Magnificent Principia: Exploring Isaac Newton’s Masterpiece

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It’s arguably the most famous mathematical text in history, and you’ve probably never read it. That’s fine. I studied physics in college, and I’d never read it in full before. Because the Principia Mathematica, the cornerstone of Isaac Newton’s legacy, is as challenging to digest as it is influential to the history of math and science.

Colin Pask accepts the Herculean task of boiling down the Principia to its key points, while still indulging in some mind-bendingly detailed analysis, and the result of his efforts is one of the most impressive math texts I’ve ever encountered, Magnificent Principia.

At over five hundred pages, this is no mere Cliff’s Notes or SparkNotes version of the Principia. This is a thorough breakdown of what Newton was trying to say, what he based his findings on, and even meticulous breakdowns of the formulae and techniques Newton used or developed as part of his legendary treatise.

Along the way, Pask informs the reader about Newton himself, his works, and the arduous task of assembling the Principia in the first place. This should be required reading in any high-level math class, not only to help interpret Newton’s work, but to educate in the art of instructional math in its own right.

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Star Count 4.5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 528 pages
Publisher Prometheus Books
Publish Date 2019-04-16
ISBN 9781633885684 Buy this Book
Issue August 2019
Category Science & Nature


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