The researchers came upon the notes while cataloging other manuscripts. Sir Isaac Newton is best remembered for his treatise, Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, which elucidates Newton's Three Laws of Motion that explain how mass and force interact. The Three Laws are fundamental to what is now called "classical physics", and although they do not apply in relativistic situations (that is, where velocities are a substantial fraction of the speed of light), they still hold for objects in our everyday lives.
Newton was also a student of alchemy, an attempt to transform material from one substance into another—usually common metals into precious ones. Most of alchemy has been discredited by modern science, but some of the principles of material categorization and experimental methods are the basis of some scientific studies today.