Representing a decade's work from one of the world's most distinguished physicists, this major publication is, as far as is known, the first comprehensive analysis of Newton's Principia without recourse to secondary sources. Chandrasekhar analyses some 150 propositions which form a direct chain leading to Newton's formulation of his universal law of gravitation. In each case, Newton's proofs are arranged in a linear sequence of equations and arguments, avoiding the need to unravel the necessarily convoluted style of Newton's connected prose. In almost every case, a modern version of the proofs is given to bring into sharp focus the beauty, clarity, and breathtaking economy of Newton's methods. This book will stimulate great interest and debate among the scientific community, illuminating the brilliance of Newton's work under the steady gaze of Chandrasekhar's rare perception.
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S. Chandrasekhar is Emeritus Professor, Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research, The Enrico Fermi Institute at University of Chicago.Review:
"It is, perhaps, the greatest single work of the scientific canon--and undoubtedly the most influential. . .Yet remarkably few people today, even among physicists and engineers, have read the Principia itself. . .That a book of such importance should go unread seemed a pity to the astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, who spent a lifetime bringing clarity to the world. Chandra, as he was known to his colleagues, was the last of the great mathematical astrophysicists, a direct spiritual descendant of Newton's, and, by any measure, one of the great minds of the twentieth century. His work was marked by the purity of his mathematical vision, the depth of his understanding and the elegance of his speech and writing. . .Chandra's death in August has left the world a poorer place, but this, his last volume, will remain to inspire generations of common readers to come." --The Sciences
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