Tag Archives: Celestial Mechanics

this day in the yesteryear: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica Published (1687)


A page from the 1726 edition of the Principia.
A page from the 1726 edition of the Principia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica Published (1687)

Newton’s Principia represents one of the greatest milestones in the history of science and marked the beginning of the modern period of mechanics and astronomy. The text includes Newton’s three famous laws of motion, treatises on dynamics and fluid motion, the unification of terrestrial and celestial mechanics under the principle of gravitation, and an explanation of Kepler’s laws of planetary motion. Principia grew out of Newton’s correspondence with what famous astronomer? More… Discuss

Title page of 'Principia', first edition (1687).

Title page of ‘Principia’, first edition (1687). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Mary Fairfax Somerville (1780)

Somerville became an accomplished science writer at a time when women’s involvement in the sciences was generally discouraged. She earned widespread recognition for her 1831 translation of Pierre-Simon Laplace‘s five-volume Mécanique Céleste (Celestial Mechanics), a project she undertook for the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, which aimed to adapt scientific material for the rapidly expanding reading public. What term was coined in a review of one of her other works? More… Discuss