Sir Isaac Newton (1642–1727) not only proposed the law of gravity and the three laws of motion, but he is also credited with creating calculus.Newton formulated the theory of universal gravitation around 1665. It states that everybody exerts over every other an attractional force proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.
It drew much interest in the scientific world but was rather difficult to follow, and many were troubled that Newton produced equations (rather than experimental evidence) for the action of gravity.
Book I and Book ll of Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica deal with mechanics. He began with definitions and axioms of such concepts as force, momentum and mass, and stated his laws of motion concerning inertia, acceleration, reciprocal action and reaction and universal gravitation: the foundation of classical dynamics.
In Book lll he used the mathematical principle of the earlier books to ‘demonstrate the frame of the system of the world’.
- Article by:
- Matthew White
- Politics and religion, Language and ideas
The Enlightenment's emphasis on reason shaped philosophical, political and scientific discourse from the late 17th to the early 19th century. Matthew White traces the Enlightenment back to its roots in the aftermath of the Civil War, and forward to its effects on the present day.
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- The British Library
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