In 1687 Isaac Newton laid the foundations for the new world-view of physics in his famous Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. The elliptical orbits of the planets, discovered by Kepler, were explained convincingly in terms of the law of universal gravitation. Newton was even able to calculate the small deviations of the planetary orbits from a perfect elliptical form. Their origin was the mutual perturbation of the planets due to their gravitational attraction. This effect was most important for Jupiter and Saturn, the largest planets of the solar system. The observation showed that these planets deviated more and more from the original orbits.


Solar System Planetary System Black Body Radiation Planetary Orbit Present Science 
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References and Notes

  1. 1.
    The Leibniz-Clarke Correspondence ,H. G. Alexander, editor (Manchester University Press, Manchester, 1956), Clarke’s first reply.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Mr. Leibniz’s first paper, Ref. 1.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Clarke’s second reply, Ref. 1.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    The Confessions of St. Augustine (Boston, 1843), [XI], 14.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Reference 4, [XI], 15.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roman U. Sexl
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Theoretische PhysikUniversität WienViennaAustria

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