Hear the name "Isaac Newton", and it will usually conjure up an image of a man with long curly hair sitting under a tree, having just been knocked on the head by a falling apple. Best known for discovering the laws of gravity and motion, you have him to thank for those dreaded math lessons as well since he also invented calculus.
The last thing you would expect his name to conjure up would be images of him skulking around London pubs in disguises and spying on criminals like a badass Science Batman. But that's exactly what he did.
Here's a rundown of the crazy and daring (non-scientific) exploits of Isaac Newton:
Isaac Newton - Warden of the Royal Mint
In 1696, Newton accepted a position with the London Royal Mint that had little to do with science. This role meant that he was the head of an organization that, at that time, was rampant with counterfeiting. Coins were used during this era and most were made of silver. Unsurprisingly, the silver was worth more than the monetary value and one of the most common criminal trade was to melt the coins down for their silver and replace them with zinc or lead.
Counterfeiting was an incredibly dangerous trade too. Since it was so widespread, those found guilty were hanged, drawn, and quartered. Newton suspected that around 20% of the coins collected by the Mint were counterfeit and he decided to put an end to this.
Isaac Newton - Science Batman
Among his targets was a man named William Chaloner, who would ultimately confess to minting somewhere around $35,000 worth of counterfeit coins alone. He did this through a scheme so audacious, it was almost hilarious: Chaloner would dress up as a respectable gentleman complete with top hat and cane to visit the Royal Mint. He would offer the Mint his services of inspecting the minting process and then advise them on how to better combat counterfeits. Irony, much?
Chaloner was first arrested in 1697, but was able to pull some strings to get himself released. Newton was furious, and over a period of the next two years, he would dress up in various disguises and head out to some of the most notorious gangster pubs in London. Being the Warden of the Mint, Newton could arrest and interrogate anyone he wanted.
Bet you didn't think the Father of Gravity would have the time to go undercover in some of London's most dangerous places. Don't you have some science to do in your laboratory!? But most of Gotham's citizens didn't expect Bruce Wayne to do much in life except being a playboy billionaire either.
Isaac Newton - Justice of the Coin
It was during this two years that Newton built up a huge pile of evidence against Chaloner thanks to a network of informants, spies and witness confessions. This evidence eventually helped him see Chaloner hung for his crimes.
it took the judge only two minutes to pass judgment.