Saturday, January 26, 2008

Isaac Newton and Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica

Isaac Newton and Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica
Sir Isaac Newton, President of the Royal Society was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, alchemist, and natural philosopher who is generally regarded as one of the greatest scientists and mathematicians in history.

 Newton wrote the Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, in which he described universal gravitation and the three laws of motion, laying the groundwork for classical mechanics. By deriving Kepler's laws of planetary motion from this system, he was the first to show that the motion of objects on Earth and of celestial bodies are governed by the same set of natural laws. The unifying and deterministic power of his laws was integral to the scientific revolution and the advancement of heliocentrism.

The PhilosophiƦ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Latin: "mathematical principles of natural philosophy", often Principia or Principia Mathematica for short) is a three-volume work by Isaac Newton published on July 5, 1687. It contains the statement of Newton's laws of motion forming the foundation of classical mechanics, as well as his law of universal gravitation and a derivation of Kepler's laws for the motion of the planets (which were first obtained empirically).

The Principia is widely regarded as one of the most important scientific works ever written. It has been claimed that the Principia is the greatest work in the history of the physical sciences. By demonstrating that the motion of all bodies was controlled by the same universal laws, Isaac Newton brought to the scientific community a vision of an orderly, harmonious universe which could be understood independent of any supreme being. Divided into three books,

Book I develops general dynamics from a mathematical standpoint for the entire work and begins with the motion of mass particles.

Book II is a treatise on fluid mechanics.

Book III is devoted to astronomical and physical problems. Newton addressed and resolved a number of issues including the motions of comets and the influence of gravitation. For the first time, he demonstrated that the same laws of motion and gravitation ruled everywhere under a single mathematical law.

Newton's scientific accomplishments were vast. He was the co-discoverer with Leibniz of differential calculus and the founder of mathematical physics. He made important studies in optics and yet had time to devote to theology, alchemy and chemistry.
Isaac Newton and Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica
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