Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Celestial mechanics
(1,200 words)

1. Origins

Celestial mechanics, the description of the movements of the celestial bodies in the Solar System on the basis of early modern mechanics, originated with Newton’s theory of gravitation (Weight), or, more precisely, with the questions he formulated and only partly answered in Book Three of the Principia mathematica (1687).

The most demanding of these problems included the planetary perturbations that result from the interaction of the gravitational m…

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Guicciardini, Niccolò, “Celestial mechanics”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 24 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_020939>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907

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