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Absolute or Relative Motion?: Volume 1, The Discovery of Dynamics: A Study from a Machian Point of View of the Discovery and the Structure of Dynamical Theories

Overview

This richly detailed biography captures both the personal life and the scientific career of Isaac Newton, presenting a fully rounded picture of Newton the man, the scientist, the philosopher, the theologian, and the public figure. Professor Westall treats all aspects of Newton's career, but his account centers on a full description of Newton's achievements in science. Thus the core of the work describes the development of the calculus, the experimentation that altered the direction of the science of optics, and ...

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Overview

This richly detailed biography captures both the personal life and the scientific career of Isaac Newton, presenting a fully rounded picture of Newton the man, the scientist, the philosopher, the theologian, and the public figure. Professor Westall treats all aspects of Newton's career, but his account centers on a full description of Newton's achievements in science. Thus the core of the work describes the development of the calculus, the experimentation that altered the direction of the science of optics, and especially the investigations in celestial dynamics that led to the law of universal gravitation.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Subtitled: A study from a Machian point of view of the discovery and the structure of dynamic theories. Barbour presents an original study of the discovery of dynamics, covering the period from antiquity to the publication 300 years ago of Newton's Principia. It includes a detailed discussion of the development of ancient Greek astronomy, the Copernican revolution, the discovery of the laws of planetary motion of Kepler, Galileo's first great discoveries in the study of terrestrial motions, and the important contributions of Descartes and Huygens. The last quarter of the book is devoted to Newton and the clarification of the key dynamical concepts that he introduced. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521324670
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1989
  • Pages: 768
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.85 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; Acknowledgements; Introduction to Volumes I and II; 1. Preliminaries; 2. Aristotle: first airing of the absolute/relative problem; 3. Hellenistic astronomy: the foundations are laid; 4. The Middle Ages: first stirrings of the scientific revolution; 5. Copernicus: the flimsy arch; 6. Kepler: the dominion of the sun; 7. Galileo: the geometrization of motion; 8. Descartes and the new world; 9. Huygens: relativity and centrifugal force; 10. Newton I: the discovery of dynamics; 11. Newton II: absolute or relative motion?; 12. Post-Newtonian conceptual clarification of Newtonian dynamics; Abbreviations for works quoted frequently in the references; References; Index.

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