While some may let pass the 5th of July with little more than a shrug, those in the scientific “know” mark it with reverence as it was the day in 1687 that saw the publication of one of the most – perhaps even the most – important works on time, force, and motion ever written: Sir Isaac Newton’s Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy).

For those up to the challenge, the University of California Press recently published a new paperback edition of this monumental work in their The Principia; The Authoritative Translation and Guide: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. Translated by I. Bernard Cohen, Anne Whitman, and Julia Budenz, this new authoritative modern English translation is the first to see print in 285 years and is based on the 1726 final revised version which Newton himself approved.

Admittedly, even for many physicists and mathematicians, a complete reading of Newton’s Principia is quite an undertaking. Therefore, along with this new edition, perhaps a preliminary read through the Oxford University Press‘ Newton; A Very Short Introduction might be in order.