Heroes of Computational Physics
Despite never having known a computer, Sir Isaac Newton's many contributions to mathematics
confirm his place in this hall of fame for computational physics.
Some of his contributions include:
the generalized binomial theorem, Newton's Identities for polynomials,
first classifying cubic curves in a plane,
Newton's Method for finding roots of equations, and
Newton divided differences (which are the basis of the discrete mathematics used in computational physics).
He is co-credited with the creation of calculus, though it is Leibniz' notation that survives.
In physics, his studies greatly advanced the fields of optics and astronomy.
He is probably best known for laying the foundation for classical mechanics (Newton's laws)
in his Principia, published in 1687, which would be the dominant paradigm in physics clear
into the 20th century.
This model is a shadowgram of a painting of Sir Isaac Newton. From the back, it looks completely flat, but the front is raised such that light traveling through the piece generates an image of Newton. There is a convenient hole at the top of the plate from which to hang this piece, placed so that it will be perfectly level.