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Never at Rest : A Biography of Isaac Newton

4.17 (205 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

This richly detailed 1981 biography captures both the personal life and the scientific career of Isaac Newton, presenting a fully rounded picture of Newton the man, the scientist, the philosopher, the theologian, and the public figure. Professor Westfall treats all aspects of Newton's career, but his account centres on a full description of Newton's achievements in science. Thus the core of the work describes the development of the calculus, the experimentation that altered the direction of the science of optics, and especially the investigations in celestial dynamics that led to the law of universal gravitation.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 928 pages
  • 155 x 234 x 51mm | 1,320g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • Worked examples or Exercises
  • 0521274354
  • 9780521274357
  • 231,200

Table of contents

Preface; Acknowledgments; A note about dates; Abbreviations used in footnotes; 1. The discovery of a new world; 2. A sober, silent, thinking lad; 3. The solitary scholar; 4. Resolving problems by motion; 5. Anni mirabiles; 6. Lucasian professor; 7. Publication and crisis; 8. Rebellion; 9. Years of silence; 10. Principia; 11. Revolution; 12. The Mint; 13. President of the Royal Society; 14. The priority dispute; 15. Years of decline; Bibliographical essay; List of illustrations; Index.
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Review quote

'This monumental scientific biography provides a masterly, well-documented summary of contemporary views of all the many facets of Newton's astoundingly wide-ranging career.' Nature 'The first detailed biography of Newton written by a professional historian of science who, over the years, has mastered the prodigious literature, weighed it judiciously, and still manages to reveal new insights by delving into the mass of Newton's unpublished writings. Westfall has produced a work of major significance.' Science 'A monumental biography, and a delight to read.' The New Yorker 'Richard Westfall has done Newton proud.' The Economist "The hallmarks are impeccable detail and clarity...The copious footnotes, for example, generally refer to original manuscripts, letters and memoranda that are out of reach of most students and scholars. The superb quality of this book promises to give it a prominent place in the modern scholarly literature about Isaac Newton." David L. Heiserman, Science Books & Films "Although there have been other biographies of Newton in the past, this is the first one to be based on an extensive use of the manuscript sources. It is more than merely the biography of a man and an account of the development of his ideas. It is a fundamental resource work on the Scientific Revolution, a work that should be on the shelves of every scholar interested in the main currents of ideas of the seventeenth century or any aspects of the early history of modern science." American Historical Review "...this biography is to be applauded and recommended...we must all read Westfall's biography and admire it..." Eighteenth-Century Studies "...fills a decided gap in modern history of science and stands in the very first rank of our advancing understanding of one of the world's greatest geniuses...we must all owe an incalculable scholarly debt to this outstanding book. Westfall's confrontation with Newton's manuscripts, an act of historical integrity that involved sustained and arduous labour for many years, opens up dimensions of Newton's restless genius which we had never before suspected." Ambix "This must be one of the best biographies ever penned." Spaceflight "Here at last is a Newton in whom we can believe...In short, this is as complete a biography as modern scholarship can provide." The Observatory "No private library of an educated person should be without it on the shelf." Industrial Mathematics
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Rating details

205 ratings
4.17 out of 5 stars
5 45% (92)
4 33% (68)
3 17% (35)
2 4% (8)
1 1% (2)
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