Synopses & Reviews
"Newton's Gravity" conveys the power of simple mathematics to tell the fundamental truth about nature. Many people, for example, know the tides are caused by the pull of the Moon and to a lesser extent the Sun. But very few can explain exactly how and why that happens. Fewer still can calculate the
Adroitly conveying the power of simple mathematics to reveal Nature's fundamental truths, this manual of Newtonian mechanics focuses on our developing knowledge of orbital motion, with real-life problems and case studies that cross disciplinary boundaries.
About the Author
Douglas W. MacDougal has a degree in mathematics, with a minor in physics, from the University of Vermont, and is an adjunct professor at Portland State University teaching celestial mechanics and (previously) astronomy. For many years he also taught courses in astronomy and mathematics in Portland's Saturday Academy, whose classes typically include gifted middle school and high school students. MacDougal is a lifelong amateur astronomer, and he teaches every summer at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) Astronomy Camp in the Oregon desert, showing students the stars through his 18-inch telescope.
Table of Contents
Preface.- Chapter 1: Introduction - The Twin Mysteries of Mass.- Chapter 2: Galileo's Great Discovery - How Things Fall.- Chapter 3: Christiaan Huygens' Remarkable Pendulum.- Chapter 4: The Geometry of the Solar System - Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion.- Chapter 5: How the Moon Falls Toward the Earth (but keeps missing it).- Chapter 6: Newton's Moon Test.- Chapter 7: Newton Demonstrate How an Inverse Square Law Could Explain Planetary Motions.- Chapter 8: Newton's Master Stroke - The Universal Law of Gravitation.- Chapter 9: Determining the Value of g on Earth.- Chapter 10: A Binary System Close to Home - How the Moon and Earth Orbit Each Other.- Chapter 11: Using Kepler's Third Law to Find the Masses of Stars and Planets.- Chapter 12: Motion in Elliptical Orbits.- Chapter 13: The Energy and Geometry of Orbits.- Chapter 14: Introduction to Spaceflight.- Chapter 15: Getting Oriented - The Sun, the Earth, and the Ecliptic Planet.- Chapter 16: An Introduction to Kepler's Problem - Finding the True Anomaly of an Orbiting Body.- Chapter 17: What Causes the Tides?.- Chapter 18: Moon, Rings, and the Ripping Forces of Tides.- Chapter 19: Hovering in Space - Those Mysterious Langrangian Points.- Appendix: Solutions.- Index.