Newton's Principia for the Common Reader by S. ChandrasekharNewton's Principia for the Common Reader by S. Chandrasekhar

Newton's Principia for the Common Reader

byS. ChandrasekharAs told byS. Chandrasekhar

Paperback | December 1, 2002

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Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica provides a coherent and deductive presentation of his discovery of the universal law of gravitation. It is very much more than a demonstration that 'to us it is enough that gravity really does exist and act according to the laws which wehave explained and abundantly serves to account for all the motions of the celestial bodies and the sea'. It is important to us as a model of all mathematical physics.Representing a decade's work from a distinguished physicist, this is the first comprehensive analysis of Newton's Principia without recourse to secondary sources. Professor Chandrasekhar analyses some 150 propositions which form a direct chain leading to Newton's formulation of his universal law ofgravitation. 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 breath-taking economy of Newton's methods.Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar is one of the most reknowned scientists of the twentieth century, whose career spanned over 60 years. Born in India, educated at the University of Cambridge in England, he served as Emeritus Morton D. Hull Distinguished Service Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics at theUniversity of Chicago, where he has was based from 1937 until his death in 1996. His early research into the evolution of stars is now a cornerstone of modern astrophysics, and earned him the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1983. Later work into gravitational interactions between stars, the properties offluids, magnetic fields, equilibrium ellipsoids, and black holes has earned him awards throughout the world, including the Gold Medal from the Royal Astronomical Society in London (1953), the National Medal of Science in the United States (1966), and the Copley Medal from the Royal Society (1984).His many publications include Radiative transfer (1950), Hydrodynamic and hydromagnetic stability (1961), and The mathematical theory of black holes (1983), each being praised for its breadth and clarity. Newton's Principia for the common reader is the result of Professor Chandrasekhar's profoundadmiration for a scientist whose work he believed is unsurpassed, and unsurpassable.
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Title:Newton's Principia for the Common ReaderFormat:PaperbackDimensions:618 pages, 9.69 × 7.44 × 1.56 inPublished:December 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019852675X

ISBN - 13:9780198526759

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Table of Contents

Prologue1. The beginnings and the writing of the Principia2. Basic concepts: definition and axioms3. On the notion of limits and the ratios of evanescent quantities4. On the motion of particles under centripetal attraction: an introduction to Newton's treatment5. The law of areas and some relations which follow6. The motion of bodies along conic sections7. Kepler's equation and its solution8. The rectilinear ascent and descent of bodies9. The conservation of energy and the initial value problem10. On revolving orbits11. A pause12. The two-body problem13. The method of the variations of the elements of a Kepler orbit and Newton's lunar theory: an introduction to propositions LXV-LXIX14. The three body problem: the foundations of Newton's lunar theory15. The superb theorems16. Attraction by non-spherical bodies17. A digression into Opticks18. Prolegomenon19. The universal law of gravitation20. The figure of the earth and of the planets21. On the theory of tides22. The lunar theory23. The precession of the equinoxes24. On the comets25. The effect of air-drag on the descent of bodies26. The solid of least resistance27. The problem of the brachistochrone28. The velocity of sound and long waves in canals

Editorial Reviews

`The great joy of Chandrasekhar's book is that it repays all the attention one gives it...The veil of Newtonian obscurity is lifted and one begins to grasp the extent of Newton's achievement.'D. Hughes, Nature