Newton's Gift: How Sir Isaac Newton Unlocked the System of the World (英語) ハードカバー – 2000/10/10
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Sir Isaac Newton is among the giants of the scientific era. It was Newton who conceived the imperial vision of mathematical physics and Newton again who created the first and perhaps the greatest of scientific theories. Physicists searching for the elusive final theory that will conclusively explain matter in all of its manifestations are his heirs. Yet for all that, Newton has remained inaccessible to most modern readers, and even to many scientists, indisputably great but indisputably remote. In this witty, engaging, and often moving examination of Newton's life, David Berlinski recovers the man behind the mathematical breakthroughs. The story carries the reader from Newton's unremarkable childhood to his awkward undergraduate days at Cambridge and then to the astonishing year in which, working alone, he laid the foundation for his system of the world. Thereafter, Berlinski describes the creation of Newton's masterpiece, the "Principia Mathematica," the monumental feuds that poisoned his soul and that wearied his supporters, and Newton's final re-creation of himself as the master of England's financial system. This is less an exhaustive biography than an appreciation of Newton's greatest accomplishment. When he brought together years of work and towering logic into his "system of the world," Newton projected just one human mind to the outermost stars and planets. At once, he forever redefined the meaning of "nature," and of man's place in the cosmos. This seminal creative act has proved more powerful than that of any politician or king and more long-lasting than any dynasty. "Newton's Gift" is an edifying celebration of a transcendent man.
New Scientist This is Newton brought to life. You step through its pages into his mind.
Julia Keller Chicago Tribune David Berlinski plus any topic equals an extraordinary book...Making simple and accessible that which had previously been murky and intimidating is Berlinski's speciality.
Hugo Rossi American Scientist Berlinski does a masterful job...The architecture of Newton's physics is laid out here clearly and sharply.
The Christian Century Berlinski draws an elegant portrait of Isaac Newton and his scientific discoveries that will captivate...A thoroughly engaging and sensitive guide to Newton's "soul-shattering worldview." --このテキストは、絶版本またはこのタイトルには設定されていない版型に関連付けられています。
Mr. Berlinski does not call himself a mathematician. His Curriculum Vitae does not list numerous and continual treatises of interest primarily to mathematicians. He knows the field, at least through three dimensional vector calculus. His mastery lets him control the level at which he presents Newton's accomplishments to the reader. Berlinski mentions that Newton himself was less a mathematician than a physicist, which in no way diminishes Newton's supreme accomplishments. Berlinski compares the approaches of Newton and Leibniz, Leibniz being superior in simple and straightforward mathematical notation -- as the scientific world has clearly followed for the last three centuries. If your aim is to advance or refresh your learning of math, you will need to proceed through additional books, some of which, by the way, could be Berlinski's own.
Nor is Berlinski's intent to be a definitive biographer of Sir Isaac. If that is what you want, Berlinski gives a standard reference. Berlinski's focus is narrower. He presents Newton himself, his personality, peculiarities, personal relationships, and limitations. Are you going to like Newton as you read this book? Perhaps you will, but that is not the point. Perhaps he is not "likeable" as such. You will understand him more, and more importantly you will be introduced to his significance in the scientific world. You will find him as one of the most antisocial of men, most markedly during the so-called "miracle year" of his discoveries. Soon after becoming an eminent member of the scientific world, he loses interest in those studies and leaves it to others to advance them, turning instead to the rather mundane work of a sinecure he is given -- Warden of the Mint -- and waging a highly successful personal war against counterfeiting.
In closing, let me point out the Appendix to "Newton's Gift." Berlinski calls it "Descent into Detail." A nice touch, since as we all know, the devil is in the details, and you can guess what the descent is into. The appendix is a rapid and overall view of the math and physical concepts in the book. The first subheading is called "A Brief Mathematical Chrestomathy." An excellent word choice, for the reader's entry into Newton's world of advanced mathematics and the physical relationships of material bodies, benefits from the aid given by selected terms and figures to help understand the language spoken by the brilliant natives you will find there.
The book also shows that Newton, although a man with one of the most powerful minds in history, was still a human, with very "pedestrian" weaknesses. That only enhance the greatnes of the man.
The book is very fast to read, and a great companion in the metro
In 1667 Newton returned to Cambridge, spending twenty-seven year there. His passion for mathematics had exhausted itself. Newton discovered that gravity could be extended to the orb of the moon. At age twenty-seven Newton became the Lucasian professor of mathematics. In the 1670's Newton lectured on white light, (the particle theory of light). In 1670 he designed and made a small reflecting telescope. He was made a member of the Royal Society.
Hooke wrangled with Newton over his theory of color. In 1684 Newton produced ON THE MOTION OF BODIES IN AN ORBIT. Newton spent the next two years composing the PRINCIPIA. He delivered the manuscript to the Royal Society in 1687. It covers Newton's law of inertia, law of acceleration, law of action and reaction, law of absolute time, and law of absolute space. The treatise is both mathematical and physical. It explains change in the universe. Newton succeeded Hooke to the presidency of the Royal Society. THE OPTICS was published in 1704.
At the end of his life, Newton reinvented himself as a civil servant, Master of the English Mint. He sought to break the wheel of counterfeiting. The Appendix is termed a descent into detail by the author. There is also a Newton chronology and an index at the close of this engaging book.