To determine the trajectory of a comet moving in a parabola...', 1687.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Proposition 41, Problem 21, from the first edition of Newton's 'Principia Mathematica' (1687): 'To determine the trajectory of a comet moving in a parabola, from three given observations.' The discoveries of English physicist and mathematician Isaac Newton (1642-1727) were prolific and hugely influential on science and thought. His work included the three laws of motion, the theory of gravitation, the law of cooling, the binomial theorem and the calculus.