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Isaac Newton's Scientific MethodTurning Data into Evidence about Gravity and Cosmology$
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William L. Harper

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199570409

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570409.001.0001

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Newton's Phenomena

Newton's Phenomena

(p.50) 2 Newton's Phenomena
Isaac Newton's Scientific Method

William L. Harper

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews the phenomena Newton cites. It introduces Römer’s measurement of a finite speed of light obtained from eclipses of one of Jupiter’s moons. It reviews Newton’s Phenomenon 1 and the data he cites in support of the area rule and harmonic rule for Jupiter’s moons. It introduces Newton’s phenomenon 2 and the data he cites in support of the area and harmonic rules for satellites of Saturn. It reviews Newton’s phenomenon 3, that the orbits of the planets encompass the sun, his phenomenon 4, Kepler’s harmonic rule for the planets, and his phenomenon 5, Kepler’s area rule for the planets. Appendix 1 gives details of Römer’s calculation. Appendix 2 gives a more detailed assessment of the satellite data cited by Newton. Appendix 3 gives details of Kepler’s determinations of periods and mean distances, as well as Kepler’s equation for area rule motion in his elliptical orbits.

Keywords:   phenomena, Römer, area rule, harmonic rule, moons of Jupiter, satellites of Saturn, Kepler, elliptical orbit, periods, mean distances

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