Post by Arindam Banerjee
Newton was and will be the greatest physicist ever.
Chandrasekhar pays homage to Newton.
"Newton's Principia for the Common Reader" by S. Chandrasekhar
(1995) Clarendon Press, Oxford ISBN 0 19 851744 0
Quoting from "Great Physicists: The life and times of leading
physicists from Galileo to Hawking: by William H Cropper.
'For his final study, Chandra chose a remarkable subject--Isaac
Newton. Chandra was a student of science history and biography, and
he had a wide acquaintance among his contemporaries in physics and
astrophysics. But for him one scientist stood above all those of
the past and present, and that was Newton. He decided to pay homage
to Newton, and try to fathom his genius, by translating "for the
common reader" the parts of Newton's Principia that led to the
formulation of the gravitational law.
'Newton relied on the geometrical arguments that are all but
incomprehensible to a modern audience. To make them more
accessible, Chandra restated Newton's proofs in the now
conventional mathematical languages of algebra and calculus. His
method was to construct first his own proof for a proposition and
then to compare it with Newton's version. "The experience was a
sobering one," he writes. "Each time, I was left in sheer wonder at
the elegance, the careful arrangement, the imperial style, the
incredible originality, and above all the astonishing lightness of
Newton's proofs, and each time I felt like a schoolboy admonished
by the master."'
Title: Newton's Principia for the Common Reader (Physics)
Author: S. Chandrasekhar
Publisher: Clarendon Press
Published: July 1995
List Price: $320.00