SR-36-Newton & Principia(3)

SR-36-Newton & Principia(3) - that elliptical orbits...

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The Roots of Newton’s Principia Isaac Newton’s 1687 book Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (‘The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy’) is widely regarded as the greatest single scientific work of all time. After the mid-1660s, Newton turned for a time from mathematics and physics to alchemical and theological studies. • Alchemy led him toward a view of matter as a source of active powers and affinities. • Theological studies led him to reject the doctrine of the Trinity, and to view God primarily as the all-wise Creator and Lord of the Universe. A 1679 letter from Robert Hooke led Newton to analyze planets’ orbits in terms of a tangential motion combined with an attraction toward the Sun, and to work out
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Unformatted text preview: that elliptical orbits implied an inverse-square (1/R 2 ) attraction law. In 1684, a question from Edmond Halley (1656–1743) led Newton to write up a brief manuscript, ‘De Motu Corporum in Gyrum’ (‘On the Motion of Bodies in Orbit’) in which he briefly stated his laws of motion and applied them to the planetary system; showed that 1/R 2 attraction led to elliptical orbits. Caught up in the problem, Newton worked intensively from fall 1684 to early 1687. Halley oversaw publication of resulting Principia ; appeared in July 1687 and soon aroused great interest in scientific circles....
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This note was uploaded on 12/03/2011 for the course HISTORY 322D taught by Professor Hunt during the Fall '11 term at University of Texas.

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