The physicist and mathematician, who went to Trinity College, won 23.6 per cent of the vote in the poll by student newspaper Varsity.
Charles Darwin, who attended Christ’s College, came a close second with 20.6 per cent and poet
Lord Byron, who was a student at Trinity College, came third with 10.8 per cent.
Newton described for the first time universal gravitation, formulated the three laws of motion and built the first practical reflecting telescope.
“I’m delighted Newton topped the poll,” said Lord Rees of Ludlow, Master of Trinity College and Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics.
“He would probably win a poll as the number one scientific intellect of the millennium.”