Newton Papers : College Notebook

'Isaac Newton'

Newton Papers

This small notebook was probably used by Newton from about 1664 to 1665. It contains notes from his reading on mathematics and geometry, showing particularly the influence of John Wallis and René Descartes. It also provides evidence of the development of Newton’s own mathematical thinking, including his study of infinite series and development of binomial theorem, the evolution of the differential calculus, and its application to the problem of quadratures and integration.

This notebook contains many blank pages (all shown) and has been used by Newton from both ends. Our presentation displays the notebook in a sensible reading order. It shows the ‘front’ cover and the 79 folios that follow (more than half of them blank) and then turns the notebook upside down showing the other cover and the pages that follow it. A full transcription is provided. The notebook was photographed while it was disbound in 2011.

The video above provides an introduction to Newton's mathematical thinking at the time of this manuscript.

Video describing folio 120v

University of Cambridge Cambridge Digital Library