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Wired Science News for Your Neurons Isaac Newton’s Personal Notebooks Go Digital

• wired.com

Among the works shared online by the Cambridge Digital Library are Newton's own annotated copy of Principia Mathematica and the 'Waste Book,' the notebook in which a young Newton worked out the principles of calculus.

Other of his myriad accomplishments include the laws of gravity and motion, a theory of light -- pictured above are notes on optics -- and his construction of the first reflecting telescope.

Newton was also notoriously idiosyncratic and irascible, obsessed with the occult and vicious towards scientific rivals; a full account of his life and science can be found in James Gleick's Isaac Newton, and a partial but entertaining fictionalization in Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. But the papers come straight from the master.

“Anyone, wherever they are, can see at the click of a mouse how Newton worked and how he went about developing his theories and experiments," said Grant Young, the library's digitization manager, in a press release. "Before today, anyone who wanted to see these things had to come to Cambridge. Now we’re bringing Cambridge University Library to the world.”

 

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