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Look Inside Mechanism of the Heavens

Mechanism of the Heavens


Part of Cambridge Library Collection - Physical Sciences

  • Date Published: July 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108001571

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About the Authors
  • 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.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108001571
    • length: 700 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 140 x 39 mm
    • weight: 0.88kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preliminary dissertation
    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

  • Translator

    Mary Somerville


    Pierre-Simon Laplace

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