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In 1687, Isaac Newton published The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, now referred to simply as Principia, which many scholars say is the greatest work of science ever produced. Until the twentieth century, Newtonian mechanics appeared to provide the means, at least in principle, for predicting the motion of every body in the universe with, in principle, unlimited precision. All you need to know is the mass of the body, its initial position and velocity, and the net force acting on it. Then the laws of motion allow you to calculate the position and velocity of the body at any later (or earlier) time.
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