The Investigation of Difficult Things: Essays on Newton and the History of the Exact Sciences in Honour of D. T. Whiteside

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This book is a collection of twenty original essays on the history of science and mathematics, written in honor of D.T. Whiteside. The topics covered embrace the main themes of Whiteside's scholarly work, emphasizing Newtonian topics including: mathematics and astronomy, Newton's manuscripts, Newton's Principia, Newton and eighteenth-century mathematics and physics, and optics and dynamics after Newton. The focus of these themes gives the volume considerable coherence, and these essays make available important original work on Newton and the history of the exact sciences.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...a fitting tribute to a distinguished editor and a remarkable scholar. It will find its place in any good library for the history of science next to the eight volumes of 'The Mathematical Papers of Isaac Newton', which have become an essential reference for anyone interested in the history of scientific revolution." William R. Shea, Nature

"...a valuable reference for those libraries that maintain a collection in the history of methematics and science." Clair G. Wood, Science Books and Films

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521892667
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/7/2002
  • Pages: 548
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Part I. Mathematics and Astronomy to Newton: 1. Lunar velocity in the Ptolemaic tradition Bernard R. Goldstein; 2. The Sciametria from Kepler's Hipparchus N. M. Swerdlow; 3. Descartes, Pappus' problem, and the Cartesian parabola Henk Bos; 4. Honoré Fabry E. A. Fellman; Part II. Newton's Manuscripts: 5. Sotheby's Keyens and Yahuda P. E. Spargo: 6. De Scriptoribus chemicis Karin Figala et al; 7. Beyond the dating game Alan Shapiro; Part III. Newton's Principia: 8. The critical role of curvature in Newton's developing dynamics Bruce Brackenridge; 9. Newton and the absolutes A. Rupert Hall; 8. Newton's ontology Zev Bechler; 10. Newton's mathematical principles of natural philosophy Alan Gabbey; 11. The review of the first edition of Newton's Principia in the Acta Eruditorum Bernard Cohen; 12. Newton, Cotes David Fowler; Part IV. Newton and Eighteenth-Century Mathematics and Physics: 14. A study of spirals Ronald Cowing; 15. The fragmentation of the European mathematical community Lenore Feigenbaum; 16. Euler on action at a distance and fundamental equations in continuum mechanics Curtis Wilson; 17. St Peter and the rotation of the Earth Domenico Bertolini Meli; Part V. After Newton: 18. Why Stokes never wrote a treatise on optics Jed Buchwald; 19. Maxwell and Saturn's rings Peter M. Harman; 20. Poincare, topological dynamics Jeremy Gray.

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