Enlightenment Age Advances in Dynamics and Celestial Mechanics


Lerner KL. Enlightenment Age Advances in Dynamics and Celestial Mechanics. DRAFT COPY subsequently published in Science and Its Times: Understanding the Social Significance of Scientific Discovery. Thomson Gale. 2001.
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Using equations based on Newton's laws, 18th century mathematicians were able to develop the symbolism and formulae needed to advance the study of dynamics (the study of motion). An important consequence of these advancements allowed astronomers and mathematicians to more accurately and precisely calculate and describe the real and apparent motions of astronomical bodies (celestial mechanics) as well as to propose the dynamics related to the formation of the solar system. The refined analysis of celestial mechanics carried profound theological and philosophical ramifications in the Age of Enlightenment. Mathematicians and scientists, particularly those associated with French schools of mathematics, argued that if the small perturbations and anomalies in celestial motions could be completely explained by an improved understanding of celestial mechanics, i.e., that the solar system was really stable within defined limits, such a finding mooted the concept of a God required adjust the celestial mechanism. more

Last updated on 07/08/2019