The Newtonian Triumph

  • Marie Boas Hall
Part of the The Documentary History of Western Civilization book series (DHWC)


The age of the scientific revolution was ushered in when men became uneasy with the accepted system of cosmology. It is no wonder that Newton, who put together the developments of his predecessors and added thereto his own discoveries to produce his monumental Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, seemed to have solved the scientific problems of the age. This was especially so since Newton contributed equally to all the outstanding physical problems of his time-optics, mechanics, cosmology, and the theory of matter. In the sections below, some examples are given of the work of Newton and his predecessors.


Centripetal Force White Marble Impact Motion Hard Body Black Marble 
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  1. SOURCE: Robert Boyle, Experiments and Considerations Touching Colours (London, 1664), from the abridgment by Peter Shaw (1725), II, 27–30, 33–36.Google Scholar
  2. SOURCE: Robert Hooke, Micrographia (London, 1665), pp. 47–51, 55–57, 64–65.Google Scholar
  3. SOURCE: Translated by the editor from René Descartes, Principia Philosophiae (French edn., Paris, 1647), part II, sections 24–40.Google Scholar
  4. SOURCE: Isaac Newton, Principia (London, 1687), Book I, Andrew Motte’s translation (London, 1729).Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1970

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  • Marie Boas Hall

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