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Science & Technology

Isaac Newton science book sells for $3.7M

By T.K. Randall
December 21, 2016 · Comment icon 5 comments

Isaac Newton is often considered to be the father of modern science. Image Credit: Public Domain
The 300-year-old publication has become the most expensive printed science book ever sold at auction.
Described by Albert Einstein as "perhaps the greatest intellectual stride that it has ever been granted to any man to make," the book, which is entitled Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica ( or Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy ), was passed to astronomer Edmond Halley for editing before being printed and sold in London back in 1687.

The goat-skinned tome, which contains 252 leaves and several woodcut diagrams, is one of only two copies sold at auction in the last 47 years making it an extremely rare item indeed.
Expected to sell for over $1M, it eventually went for $3.7M to an unnamed bidder.

"It's not just the history and development of science; it's one of the greatest books ever published," said Keith Moore, head of the Royal Society library.

"It was hugely influential in terms of applying mathematics to basic physical problems."

Source: Live Science | Comments (5)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by paperdyer 8 years ago
Considering what passed for paper in those days, I'm surprised the book is that good of shape, as shown in the picture.  I'd be afraid to touch it.  Those pages must be quite brittle by now.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Saru 8 years ago
That's one expensive book.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Parsec 8 years ago
Actually not really, they were generally sturdier than nowadays prints. 
Comment icon #4 Posted by coolguy 8 years ago
If i had millions of extra dollars i would have gotten this book great histroy
Comment icon #5 Posted by Codenwarra 8 years ago
At the Royal Society library

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