Absolute or Relative Motion?: The Discovery of Dynamics Volume 1
This richly detailed biography captures both the personal life and the scientific career of Isaac Newton, presenting a fully rounded picture of Newton the man, the scientist, the philosopher, the theologian, and the public figure. Professor Westall treats all aspects of Newton's career, but his account centers on a full description of Newton's achievements in science. Thus the core of the work describes the development of the calculus, the experimentation that altered the direction of the science of optics, and especially the investigations in celestial dynamics that led to the law of universal gravitation.
- Hardback | 768 pages
- 152 x 234 x 47mm | 1,255g
- 01 Aug 1989
- CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Cambridge, United Kingdom
Table of contents
Preface; Acknowledgements; Introduction to Volumes I and II; 1. Preliminaries; 2. Aristotle: first airing of the absolute/relative problem; 3. Hellenistic astronomy: the foundations are laid; 4. The Middle Ages: first stirrings of the scientific revolution; 5. Copernicus: the flimsy arch; 6. Kepler: the dominion of the sun; 7. Galileo: the geometrization of motion; 8. Descartes and the new world; 9. Huygens: relativity and centrifugal force; 10. Newton I: the discovery of dynamics; 11. Newton II: absolute or relative motion?; 12. Post-Newtonian conceptual clarification of Newtonian dynamics; Abbreviations for works quoted frequently in the references; References; Index.
'This monumental scientific biography provides a masterly, well-documented summary of contemporary views of all the many facets of Newton's astounding wide-ranging career.' Nature 'The first detailed biography of Newton written by a professional historian of science who, over the years, has mastered the prodigious literature, weighted it judiciously, and still manages to reveal new insights by delving into the mass of Newton's unpublished writings. Westall has produced a work of major significance.' Science 'A monumental biography, and a delight to read.' The New Yorker 'Richard Westall has done Newton proud.' The Economist