'If pulses are propagated through a fluid...', 1687.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Proposition 47, Theorem 37, from the first edition of Newton's 'Principia Mathematica' (1687): 'If pulses are propagated through a fluid, the individual particles of the fluid, going and returning with a very short alternating motion, are always accelerated and retarded in accordance with the law of an oscillating pendulum.' 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.