The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy / Edition 1

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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 physics continues to account for many of the phenomena of the observed world, and Newtonian celestial dynamics is used to determine the orbits of our space vehicles. This completely new translation, the first in 270 years, is based on the third (1726) edition, the final revised version approved by Newton; it includes extracts from the earlier editions, corrects errors found in earlier versions, and replaces archaic English with contemporary prose and up-to-date mathematical forms. Newtons principles describe acceleration, deceleration, and inertial movement; fluid dynamics; and the motions of the earth, moon, planets, and comets. A great work in itself, the Principia also revolutionized the methods of scientific investigation. It set forth the fundamental three laws of motion and the law of universal gravity, the physical principles that account for the Copernican system of the world as emended by Kepler, thus effectively ending controversy concerning the Copernican planetary system. The illuminating Guide to the Principia by I. Bernard Cohen, along with his and Anne Whitmans translation, will make this preeminent work truly accessible for todays scientists, scholars, and students.
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Editorial Reviews

Times Higher Education Supplement
Will be of interest to a wide scientific and scholarly audience…the new translation flows smoothly and elegantly.
London Review of Books
Copes ably with puzzles of Newtonian commentary. . .[A] new and handsome edition.
Physics Today
The Guide is not simply a guide to reading the Principia, but is a veritable cornucopia of topics related to that work, such as issues of translation, historical background, conceptual analyses, mathematical methods, and units used. As we would expect of the doyen of Newton scholars, Cohen's judgments and analyses are up to date, fascinating, and useful. . . . Cohen and Whitman's translation deserves to become the new standard. . . . With this fine translation . . . it is now much easier for serious readers to discover that magisterial work for themselves.
Psychological Reports
An extremely impressive and useful new English translation of Newton's revolutionary work. . . . That such a project was completed so well is a result of astonishing scholarship and collaboration among a wide group of talented people. This reviewer applauds their work, as undoubtedly many other English readers will in time to come.
New York Times
A new paperback of an old book may not seem like a big deal, except when its author is arguably the greatest scientist of all time and the book was first published 312 years ago.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520088160
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 10/20/1999
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 991
  • Sales rank: 705,562
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

I. Bernard Cohen (1914-2003) was Victor S. Thomas Professor (Emeritus) of the History of Science at Harvard University. Among his recent books are Benjamin Franklin's Science (1996),
(1994), and Science and the Founding Fathers (1992). Anne Whitman was coeditor (with I. Bernard Cohen and Alexander Koyré) of the Latin edition, with variant readings, of the Principia (1972). Julia Budenz, author of From the Gardens of Flora Baum (1984), is a multilingual classicist and poet.

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Table of Contents

A Guide to Newton's Principia 1
Contents of the Guide 3
Abbreviations 9
Ch. 1 A Brief History of the Principia 11
Ch. 2 Translating the Principia 26
Ch. 3 Some General Aspects of the Principia 43
Ch. 4 Some Fundamental Concepts of the Principia 85
Ch. 5 Axioms, or the Laws of Motion 109
Ch. 6 The Structure of Book 1 128
Ch. 7 The Structure of Book 2 161
Ch. 8 The Structure of Book 3 195
Ch. 9 The Concluding General Scholium 274
Ch. 10 How to Read the Principia 293
Ch. 11 Conclusion 369
The Principia Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy 371
Halley's Ode to Newton 379
Newton's Preface to the First Edition 381
Newton's Preface to the Second Edition 384
Cotes's Preface to the Second Edition 385
Newton's Preface to the Third Edition 400
Definitions 403
Axioms, or the Laws of Motion 416
Bk. 1 The Motion of Bodies 431
Bk. 2 The Motion of Bodies 631
Bk. 3 The System of the World 791
General Scholium 939
Contents of the Principia 945
Index of Names 973
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2006

    This is the only version you will ever need

    I didn't use the guide section at first, but wow, is it ever informative. The diagrams are big and clear, and everything is really well articulated. It's a little pricey, but it's worth it a hundred times over. GET IT GET IT GET IT. Cohen's lifelong dedication to Newton shows in every page.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2009

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