The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (1846)/BookIII-Prop1

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PROPOSITIONS


PROPOSITION I. THEOREM I.

That the forces by which the circumjovial planets are continually drawn off from rectilinear motions, and retained in their proper orbits, tend to Jupiter's centre; and are reciprocally as the squares of the distances of the places of those planets from that centre.

The former part of this Proposition appears from Phaen. I, and Prop. II or III, Book I; the latter from Phaen. I, and Cor. 6, Prop. IV, of the same Book.

The same thing we are to understand of the planets which encompass Saturn, by Phaen. II.


PROPOSITION II. THEOREM II.

That the forces by which the primary planets are continually drawn off from rectilinear motions, and retained in their proper orbits, tend to the sun; and are reciprocally as the squares of the distances of the places of those planets from the suits centre.

The former part of the Proposition is manifest from Phaen. V, and Prop. II, Book I; the latter from Phaen. IV, and Cor. 6, Prop. IV, of the same Book. But this part of the Proposition is, with great accuracy, demonstrable from the quiescence of the aphelion points; for a very small aberration from the reciprocal duplicate proportion would (by Cor. 1, Prop. XLV, Book I) produce a motion of the apsides sensible enough in every single revolution, and in many of them enormously great.


PROPOSITION III. THEOREM III.

That the force by which the moon is retained in its orbit tends to the earth; and is reciprocally as the square of the distance of its place from the earth's centre.

The former part of the Proposition is evident from Phaen. VI, and Prop. II or III, Book I; the latter from the very slow motion of the moon's apogee; which in every single revolution amounting but to 3° 3' in consequentia, may be neglected. For (by Cor. 1. Prop. XLV, Book I) it appears, that, if the distance of the moon from the earth's centre is to the semi-diameter of the earth as D to 1, the force, from which such a motion will result, is reciprocally as D² 4243, i. e., reciprocally as the power of D, whose exponent is 24243; that is to say, in the proportion of the distance something greater than reciprocally duplicate, but which comes 59¾ times nearer to the duplicate than to the triplicate proportion. But in regard that this motion is owing to the action of the sun (as we shall afterwards shew), it is here to be neglected. The action of the sun, attracting the moon from the earth, is nearly as the moon's distance from the earth; and therefore (by what we have shewed in Cor. 2, Prop. XLV, Book I) is to the centripetal force of the moon as 2 to 357,45, or nearly so; that is, as 1 to 1782940. And if we neglect so inconsiderable a force of the sun, the remaining force, by which the moon is retained in its orb, will be reciprocally as D². This will yet more fully appear from comparing this force with the force of gravity, as is done in the next Proposition.

Cor. If we augment the mean centripetal force by which the moon is retained in its orb, first in the proportion of 1772940 to 1782940, and then in the duplicate proportion of the semi-diameter of the earth to the mean distance of the centres of the moon and earth, we shall have the centripetal force of the moon at the surface of the earth; supposing this force, in descending to the earth's surface, continually to increase in the reciprocal duplicate proportion of the height.


PROPOSITION IV. THEOREM IV.

That the moon gravitates towards the earth, and by the force of gravity is continually drawn off from a rectilinear motion, and retained in its orbit.

The mean distance of the moon from the earth in the syzygies in semi-diameters of the earth, is, according to Ptolemy and most astronomers, 59; according to Vendelin and Huygens, 60; to Copernicus, 60⅓; to Street, 6025; and to Tycho, 56½. But Tycho, and all that follow his tables of refraction, making the refractions of the sun and moon (altogether against the nature of light) to exceed the refractions of the fixed stars, and that by four or five minutes near the horizon, did thereby increase the moon's horizontal parallax by a like number of minutes, that is, by a twelfth or fifteenth part of the whole parallax. Correct this error, and the distance will become about 60½ semi-diameters of the earth, near to what others have assigned. Let us assume the mean distance of 60 diameters in the syzygies; and suppose one revolution of the moon, in respect of the fixed stars, to be completed in 27d.7h.43', as astronomers have determined; and the circumference of the earth to amount to 123249600 Paris feet, as the French have found by mensuration. And now if we imagine the moon, deprived of all motion, to be let go, so as to descend towards the earth with the impulse of all that force by which (by Cor. Prop. III) it is retained in its orb, it will in the space of one minute of time, describe in its fall 15112 Paris feet. This we gather by a calculus, founded either upon Prop. XXXVI, Book I, or (which comes to the same thing) upon Cor. 9, Prop. IV, of the same Book. For the versed sine of that arc, which the moon, in the space of one minute of time, would by its mean motion describe at the distance of 60 semi-diameters of the earth, is nearly 15112 Paris feet, or more accurately 15 feet, 1 inch, and 1 line 49. Where fore, since that force, in approaching to the earth, increases in the reciprocal duplicate proportion of the distance, and, upon that account, at the surface of the earth, is 60 60 times greater than at the moon, a body in our regions, falling with that force, ought in the space of one minute of time, to describe 60 60 15112 Paris feet; and, in the space of one second of time, to describe 15112 of those feet; or more accurately 15 feet, 1 inch, and 1 line 49. And with this very force we actually find that bodies here upon earth do really descend; for a pendulum oscillating seconds in the latitude of Paris will be 3 Paris feet, and 8 lines ½ in length, as Mr. Huygens has observed. And the space which a heavy body describes by falling in one second of time is to half the length of this pendulum in the duplicate ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter (as Mr. Huygens has also shewn), and is therefore 15 Paris feet, 1 inch, 1 line 79. And therefore the force by which the moon is retained in its orbit becomes, at the very surface of the earth, equal to the force of gravity which we observe in heavy bodies there. And therefore (by Rule I and II) the force by which the moon is retained in its orbit is that very same force which we commonly call gravity; for, were gravity another force different from that, then bodies descending to the earth with the joint impulse of both forces would fall with a double velocity, and in the space of one second of time would describe 3016 Paris feet; altogether against experience.

