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The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  4,065 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
In his monumental 1687 work Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, known familiarly as the Principia, Isaac Newton laid out in mathematical terms the principles of time, force, and motion that have guided the development of modern physical science. Even after more than three centuries and the revolutions of Einsteinian relativity and quantum mechanics, Newtonian phy ...more
Paperback, 991 pages
Published October 20th 1999 by University of California Press (first published July 1687)
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Connor McDonnell Newton discovered his discoveries using calculus , but presented it in euclidean geometry. Its a very hard book to read for that reason , as he…moreNewton discovered his discoveries using calculus , but presented it in euclidean geometry. Its a very hard book to read for that reason , as he presents the ideas in a different manner to which he discovered them. Don't be down if you cant read it ,your better off reading a calculus book and classical mechanics book first , then read principia (its such a good book ), i hope this helped.

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Of course I have never read the entire text of this monumental work. I did read several parts of it in the period 1972-1974 when I was studying the History & Philosophy of Science at the University of Melbourne, and still have the two volume paperback set printed by the University of California Press in 1974 (originally published by UC in 1934).

There are a lot of mathematical proofs scattered throughout the volumes, which were mostly less interesting to me than parts I could read as simply l
Feb 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
What did i learn from this book?

I finally learned why Newton is a genius. Why the planets stay in orbit. Why reason finally and forever took the place of authority. I learned when science was once and for all declared the way to "know". I learned why calculus is necessary and why Newton invented it. I learned why math is the language of the universe. I learned why geometry is so important.

I am in awe of Newton. Everything and everyone who followed him was influenced by him. Not just in the scien
I tried. But this is Newton using geometry to explain the calculus behind his theory of gravity. Every few pages, between the charts and equations, he writes a one or two sentence introduction to the proposition about to be proved. I understood those. Mostly. And I could see this is where Newton’s Laws of Motions come from. His proofs are beyond me though.

Interestingly, one of the few other things I could understand, beyond his Preface, was the General Scholium at the end. After describing the h
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First, A Clarification: The publication I have is the hardcover revision by Florian Cajori of Andrew Motte's 1729 English translation, copyrighted in 1934 by the Regents of the University of California, and published by UC Berkeley and UCLA Press.

I should also note that, although I have read Newton's Principia several times over several years and for various reasons, I doubt I have ever completed the whole book. To do so would be advisable only under limited circumstances.

For whatever reason, Ne
Aleksandar Janjic
Одма да кажем да немам шта паметно да кажем о овој књизи јер је Њутн ипак можда мало пренапредан за мене. На почетку сам покушавао да пратим и донекле успијевао, али то није дуго потрајало јер су ствари врло брзо постале прекомпликоване. Наравно, овакве научне класике данас је практично немогуће читати без разноразних додатних објашњења и коментара, којих у овом издању нажалост нема, мада морам да напоменем да имам (у папирном облику) једну апсолутну звијер од издања, тешку једно сто кила, са оо ...more
Abram Dorrough
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the most intelligent and influential books of all time. Period. This is an older read I remember fondly enough to rate the full 5 stars even though it has been a while.
Feb 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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Chris Duval
The original book is one of the foundational books for modernity, expounding both mechanics and the calculus while explaining astronomy. (The little digression at the end into theology can be ignored.)
One can imagine an e-edition of this book where, as one reads the description of the ratio of this or that, the relevant lines on the diagram were highlighted. Even better, when areas are described by line segments belonging to the same line, the e-edition could add a side diagram with links to the
Thomas Preusser
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book, written by Isaac Newton in 1588, served as the foundation of physics for more than 300 years, or up to the time Einstein developed relativity theory. The fact that it is still in print more than 400 years after being written puts it in nearly the same class as the bible. One does not actually read this book so much as marvel at it. The book is chock full of hundreds of geometric diagrams which essentially deal with systematic measurement and calculation. The thing that strikes one mos ...more
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Newton's followers
Recommended to Dipesh by: Sir Issac Newton
- an ingenious and energetic builder who's astonishingly brilliant at composing gorgeous monuments of the most intensely clever design. Sometimes these appear as great books like the Principia itself. Sometimes they appear in experiments. But we would be wrong to look for a single key which unlocks the whole mystery of Isaac Newton.

The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (1729) ... An English translation by Andrew Motte, based on the 1726 3rd edition of Philosophiae Naturalis Principia
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Newton unleashed one of the most startling scientific undertakings in history with his seemingly simple question posed in this hallowed treatise: what would happen if seven people representing various socio-economic strata of American life were stranded together on a desert island? In the centuries since the publication of this philosophical juggernaut men have agonized over the fundamental question of whether to sleep with Ginger or Mary Ann…but what about the old broad? Why doesn’t anyone go t ...more
Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book stands as one of the great monuments of science. If you can peer through the ponderous geometric proofs of Newton's physical principles, there is an elegance to his theories that transcends mere science and mathematics and touches the sublime! He actually formulated his theories using his newly-invented methods of Calculus, but few educated readers of his day understood the Calculus, so he proved his ideas using the methods of geometry (which all educated persons knew). We owe much of ...more
Jeff Gabriel
I don't want to create a whole new shelf for this, but I didn't read it - I gave up after reading as far as I could. My giving up has nothing to do of course with this historical book of the highest importance. However, given that the subject is complex and the language arcane I am afraid I would need an interpreter for both concept and language.

