I'm interested in when and how Isaac Newton's mechanics first came to be applied practically in engine design. Did for example Thomas Newcomen take advantage on Newtons discoveries when he invented the so called atmospheric engine in 1712?

  • $\begingroup$ Because this gets into the rivalries of late 17th century physicists, you're going to have to tell us what's more important: Whether Newcomen was inspired by the ideas themselves, or whether Newcomen was inspired by ideas he knew came from Newton. $\endgroup$
    – Spencer
    Jul 14, 2018 at 1:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Spencer Let's say, made use of what's in Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica. Be it Thomas Newcomen or someone else. $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Jul 14, 2018 at 6:06
  • $\begingroup$ Are you really limiting yourself to the Principia? The way Q&A goes around here, it's preferable to trace back to some quotation from an original work. Now, in the time period in question, who formulated what, versus who published what, is a hopeless muddle. So I'll ask again: Are you trying to trace an invention back to one of Newton's publications specifically? Or are you more interested in the material itself? Even if it might have come from one of Newton's competitors, or one of the giants whose shoulders Newton famously said he'd stood upon? $\endgroup$
    – Spencer
    Jul 14, 2018 at 9:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Spencer OK, never mind! $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Jul 15, 2018 at 19:07
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    $\begingroup$ it was René Descartes, . In his "Principles of Philosophy," Descartes proposed three laws of nature. The first law states "that each thing, as far as is in its power, always remains in the same state; and that consequently, when it is once moved, it always continues to move." The second holds that "all movement is, of itself, along straight lines." This is Newton's first law, clearly stated in a book published in 1644 -- when Newton was still a newborn! should one look for earlier applications...also..i just wonder. $\endgroup$
    – drvrm
    Jul 17, 2018 at 19:43


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