Regarding the opus of Sir Isaac Newton’s legacy, this enormous corpus of Newton’s documents, papers, manuscripts, including his correspondence, which have survived reveals to us a person with serious qualities of mind, physique, and personality extraordinarily favorable for the making of a great scientist: tremendous powers of concentration, ability to stand long periods of intense mental exertion (some of his contemporaries had affirmed that he was able to concentrate in a problem about 17 hours of mental exercise without a break), and objectivity uncomplicated by any frivolous interests.
When Sir Isaac Newton came to maturity, circumstances were auspiciously combined to make possible major changes in ways of thought and endeavor on human beings. The uniqueness of Newton’s achievement could be said to lie in his exploitation of these unusual circumstances. He alone among his gifted contemporaries fully recognized the implications of recent scientific discoveries. With these as a point of departure, he developed a unified mathematical interpretation of the cosmos, in the expounding of which he demonstrated method and direction for future elaboration. In shifting the emphasis from “quality” to “quantity,” from pursuit of answers to the question “Why?” to focus upon “What?” and “How?,” he effectively prepared the way for the age of technology and modern science.