First edition of “Principia Mathematica” has become the most expensive scientific work ever sold in history
A first edition of Isaac Newton’s “Principia Mathematica” was sold for $ 3.7 million, making it the most expensive printed scientific book ever sold at auction. The offer was made by the auction house Cristie’s in New York last Wednesday (14). The information is from The Guardian.
It is one of the 80 books printed in 1687 and intended for the European market. The buyer, of unknown origin, bought the work for two and a half times the value of the initial bid. In 2013, a copy of the same Newton book, made for King James II, was sold by the same auction house for $ 2.5 million.
“Principia Mathematica” elenca, among other postulations, the laws of motion and the universal law of gravity of Newton. It was to Albert Einstein of “perhaps the greatest intellectual step ever taken by a man.”
Considered as a landmark in human thought, the work has historical importance and protagonism in the development of science, having influenced from applied mathematics to basic concepts of physics.
The astronomer Edmund Halley (who later names the comet) edited Newton’s work and would have been encouraging the physicist to produce a single text exposing his ideas. Halley still paid for the impression since the Royal Society had run out of funds.
The Royal Society has two copies of the book, including an original manuscript used to make the first print in 1687, which is described as the “great treasure.”