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Newton's Principia for the Common Reader

Newton's Principia for the Common Reader Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Representing a decade's work from one of the world's most distinguished physicists, this major publication is, as far as is known, the first comprehensive analysis of Newton's Principia without recourse to secondary sources. Chandrasekhar analyses some 150 propositions which form a direct chain leading to Newton's formulation of his universal law of gravitation. In each case, Newton's proofs are arranged in a linear sequence of equations and arguments, avoiding the need to unravel the necessarily convoluted style of Newton's connected prose. In almost every case, a modern version of the proofs is given to bring into sharp focus the beauty, clarity, and breathtaking economy of Newton's methods. This book will stimulate great interest and debate among the scientific community, illuminating the brilliance of Newton's work under the steady gaze of Chandrasekhar's rare perception.

Table of Contents


1. The beginnings and the writing of the Principia

2. Basic concepts: definition and axioms

3. On the notion of limits and the ratios of evanescent quantities

4. On the motion of particles under centripetal attraction: an introduction to Newton's treatment

5. The law of areas and some relations which follow

6. The motion of bodies along conic sections

7. Kepler's equation and its solution

8. The rectilinear ascent and descent of bodies

9. The conservation of energy and the initial value problem

10. On revolving orbits

11. A pause

12. The two-body problem

13. The method of the variations of the elements of a Kepler orbit and Newton's lunar theory: an introduction to propositions LXV-LXIX

14. The three body problem: the foundations of Newton's lunar theory

15. The superb theorems

16. Attraction by non-spherical bodies

17. A digression into Opticks

18. Prolegomenon

19. The universal law of gravitation

20. The figure of the earth and of the planets

21. On the theory of tides

22. The lunar theory

23. The precession of the equinoxes

24. On the comets

25. The effect of air-drag on the descent of bodies

26. The solid of least resistance

27. The problem of the brachistochrone

28. The velocity of sound and long waves in canals

Product Details

Oxford University Press
Oxford :
Chandrasekhar, S.
null, S.
History, Other | History of Science
Edition Number:
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references.
Series Volume:
no. 16
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
416 illus.
8.25 x 10.19 x 1.08 in 3.294 lb

Related Subjects

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Newton's Principia for the Common Reader
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Product details 624 pages Clarendon Press ;Oxford ;New York :Oxford University Press,1995 1997 printing - English 9780198517443 Reviews:
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