# Definition:Newtonian Potential/Historical Note

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## Historical Note on Newtonian Potential

The concept of a **Newtonian potential** arose from the work of Isaac Newton, who first formulated what is now known as Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation.

Such a scalar field is the scalar potential of a conservative vector field whose properties are exactly those of the gravitational field given rise to by a point mass.

Because such a field arises in a number of different contexts in physics, the concept of a **Newtonian potential** was abstracted from this, and made general.

## Sources

- 1951: B. Hague:
*An Introduction to Vector Analysis*(5th ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $\text {V}$: Further Applications of the Operator $\nabla$: $9$. The Vector Field $\map \grad {k / r}$