Visiting Newton's atelier before the Principia, 1679–1684

Annals of Science 76 (1):1-16 (2019)
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ABSTRACTThe worksheets that presumably contained Newton's early development of the fundamental concepts in his Principia have been lost. A plausible reconstruction of this development is presented based on Newton's exchange of letters with Robert Hooke in 1679, with Edmund Halley in 1686, and on some clues in the diagram associated with Proposition 1 in Book 1 of the Principia that have been ignored in the past. A graphical construction associated with this proposition leads to a rapidly convergent method to obtain orbits for central forces, which elucidates how Newton may have have been led to formulate some of his most fundamental propositions in the Principia.



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Newton, the sensorium of God, and the cause of gravity.John Henry - 2020 - Science in Context 33 (3):329-351.

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