Mechanism of the Heavens

Mechanism of the Heavens


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Published in 1831, this work forms part of a collection of introductory volumes suggested by Henry, Lord Brougham and Vaux, the Lord Chancellor, for the Society of the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. Due to the exceptional mathematical ability of its author, however, it outgrew its original plan and has since been seen as a rather more ambitious project. Praised by Somerville's contemporary Sir John Herschel for its presentation of general astronomical theories and the mechanical principles employed in their derivation, the work was a tour de force of scientific and technical exposition. It is especially remarkable both for its author's firm grasp of the subject, especially given her lack of formal mathematical training, and for its clear outline of Newtonian philosophy for a popular audience.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781108001571
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 07/20/2009
Series: Cambridge Library Collection - Physical Sciences Series
Pages: 700
Product dimensions: 5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.54(d)

Table of Contents

Preliminary dissertation; Introduction; Book I: 1. Definitions, axioms, etc.; 2. Variable motion; 3. Equilibrium of a system of bodies; 4. Motion of a system of bodies; 5. The motion of a solid body of any form whatever; 6. On the equilibrium of fluids; 7. Motion of fluids; Book II: 1. Progress of astronomy; 2. On the law of universal gravitation; 3. On the differential equations of the motion of a system of bodies; 4. On the elliptical motion of the planets; 5. Theory of the perturbation of the planets; 6. Secular inequalities of the elements of the orbits; 7. Periodic variations in the elements of the planetary orbits; 8. Perturbations of the planets; 9. Second method of finding the perturbations of a planet; 10. The theory of Jupiter and Saturn; 11. Inequalities occasioned by the ellipticity of the sun; 12. Perturbations in the motions of the planets occasioned by the action of their satellites; 13. Data for computing the celestial motions; 14. Numerical values of the perturbation of Jupiter; Book III: 1. Lunar theory; 2. Numerical values of the coefficients; 3. Inequalities from the form of the earth; 4. Inequalities from the action of the planets; 5. Effects of the secular variation in the plane of the ecliptic; 6. Effects of an ethereal medium on the motions of the moon; Book 4: 1. Theory of Jupiter's satellites; 2. First approximation; 3. Second approximation; 4. Inequalities of the eccentricities; 5. Inequalities of the disturbing force; 6. Theory of Jupiter's satellites (continued); 7. Perturbation of the satellites in latitude; 8. Numerical versions of the perturbations; 9. Eclipses of Jupiter's satellites; Index.

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