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Resources for Understanding Newton's Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica

  1. Jun 3, 2009 #1

    I am presently reading this book, and was wondering if anybody knows of any tutorials or resources that could assist me in the reading of this book. Possibly (hopefully) some of you have read the book and would be willing to answer some questions?

    I have very little in the way of formal physics or mathematics background, but I am self-taught in a number of areas, and have confidence in my ability to understand this book. I have read the first 20 pages and understand most of it. I am working my way through at a very slow pace, but I am grasping it.

    Thanks for replying with any resources or suggestions you have.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 3, 2009 #2
    Good luck. That is a pretty tough place to start learning physics.

    The way Newton expresses some things is not the way we say them today. One example that I recall is that he uses the term "the subduplicate ratio" to mean the square root of a quantity. That sort of terminology gap makes things more difficult than they need to be.

    So, read Principia if you just want to be able to say that you have read Principia. Read a modern text if you want to learn basic mechanics.
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