Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
A fascinating read.
on 27 August 2015
At one and the same time, it's easy to understand because the subject matter is really familiar to anyone who's studied even elementary physics and yet it's really, really hard because it's presented by Newton in a way that's completely unfamiliar.
Remember those obscure facts of geometry about angles in a circle and inscribed/exscribed quadrilaterals? That's nothing. This was written in the days before algebra was purely symbolic. Most of the proofs are presented geometrically and where there is some algebra, it's written out in words, not symbols (sesquiplicate - meaning the 3/2 power for example!)
One big trap: At the start of book 3 Newton freely states that he doesn't expect anyone to fully read 1 and 2! Even he thinks the subject is too dry and obscure - it's basically a compendium of every geometrical fact he knows.
Best skip 1 and 2 - go straight to 3.