Learn more Download now Shop now Browse your favorite restaurants Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more

on 21 August 2013
Isaac Newton was a genius and after studying his work and his letters, I can only conclude that the man was ahead of his time. Newton didn't just "discover" gravity, he understood all the mechanisms behind it and detailed them all. His research is still used for astronomy and astrophysics outlining the general importance of it. It's due to Newton's work that we are able to build planes that fly because we understand the fundamental interactions of gravity. For this reason I believe Newton is one of the greatest and most influential scientists in our history next to Albert Einstein, Gregor Mendel, Louis Pasteur, Max Planck, William Thomson Kelvin and the discoverers of DNA (Francis Crick, James Watson, Rosalind Franklin, Maurice Wilkins).

The principles by Newton describe and detail fundamental forces and interactions observable all around us. These include acceleration, deceleration, motions, motions of celestial bodies and inertial movement. Oh and did I mention that the man invented calculus? Newton wasn't just a brilliant scientist but a brilliant mathematician.

The principia is divided into three volumes:

Volume I - The Motion of Bodies
Volume II - (Same title as first)
Volume III - The System of the World


Just some quotes from the Principia:

"...now we might add something concerning a certain most subtle spirit which pervades and lies hid in all gross bodies; by the force and action of which spirit the particles of bodies attract one another at near distances, and cohere, if contiguous; and electric bodies operate to greater distances, as well repelling as attracting the neighboring corpuscles; and light is emitted, reflected, refracted, inflected, and heats bodies; and all sensation is excited, and the members of animal bodies move at the command of the will, namely, by the vibrations of this spirit, mutually propagated along the solid filaments of the nerves, from the outward organs of sense to the brain, and from the brain into the muscles. But these are things that cannot be explained in a few words, nor are we furnished with that sufficiency of experiments which is required to an accurate determination and demonstration of the laws by which this electric and elastic spirit operates."

(In the last paragraph Newton is describing how the brain works and sends signals to the muscles and nerves. Even on a subject totally unrelated to the principles, Newton displays impressive knowledge)

"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."

(I needed to quote this of all things especially with the influx of atheists on the internet arguing that science and belief are incompatible. I believe this statement here not only argues for the logical necessity of a creator but does away with atheism. Yes, next to being a mathematician and scientist, Isaac Newton was also an amazing theologian unmatched in his time)


Just by reading these short paragraphs you can see what an intellectually bright man Newton was. The way he writes is almost like poetry and yet he retains to teach you in every sentence how the world and the universe functions. The man was an amazing scientist, mathematician and theologian. If you're fascinated by science (or the history of science itself) or just want to understand the motions of the world and universe from the man who first "discovered" and detailed them, then this is a must have.

It's a massive read though so be warned. The good thing though is that you can always just flip it open and always find something interesting to read. However I recommend a thorough read which is what this book deserves.

(In terms of the printing itself for this edition: as another reviewer pointed out, it's simply been photo-copied so the quality is poor although very readable. For the price though, I have no complaint)


I don't read comments so there will no responses from me.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 22 March 2009
It is refreshing for a layman to read the original Principia by Newton, and not interpretations. The first explanatory part of the book forms a good supplement to the original text.
33 Comments| 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
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.
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 8 November 2015
For any prospective mechanical engineer or anyone with a profound interest in the fundamental forces of how the universe work this really is a must. While the language is not modern in its phrasing every idea is stated without any assumptions as to the reader's knowledge, it assumes a blank canvas and removes any ambiguity. Newton cleverly uses easily visualised concepts to explain his findings.

Aside from this it is fascinating and humbling to see the inner workings of one of the finest minds of all time. It also shows Newton in a far more humble light than I would have otherwise assumed, where in modern times much has been made of disproving Newton's laws Newton himself states that work involved in coming to these laws was very difficult and that the he hopes the reader will not scold the author for his errors.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 27 May 2015
Except that's in Latin (my mistake), the edition is extremely poor. No images and all the formulas are inline text, no layout, no formatting: sections are divided by 5 asterisks *****
11 Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 13 November 2014
What can I say. It is a must for everyone interested in science and maths. A lovely produced volume. With crisp pages and clear diagrams.
11 Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 7 April 2015
Isaac Newton was a cocky physicist that believed science was only for the respected few. As such he wrote down his laws of nature using a mathematical system that's unclear and almost impossible to understand. If he would've stuck to regular Calculus, he would've probably come up with the General Theory of Relativity himself. A scientist that doesn't want you to know what he or she discovered is like a dog chasing its own tail: plain stupid. He didn't want you to understand what he was saying and it worked. I'm a Mensan ranking in the top 1% of society and I didn't even want to get it with how complicated he wrote things down. He may have wanted for only the elite to understand this, but regardless of in what way you are smart, this is just stupid.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 7 January 2017
This is entirely in Latin with no translation. Those who have left comments are plainly fluent in Latin. Unfortunately, I am not. It also appears that the text has been scanned and then OCR'd so even the Latin looks dodgy. Try a different edition.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 25 February 2018
This book is entirely in Latin Did not suspect this from the advert.
Useless to me. Also no diagrams, which I'm sure Newton would have included.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 20 March 2017
Great book if you are mathematically minded. quite a difficult read if you are not
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)