I'll stick to learning my physics from more modern sources. I love reading original sources, and for the things I could grasp this book was very intrigu
Sep 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Hard going since Newton was so shy about using easy calculus when hard analytic geometry could do the job. Still, this is one of the most important books ever written and anyone with an interest in the history of science (or in seeing Newton draw up an epistemology at the start of book three to keep his critics from savaging him like they did with his Optics) should carve out a few months, get a bunch of paper, and go to.
Pranav Jeevan
Feb 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
To see how the great man thought...
Nwe Mon
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book helps me a lot.
Ahmed Sobhy
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Therefore, He was a real genius.
Sir Isaac Newton,
Hangci Du
Jun 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I wrote in Chinese, very long, too lazy to translate~


Oct 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Principia (1687) was Isaac Newton's grand synthesis of (1) Copernicus' heliocentric theory, (2) Kepler's three planetary laws, (3) Galilei's study's of motion and forces and (4) Netwon's own mathematical analysis. It was more than this though; it was the first philosophical system of the world since Aristotle's philosophy (which had been used by christian theologians since the 12th century as the system of the world).

Newton writes this book in the style of Euclidean geometry: starting with a
Jan 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
What can top this?!? Laws of motion. F=ma rules! (Though quantum mechanics have proven it to be fundamentally false.) And calculus?!? Pure genius. The thought of one human mind creating such an elegant tool to calculate everything from force to economics to anything requiring calculations of rate of change 'almost' makes being human worthwhile. Poetry at its most finest. Almost makes one believe there must be a god.
Lane Wilkinson
Jan 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
It is a rare pleasure to sit down and read a book upon which your entire culture owes its existence. This would be a five star book, but I threw the other star ninja-style at the editor who gave primacy to Hawking's name on the binding.
Apr 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have a feeling that I've learnt nothing abt math the past 15 years....
Feb 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
An open door into the mind of the man who revolutionized the way to think about mathematics and physical science. It is technical.
Feb 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listed
Who am I kidding? I never read more than 10 pages of this masterpiece of arcane physics. Still, a book for the millenia.
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
هنا ولد كل شيء.
قبله العدم .. وبعده هو لكن بشكل آخر.
Tony Go
Jan 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book is epic. I once spilled glucosamine on it and my soul was ripped from my body by a jealous god.
Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: logic-math
Newton interjects philosophy and debate into math, making theory easier to accept than when handed down for rote memorization in textbooks hundreds of years later.
Drew Venegas
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
One of the densest books that I've ever read, but also the most elegant and structured.
Connor McDonnell
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
While this is the most important book in all of science, I must caution you , this is a tough read . I recommend that you know calculus and classical mechanics prior (and euclidean geometry is a MUST), Newton doesnt use any familiar calculus notation at all , and doesnt make it easy to read. However , credit where credit is due , the way he structures the book is incredible , written in the style of an ancient greek text where he begins with axioms and definitions and then proceeds to prove theo ...more
Roberto Rigolin F Lopes
We are in 1687, Newton just climbed Euclid's shoulder to show us how bodies move (nothing sexy, though) using geometry. The show starts with three axioms also called "the laws of motion". From these three, he goes building a tight knitted set of theorems about bodies interacting with each other through invisible forces. The whole thing is of course demonstrated using geometrical arguments. SEVERAL abstract arguments; i.e. tons of ratios including the inverse square law (gravity). He often tries ...more
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Principia editors contributions? 1 8 Dec 25, 2012 08:45PM  
  • On the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres
  • Euclid's Elements
  • Epitome of Copernican Astronomy and Harmonies of the World
  • Elements of Chemistry
  • Ptolemy's Almagest
  • Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems
  • The Works of Archimedes
  • Experimental Researches in Electricity
  • Essays on the Theory of Numbers
  • On Formally Undecidable Propositions of Principia Mathematica and Related Systems
  • The New Organon
  • Experiments in Plant Hybridisation
  • Principia Mathematica to '56 (Mathematical Library)
  • The Geometry of René Descartes: with a Facsimile of the First Edition
  • Physics
  • Relativity: The Special and the General Theory
  • A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, Vol. 1
  • On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals
Sir Isaac Newton, FRS , was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, and alchemist. His Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, published in 1687, is considered to be the most influential book in the history of science. In this work, Newton described universal gravitation and the three laws of motion, laying the groundwork for classical mechanics, which dominated ...more
“This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.” 131 likes
“Blind metaphysical necessity, which is certainly the same always and every where, could produce no variety of things. All that diversity of natural things which we find suited to different times and places could arise from nothing but the ideas and will of a Being, necessarily existing.” 30 likes
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