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The Principia : Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy Paperback – July 5, 2013
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About the Author
Sir Isaac Newton, (1642 - 1726) was an English physicist and mathematician, or natural philosopher, who is generally regarded as one of the most influential scientists of all time and a primary figure in the scientific revolution. His work the Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, (also known just as the Principia) first published in 1687, built the ground for classical mechanics. Newton made contributions to the field of optics, and gets credit for the development of calculus, alongside, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The entry for the Snowball edition - listed on Amazon discount for about $13 - clearly states that it is the Cohen translation with his commentaries. In fact, it is merely a cheap reproduction of some earlier edition of the standard Motte translation, with modernized spelling. It is the complete text of the (translated) Third Edition of the Principia, but with no other associated works by Newton and nothing by Cohen. Snowball does not even give the translator's name, either on the cover or in the front matter! The lithographic reproduction is readable but poor quality - with many broken characters and even edges of pages slightly cut off. This is a usable cheap edition of the well-known 1729 translation, but it is NOT the modern translation, as the Amazon listing explicitly states. (In fact, Amazon's "Search Inside This Book" feature, from the Snowball edition page, takes you to the search pages for the Cohen edition - a completely different, and much more expensive, book!)
I'm sure this was a good-faith error on Amazon's part, but it is completely misleading. Buyers should know what they are getting. If you are reading this on the page listing for the Snowball Publishing edition of the Principia, you aren't getting what they say you are. Be forewarned.
The overall methods used in the Principia have found their use throughout modern physics practice--mathematical modelling, idealisations, theory-mediated measurements, etc. Even with the advent of General Relativity and Quantum Field Theory, we still do physics (in a broad fashion) in a way which is present in this book. No wonder, as a physicist-in-training, I found this work to be an exemplar, despite the less-than-satisfying results in some sections, as Newton himself admitted, of how natural science is to be done (notwithstanding its limitations, as unfortunately we learned the hard way).
What I can blame the publishers for, though, is that some of the text is hard to see clearly. Letters and words are cut-off at the margins of the page, so some words are truncated. This makes it even a more difficult text to parse and understand.
The real challenge is that it isn't helping me learn maths, I see no evidence of it being like a tutorial or textbook. It reads much more like a reference for people who have a very good understanding of the maths in it already. I'm very interested in understanding what it says, and it's going to take additional help.
All up, I think it's a treasure in the historical sense as a time capsule of science, it's an economical price and looks as though it's made to last as a book.