The Principia

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by Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton spelled out in mathematical language the laws of time, force, and motion that have guided the development of modern physical science in his epic 1687 work, Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, also known as the Principia. Newtonian physics continues to account for many of the phenomena of the observed world, and Newtonian celestial dynamics is employed to determine the orbits of our space ships, even after more than three centuries and the revolutions of Einsteinian relativity and quantum mechanics.

This authoritative, modern translation, the first in over 285 years, is based on the 1726 edition, Newton's final revised version; it includes extracts from earlier editions, corrects errors found in earlier versions, and replaces archaic English with contemporary prose and up-to-date mathematical forms.

The motions of the earth, moon, planets, and comets are all described by Newton's principles, which include acceleration, deceleration, and inertial movement, fluid dynamics, and the motions of the earth, moon, planets, and comets. The Principia was not only a magnificent work in and of itself, but it also changed scientific investigative procedures. It established the fundamental three laws of motion and the law of universal gravitation, the physical principles that account for the Copernican planetary system as modified by Kepler, essentially putting an end to debate over the Copernican planetary system. I. Bernard Cohen's enlightening Guide to Newton's Principia makes this eminent work fully accessible to today's scientists, academics, and students.

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This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being... This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont, to be called Lord God παντοκρατωρ or Universal Ruler.

— Isaac Newton, The Principia