*Science and Its Times*. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.

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## Enlightenment-Age Advances in Dynamics and Celestial Mechanics

## Overview

Using equations based on Newton's laws, eighteenth 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...

This section contains 1,782 words(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page) |