Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg has written that all that has happened sinceis a gloss on the Principia Now you too can appreciate the significance of this stellar work, regarded by many as the greatest scientific contribution of all time Despite its dazzling reputation, Isaac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, or simply the Principia, remains a mystery for many people Few of even the most intellectually curious readers, including professional scientists and mathematicians, have actually looked in the Principia or appreciate its contents Mathematician Pask seeks to remedy this deficit in this accessible guided tour through Newton's masterpiece Using the final edition of the Principia, Pask clearly demonstrates how it sets out Newton's and now our approach to science; how the framework of classical mechanics is established; how terrestrial phenomena like the tides and projectile motion are explained; and how we can understand the dynamics of the solar system and the paths of comets He also includes scene setting chapters about Newton himself and scientific developments in his time, as well as chapters about the reception and influence of the Principia up to the present day

7 thoughts on “Magnificent Principia: Exploring Isaac Newton's Masterpiece

  1. Leatherworker Leatherworker says:

    Read this A good intro to Newton's thinking

  2. amanda bruce amanda bruce says:

    Thank you for a prompt deliver and a perfect item My son is delighted with this book and we will certainly order again in the future.

  3. A. Menon A. Menon says:

    Newton's Principia is arguably the most important work in the history of science and yet it remains a largely impenetrable book Colin Park sets himself the task of making clear the contents of the third edition to the interested reader The book is a mixture of high level framing of what the contents of the principia contains as well as mathematical arguments that support the theorems embedded in the book The author often compares modern solution techniques to Newton's solutions and highlights where the similarities lie, though most of the forms of argument are quite different and in particular Newton uses geometric arguments vs today's proofs are largely analytical in nature.Magnificent Principia is split into 7 Parts The author gives a few brief notes on Newton the man, his personal and family history before jumping into the contents of the book The author focuses on the third edition which is far comprehensive than the first edition and is done with reflection and editing The author describes Newton's Laws and discusses the way science was published at the time and the writing forms of contemporaries like Galileo and Huygens The author highlights the need for mathematics to frame the theory and how the narrative theory of Descartes at the time was seen as totally lacking by Newton The author then moves on to discuss the fundamental leap that Newton made by moving from kinematics to dynamics He discusses the inverse square law and the geometric arguments Newton used to show the truth of Kepler's laws The author also highlights the solutions of single body force problems and the geometric vector based approaches Newton used He also shows modern solution techniques and how embedded in the geometric arguments are integration arguments I would say the descriptions of Newton's proofs are not as clear as they could be, if you read Bressoud's Second year calculus UTM book, the Newton proofs are succinct and clear; as well modern proofs are pretty average as well and are clearer in physics textbooks The author then moves on to Newton discussing constrained motion and linear forces like the pendulum and harmonic oscillator The author discusses Newton's solution for the mechanism required to keep perfect time, which is not particularly clear I don't think The author also discusses how Newton moves from point particles to spherically symmetric material bodies The author then discusses the second book where Newton tackles things like friction dissipative forces These are pretty remarkable calculations and analysis made by Newton and are rarely focused on by the physics student given comprehensive analysis were done after math was developed The author conveys to the reader how remarkable Newton's ability to analyze and solve pretty much any problem he was faced with was The author then moves on to book 3 where Newton outlines his law of gravitation As with the second book the author shows the remarkable ability of Newton to use his three laws to deduce a wide variety of real world phenomenon including the tides and the bulging of the Earth around the equator The author discusses how the various planet and moon orbits can be explained by the law and documents the calculations It is pretty mind blowing that so much amazing insight was in the mind of one man.Magnificent Principia brings one of the most remarkable books in science (in my opinion, the most) to the interested reader The original is not something I am capable of reading so this book was very helpful for me My criticisms all are around the math side as I found his description of Newton's proofs unclear and convoluted I could put it down to the ideas of Newton being hard to translate, but having read another book on the proofs of Newton I know the author could have been clear and succinct I also am unimpressed with the modern mathematical treatment of the subject and find it much clearer in a host of other books The book does shine when discussing the results of Newton in books II and III As well, the value of now knowing the organization and flow of the original is enormous Definitely worth a read but if one is interested in the math and physics primarily, look elsewhere.

  4. customer customer says:

    OK, its a modern text in my opinion but I am no Physicist so..!!!!!

  5. John McCowan John McCowan says:

    I read Newton's masterwork several years ago and was stunned and overwhelmed by the brainpower and colossal amount of detailed work it represented to the extent of frequently losing the thread of the story it was revealing This book is a great help in highlighting the logical path through Newton's labyrinth of exposition and detail whilst converting both the language and the mathematics into familiar modern terms This greatly enhances the appreciation of what Newton achieved and how he did it.The purely technical content of the book is spiced with sufficient additional information about the man, his contemporaries and successors to provide a human interest factor as relief to its logical rigours without veering from its main purpose.The comprehensive and explanatory references to the additional information available to those wishing to soak themselves even thoroughly in appreciation of Newton's genius is another notable feature of the book.It is not a book for the mathematically illiterate, but it is not intended to be and that is certainly not a shortcoming.As befits such a massive subject, it's a pretty hard slog through, but the long tramp is well worth it.

  6. Bri Reilly Bri Reilly says:

    Bought this book for my 6th grader who recently decided he loves gravity It definitely is a advanced read and has some cool formulas and examples in there Its a good book he says, and has or less flipped through the book to find formuals, verses read it cover to cover.

  7. Stephen E. Kennedy Stephen E. Kennedy says:

    This is outstanding I have really enjoyed reading through the principia with Colin Pask guidance and insights It is the first time I have really appreciated the difference between kinematics (Galileo and Kepler) and dynamics (Newton) I am only 125 pages in, but this is a good read if you want to deeper understanding of Newton's true insight.