Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy 


by Isaac Newton

In his monumental 1687 work Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica in Latin), 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.

Newton's principles describe acceleration, deceleration, and inertial movement; fluid dynamics; and the motions of the earth, moon, planets, and comets. A great work in itself, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy 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.

"This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. And if the fixed stars are the centers of other like systems, these, being formed by the like wise counsel, must be all subject to the dominion of One... This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all ; and on account of his dominion he desires to be called Lord God."

- Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, Page 504-505

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