*Macmillan Science Library: Mathematics*. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.

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## Advances in Celestial Mechanics

Isaac Newton was born the year that Galileo died, so there is a sense that the investigations begun by Kepler and Galileo continued in an unbroken chain through the life of Newton. Newton was a mathematician and scientist who was profoundly influenced by the work of his predecessors. Mathematically, he was able to synthesize the work of Kepler and others into perhaps the most useful mathematical tool ever devised, the **calculus**. Scientifically, among Newton's many accomplishments, his work in celestial mechanics can be considered a generalization and explanation of Kepler's three laws of planetary motion. As early as 1596, Kepler had made reference to a force (he used the word "souls") that seemed to emanate from the Sun, resulting in the planets' orbits. Despite many years of work, Kepler was unable to specifically identify this force. Newton not only named the...

This section contains 2,096 words(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page) |