Annotated first edition copy of Newton’s Principia
Annotated first edition copy of Newton PrincipiaCollection DescriptionWith the publication of the Philosophi Naturalis Principia Mathematica in 1687, Isaac Newton established the modern science of dynamics by formulating his best hermes replica
three laws of motion. Newton applied these laws to Kepler laws of orbital motion and derived the law of universal gravitation, which explains how all bodies in space and on earth are affected by gravity. There were between 250 400 copies of the first edition printed, with 189 “surviving” copies known of as of 1953.
The University of Sydney copy is one of only four known copies that were sent by Newton and his assistant Roger Cotes to other mathematicians in order to eliminate any errors in a second edition. The other copies are all located in the Northern Hemisphere two in the University of Cambridge Library and one in the Library of Trinity College.
It was originally believed that the corrections and five pages of manuscript notes were written by Swiss mathematician Nicolas Fatio de Duillier and completed by Cotes. It has now been determined that these notes are in the hand of John Craig, a Scottish mathematician. Other marginal annotations, and occasional alterations to the diagrams, are in two other hands, with the corrections to the diagrams have been believed to be written by Newton.
In 1961 the University was presented with this copy of Principia by representatives of Barbara Bruce Smith and Beatrix Bruce Blomfield, heirs of the Hon. Arthur Bruce Smith. Bruce Smith was a member of Parliament, barrister at law, and King Counsel, and assisted in the drafting of the Australian Federal Constitution. Bruce Smith acquired this copy of Principia soon after it arrived in Australia in 1908, from Harry Constantine Adolphus Elderton. Bruce Smith wrote two letters to Nature regarding this purchase and discovery, both included in this collection.
Letter from Verton Bruce Smith to Frederick H. Brasch, Chief of the Smithsonian in 1943, regarding the request for copies of pages from Principia for his research.