15 Aug 2012: Newton: Gravity of Genius (+Quantum Leap guy!)

Sir Isaac Newton

Presented with the support of FilmStudyGroup.org and Peter Doyle.

At our next session of the Sydney Film Study Group, we will examine the life and work of an intellectual giant: Sir Isaac Newton: Gravity of Genius.

UPDATE: Now to be preceded by a special short film: Everyone’s Space with Scott Bakula!

Date: Wednesday, 15 August 2012

When: 6.30pm (doors open). Session: 7.00pm—9.00pm

Where: 19 Whiting Street, Artarmon, Sydney

RSVP is required to David Prichard by email or SMS 0411 527 612. Guests and first time attendees are welcome!

The evening will follow the Film Study Group format, with a moderated discussion after the documentary screening.

About the Documentary

Description from Biography Channel:

(This documentary explores) … the incredible achievements and lonely life of one of the greatest scientists of all time.

By the age of 23, he had laid the foundations for calculus, the laws of gravity, motion and inertia, and begun experiments on light.

His major work, The Principia, has become to science what the Mona Lisa is to art.

Isaac Newton has been called the Father of Modern Science.

His incredible body of work represents arguably the greatest contribution to science ever made by an individual. But despite living at the vibrant center of an inspired social scene, his personal life was marked by loneliness.

SIR ISAAC NEWTON examines the many discoveries and private fears of this remarkable man.

Leading scientists trace the extent and impact of his discoveries, and reveal the self doubt that led him to hold back on publishing many of his findings. It was only after his Principia was recognized as one of the great works in science that he released a number of his earlier findings.

(Sir Isaac Newton: Gravity of Genius) … explores the life of the man once called by Lord Maynard Keynes  ”the last great magician, the last great mind which looked out on the visible world with the same eyes as those who began our intellectual inheritance.”

Notes from AETV.com:

(This documentary) relates the story of Isaac Newton’s life from his birth during a plague in an English village through his seminal work in mathematics, theology, alchemy and astronomy.

Newton devoted his life to the study of the natural world, discovering the laws of gravity, analyzing light, and developing the three laws of motion to explain the movement of the planets and their satellites.

The documentary provides in depth discussions of each of Newton’s major discoveries, including calculus, gravity and the reflecting telescope.

It traces his studies of ancient history and of the Bible, and details his struggle to gain public recognition for his scientific work.

Some quotes from Sir Isaac Newton:

“If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than to any other talent.”

“I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies but not the madness of people. ”

“… from the same principles, I now demonstrate the frame of the System of the World.”

Principia Mathematica

“To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age. `Tis much better to do a little with certainty, and leave the rest for others that come after you, than to explain all things.”

Quoted in G Simmons Calculus Gems
(New York 1992)

“The description of right lines and circles, upon which geometry is founded, belongs to mechanics. Geometry does not teach us to draw these lines, but requires them to be drawn.”

Principia Mathematica.

“The latest authors, like the most ancient, strove to subordinate the phenomena of nature to the laws of mathematics.”

His epitaph: Who, by vigor of mind almost divine, the motions and figures of the planets, the paths of comets, and the tides of the seas first demonstrated.

“If I have been able to see further, it was only because I stood on the shoulders of giants.”

Letter to Robert Hooke

“I know not what I appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell, whilest the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”

Quoted in D Brewster,
Memoirs of Newton

Isaac Newton on the One Pound note

UPDATE (13/08/12)!
Sir Isaac Newton: Gravity of Genius will be preceded by a short documentary:

EVERYONE’S SPACE featuring Scott Bakula (star of Quantum Leap)

The face you know, with new & improved hair!

Presented with the support of FilmStudyGroup.org and the kind permission of Izzit.org.

From the beginning of the Space Race in 1959, the exploration of mankind’s last great frontier has been considered the exclusive domain of government. Common wisdom has long dictated that ventures requiring such a massive outlay of capital and complicated technological research and construction required tax dollars and the administration of a massive government agency. Common wisdom also dictated that only trained astronauts would be able to experience these “off-world adventures” for the foreseeable future.That was then, this is now.Everyone’s Space explodes the myth and shows how private entrepreneurs have now taken the helm of the new space race. Star Trek’s Scott Bakula demonstrates how the power of competition and risk taking has propelled aeronautics and telecommunications to great heights, and why this competitive force will also elevate space tourism and space exploration into the realm of private enterprise.

Set at the stunning Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, California, Scott Bakula and leading space industry experts explore this newest frontier of Everyone’s Space.


Events are open to members and their guests, including guests that the President may sign in at the door. Guests are welcome! The membership fee is $5 to cover the remainder of 2012. Members are not required to attend any minimum number of events. Members and their guests may bring their own food and (strictly non-alcoholic) beverages. Non-members are welcome to attend as a guest of a member for one session only. Members will take responsibility for their guests and all participants must treat the venue and other members with courtesy.