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Sir Isaac Newton (Dean Howarth) studies his calculations

Sir Isaac Newton, was considered by the likes of Jefferson to be the central figure of the Enlightenment. As Newton, the Natural Philosopher shares his deep insights into the Laws of Physics and how the motions of the planets and the fall of an apple combine to explain phenomena throughout the Universe. The famous but temperamental genius established the science of Opticks, invented telescopes, devised Calculus, and wrote the laws that allowed man to explore outer space.

Recently, Sir Isaac visited the twenty-first century to speak to the National Capital Astronomers. He was accompanied by his colleagues Dean Howarth and Rachel O'Connell during his visit with his colleagues of today. The video below was provided via YouTube courtesy of Rupert Chappelle. The version here is in 2D. A 3D version is available on YouTube.

Dean Howarth as Count Rumford, location: Dumbarton House in Washington, DC

The Natural Philosopher also portrays other pioneers in physics and engineering including the surprising Count Rumford. The Count was an American-born loyalist, soldier, spy, and scientific advisor to European royalty. His discoveries in Thermodynamics (the study of heat) improved everyday life for troops, the poor, cooks, and kings.

Also portrayed is the British renaissance man, Joseph Priestley. This philosopher and scientist was a pioneer in both Chemistry (He discovered oxygen.) and “Pneumaticks”, the study of air and pressure. His demonstrations with vacuum pumps and fountains show influence of invisible forces of the atmosphere on weather, physiology, and even human flight!

Dean Howarth as Joseph Priestly enthusiastically demonstrating the pneumatic. Photo courtesy of Louise Krafft, used with permission.

The Natural Philosopher continues the trajectory of physics into the 20th century with a characterization of Albert Einstein as well - explaining time, relativity, atomic energy, and black holes.

The Philosopher’s demonstrations are modeled on the public lectures given at the Royal Institution in London and the many “scientific societies” that formed in the Colonies, such as the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia.