Isaac Newton, the Insightful Botanist?

A new discovery, deep in the pages of Isaac Newton’s college notebooks, extends the legend of his scientific insights.

newton, botany, science,

A recent review of Sir Isaac Newton’s college notebooks has uncovered a passage that could change the timeline for botany discoveries.

Isaac Newton is well known for his achievements in mathematics, fundamental physics, optics, astronomy and even alchemy. What wasn’t known, however, is that Newton’s keen sense of inspection also led him to correctly theorize how plants move water through their bodies.

Back in 1660s Newton scrolled the following in his notebook, “Suppose a b the pore of a Vegitable filled with fluid mater & that the Globule c doth hitt away the particle b, then the rest of subtile matter in the pores riseth from a towards b & by this meanes juices continually arise up from the roots of trees upward leaving dreggs in the pores & then wanting passage stretch the pores to make them as wide as before they were clogged. which makes the plant bigger untill the pores are too narow for the juice to arise through the pores & then the plant ceaseth to grow any more.”

Oh, did I mention he came to this conclusion a good 200 years before botanists found his notion to be true?

Pretty incredible.

Source: Syndics of the Cambridge University Library