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Isaac Newton's Notes Gone Digital

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Cambridge Digital Library posted a few of Newton's papers here - Newton Papers

It contains various collections, such as his undergraduate notes, readings on mathematics and geometry, calculus, early math thinking, Opticks, and Principia.

Enjoy!

~ Shane

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About two thirds of Newton's written work is on mystical meanings and secrets of the ancients and alchemy.

Only about one third contains the physics and mathematics he is rightly famous for.

I believe the "hidden" opus of Newton came to light when none other than John Maynard Keynes bought Newton's writings at auction.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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John Maynard Keynes called Sir Isaac Newton "the last sorcerer." That nickname was taken for the title of the recent biography by Michael White.

Francis Bacon: 22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626

Robert Boyle: 25 January 1627 – 31 December 1691

Isaac Newton: 25 December 1642 – 20 March 1727

Bacon is credited with the "scientific method" but it was Boyle's Skeptical Chymist that insisted at the opening that experiments must be published so that they could be tested. That was the final nail in the coffin of alchemy. Newton kept his notes to himself. In fact, Robert, considering your own interest in psychology and epistemology, you probably understand that Newton made those notes only to establish his own thougts: his mind was likely a whirl until and unless he consciously focused it. He seemed to have a great ability in that, skipping meals and such while thinking through a problem in mathematics. One of the reasons that I reject mainstream medicine's theories about ADD, ADHD, OCBD, Asperger's, and austism, is that while these are too easily points along a continuum, they also include contrary and contradictory symptoms. ADD kids cannot focus... until they do... then you can't get them out of it. What can that possiblly define?

All I am saying is that whatever went on in Newton's mind, his writings are nothing more (or less) than momentary records of passing thoughts. His publications are a different matter, entirely.

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All I am saying is that whatever went on in Newton's mind, his writings are nothing more (or less) than momentary records of passing thoughts. His publications are a different matter, entirely.

Getting Newton to publish was not always easy. Royal Astronomer Halley had to beg Newton to publish his works on gravitation. Newton finally complied but the book -Principia Mathematica....- was published at Halley's expense. One thing Newton despised was controversy and adversity. After his work on Optiks was bad-mouthed he was very reluctant to publish or argue his theories either with the Royal Society or in public. Fortunately we have his -Principia Mathematica ...- which essentially invented theoretical physics in the manner we are currently used to (or nearly so). Newton's theories have been expanded, amended, ,modified and in some respects falsified by later works, but he invented the business of mathematically based theoretical physics more or less as we know it today.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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