energy with the discovery. 2. Our scientists are pioneers in research on the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes. 3. The steady progress of science and technology ushered in an entirely new era of supersonic speeds. 4. Science today is an instrument in planning and promoting scientific, technological and social progress. 5. Science becomes a direct productive force only If its discoveries are introduced in the process of production.


The childhood and youth of Dickens

Charles Dickens, one of the greatest and most popular English novelists, was born on the 7th of February, 1812, in a small English town. He was a weak child and did not like to take part in noisy and active games. The little boy was very clever and learnt to read at an early age. He read a lot of books in his childhood. When he was about six, someone took him to the theatre for the first time. He saw a "play by Shakespeare and liked it so much that he decided to write a play of his own. When it was ready, he performed it with some of his friends. Everybody enjoyed die performance, and the little writer felt very happy.

When Dickens was nine years old, the family moved to London where they lived in an old house in the suburbs. .

They had a very hard life. There were several younger children in the family besides Charles. The future writer could not even go to school, because at mat time his father was in the Marshalsea Debtors' Prison. There was nobody in London to whom Mr. Dickens could go for money, and his wife with all the children except Charles went to join him in the prison. The family lived there until Mr. Dickens could pay his debts. Those were the most unhappy days of all Charles' life. The boy worked from early morning till late at night to help his family.

Charles was only able to start going to school when he was nearly twelve, and his father was out of prison. He very much wanted to study, but he did not finish his schooling. After two years of school he began working again. He had to work hard to earn his living, and triad very many trades, but he did not like any of them. His ambition was to study and become a well-educated man. At the age of fifteen he often went to the famous library of the British Museum. He spent a lot of time in the library reading-room. He read and studied there and in this way he got an education.

Later Dickens described his childhood and youth in some of his famous novels, among them "Little Dorrit" and "David Copperfiekt"

The great writer tiled a hundred years ago (in 1870), but everybody still enjoys reading his books.

Reading Text

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