Saturday, August 2, 2008

Sir Isaac Newton and Astrology

[portrait by Godfrey Kneller, public domain]

How Astrology Changed Sir Isaac Newton's Life [LOL]

I was recently reviewing an article I wrote on Sir Isaac Newton and getting more research, I discovered this statement:

"How [Sir Isaac] Newton was introduced to the most advanced mathematical texts of his day is slightly less clear. According to de Moivre, Newton's interest in mathematics began in the autumn of 1663 when he bought an astrology book at a fair in Cambridge and found that he could not understand the mathematics in it.

"Attempting to read a trigonometry book, he found that he lacked knowledge of geometry and so decided to read Barrow's edition of Euclid's Elements. The first few results were so easy that he almost gave up but he:-

" ... changed his mind when he read that parallelograms upon the same base and between the same parallels are equal.

Returning to the beginning, Newton read the whole book with a new respect."

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