Newton’s Handwritten Notes on Laws of Motion Published Online for First Time

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Original handwritten manuscripts by Sir Isaac Newton -- including the great scientist's famous laws of motion -- were published online Monday for the first time.

Cambridge University put 4,000 pages of Newton's most important scientific works, including an annotated copy of Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, on the internet for the public to access for free.

Grant Young, Digitization Manager at the Library, said, "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. Newton's copy of his Principia shows how methodically he worked through his text; marking alterations, crossing out and annotating his work in preparation for the second edition."

The online collection also includes Newton's "Waste Book" -- a large notebook the scientist inherited from his stepfather that he used to make notes and calculations when he was forced to leave his studies in Cambridge during the Great Plague.

It was in Principia Mathematica, first published in July 1687, that Newton expressed his theories on the laws of motion and universal gravitation. It is seen as one of the most significant scientific breakthroughs ever made.

The university plans to upload thousands more pages of Newton's work in the coming months, and will later add the archive of the celebrated Board of Longitude and the papers of Charles Darwin.

The manuscripts are available at the Cambridge Digital Library.