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The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy

Introduction by Kirill Krasnov

Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, often known as the Principia, is one of the most important scientific works ever to have been written and has had a profound impact on modern science. Consisting of three separate books, the Principia states Newton’s laws of motion and Newton’s law of universal gravitation. Understanding and acceptance of these theories was not immediate, however by the end of the seventeenth century no one could deny that Newton had far exceeded all previous works and revolutionised scientific thinking.

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Sir Isaac Newton (1642–1727) was an English physicist and mathematician who was a leading figure in the scientific revolution. His work throughout the seventeenth century provided the basis for modern science, including his three laws of motion and the law of universal gravitation. Newton’s career was prolific. He was president of the Royal Society and in 1705 he was knighted, becoming the first ever scientist to receive the honour.

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