Cover image for Sir Isaac Newton's Mathematical principles of natural philosophy and his System of the world
Sir Isaac Newton's Mathematical principles of natural philosophy and his System of the world
Newton, Isaac, 1642-1727.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Philosophiae naturalis principia. English
First paper-bound edition.
Physical Description:
2 volumes (xxxiii, 680 pages) : illustrations ; 21 cm
General Note:
Translation of Philosophiae naturalis principia.

Cover title: Principia.

Includes reproduction of the t.p. of the 1st ed. of the Principia, London, 1687.
v.1. The motion of bodies.--v.2. The system of the world.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library QA803 .A45 1962 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



First translated from the Latin by Andrew Motte in 1729, the translation has been revised, the antiquated mathematical terms have been rephrased in terms intelligible to the modern scientist, and an historical and explanatory appendix has been supplied by Florian Cajori, one-time Professor of the History of Mathematics in the University of California, Berkeley campus.

Author Notes

Born at Woolsthorpe, England, Sir Isaac Newton was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge University, where he graduated in 1665. During the plague of 1666, he remained at Woolsthorpe, during which time he formulated his theory of fluxions (the infinitesimal calculus) and the main outlines of his theories of mechanics, astronomy, and optics, including the theory of universal gravitation. The results of his researches were not circulated until 1669, but when he returned to Trinity in 1667, he was immediately appointed to succeed his teacher as professor of mathematics.

His greatest work, the Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, was published in 1687 to immediate and universal acclaim. Newton was elected to Parliament in 1689. In 1699, he was appointed head of the royal mint, and four years later he was elected president of the Royal Society; both positions he held until his death. In later life, Newton devoted his main intellectual energies to theological speculation and alchemical experiments. In April 1705, Queen Anne knighted Newton during a royal visit to Trinity College, Cambridge. He was only the second scientist to have been awarded knighthood. Newton died in his sleep in London on March 31, 1727, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Because of his scientific nature, Newton's religious beliefs were never wholly known. His study of the laws of motion and universal gravitation became his best-known discoveries, but after much examination he admitted that, "Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done." (Bowker Author Biography)

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