Astounding! First Edition of Isaac Newton’s Work Has Been Found

  • A survey published in 1953 located 189 surviving copies.
  • It has been established by historians of science today, it was from Kepler's laws that Newton derived his law of gravity.
  • The book has minor cover damage, but all the pages are in excellent condition.

A rare find occurred at the island of Corsica library. The book found is one of the first copies of Sir Isaac Newton‘s book, which played a large role in the physics field. The book is the three-volume work Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical principles of natural philosophy), which first formulated the three famous laws of mechanics (Newton was considered a genius) and the law of universal gravitation.

Let us explain that the term “natural philosophy” then referred to the emerging natural sciences. The astounding discovery is a first edition of the book printed in 1687 in Latin. The researcher found mention of the rarity while studying the catalog compiled by the library’s founder, Lucien Bonaparte, the younger brother of the famous General. This prompted her to begin a search for the book, which was eventually successful.

The book has minor cover damage, but all the pages are in excellent condition according to the researcher Shira Shikhmatov. In the first volume of the epochal work, Newton formulates three laws named after him.

Newton’s first law 

Every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force. This is normally taken as the definition of inertia. The key point here is that if there is no net force acting on an object (if all the external forces cancel each other out) then the object will maintain a constant velocity. If that velocity is zero, then the object remains at rest. If an external force is applied, the velocity will change because of the force.

Newton’s second law

The velocity of an object changes when it is subjected to an external force. The law defines a force to be equal to change in momentum (mass times velocity) per change in time. Newton also developed the calculus of mathematics, and the “changes” expressed in the second law are most accurately defined in differential forms. (Calculus can also be used to determine the velocity and location variations experienced by an object subjected to an external force.) For an object with a constant mass m, the second law states that the force F is the product of an object’s mass and its acceleration a.

Sir Isaac Newton.

Newton’s third law

Every action (force) in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction. In other words, if object A exerts a force on object B, then object B also exerts an equal force on object A. Notice that the forces are exerted on different objects. 

The third law can be used to explain the generation of lift by a wing and the production of thrust by a jet engine. Additionally, it has been established by historians of science today, it was from Kepler’s laws that Newton derived his law of gravity.

According to Wikipedia:

It has been estimated that between 250 and 400 copies of the first edition were printed by the Royal Society, and “it is quite remarkable that so many copies of this small first edition are still in existence … but it may be because the original Latin text was more revered than read”. A survey published in 1953 located 189 surviving copies.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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