This calculus is founded on the hypothesis of the earth's standing still; for if both earth and moon move about the sun, and at the same time about their common centre of gravity, the distance of the centres of the moon and earth from one another will be 60½ semi-diameters of the earth; as may be found by a computation from Prop. LX, Book I.


SCHOLIUM.

The demonstration of this Proposition may be more diffusely explained after the following manner. Suppose several moons to revolve about the earth, as in the system of Jupiter or Saturn: the periodic times of these moons (by the argument of induction) would observe the same law which Kepler found to obtain among the planets; and therefore their centripetal forces would be reciprocally as the squares of the distances from the centre of the earth, by Prop. I, of this Book. Now if the lowest of these were very small, and were so near the earth as almost to touch the tops of the highest mountains, the centripetal force thereof, retaining it in its orb, would be very nearly equal to the weights of any terrestrial bodies that should be found upon the tops of those mountains, as may be known by the foregoing computation. Therefore if the same little moon should be deserted by its centrifugal force that carries it through its orb; and so be disabled from going onward therein, it would descend to the earth; and that with the same velocity as heavy bodies do actually fall with upon the tops of those very mountains; because of the equality of the forces that oblige them both to descend. And if the force by which that lowest moon would descend were different from gravity, and if that moon were to gravitate towards the earth, as we find terrestrial bodies do upon the tops of mountains, it would then descend with twice the velocity, as being impel led by both these forces conspiring together. Therefore since both these forces, that is, the gravity of heavy bodies, and the centripetal forces of the moons, respect the centre of the earth, and are similar and equal between themselves, they will (by Rule I and II) have one and the same cause. And therefore the force which retains the moon in its orbit is that very force which we commonly call gravity; because otherwise this little moon at the top of a mountain must either be without gravity, or fall twice as swiftly as heavy bodies are wont to do.


PROPOSITION V. THEOREM V.

That the circumjovial planets gravitate towards Jupiter; the circumsaturnal towards Saturn; the circumsolar towards the sun; and by the forces of their gravity are drawn off from rectilinear motions, and retained in curvilinear orbits.

For the revolutions of the circumjovial planets about Jupiter, of the circumsaturnal about Saturn, and of Mercury and Venus, and the other circumsolar planets, about the sun, are appearances of the same sort with the revolution of the moon about the earth; and therefore, by Rule II, must be owing to the same sort of causes; especially since it has been demonstrated, that the forces upon which those revolutions depend tend to the centres of Jupiter, of Saturn, and of the sun; and that those forces, in receding from Jupiter, from Saturn, and from the sun, decrease in the same proportion, and according to the same law, as the force of gravity does in receding from the earth.

Cor. 1. There is, therefore, a power of gravity tending to all the planets; for, doubtless, Venus, Mercury, and the rest, are bodies of the same sort with Jupiter and Saturn. And since all attraction (by Law III) is mutual, Jupiter will therefore gravitate towards all his own satellites, Saturn towards his, the earth towards the moon, and the sun towards all the primary planets.

Cor. 2. The force of gravity which tends to any one planet is reciprocally as the square of the distance of places from that planet's centre.

Cor. 3. All the planets do mutually gravitate towards one another, by Cor. 1 and 2. And hence it is that Jupiter and Saturn, when near their conjunction; by their mutual attractions sensibly disturb each other's motions. So the sun disturbs the motions of the moon; and both sun and moon disturb our sea, as we shall hereafter explain.


SCHOLIUM.

The force which retains the celestial bodies in their orbits has been hitherto called centripetal force; but it being now made plain that it can be no other than a gravitating force, we shall hereafter call it gravity. For the cause of that centripetal force which retains the moon in its orbit will extend itself to all the planets, by Rule I, II, and IV.


PROPOSITION VI. THEOREM VI.

That all bodies gravitate towards every planet; and that the weights of bodies towards any the same planet, at equal distances from the centre of the planet, are proportional to the quantities of matter which they severally contain.

It has been, now of a long time, observed by others, that all sorts of heavy bodies (allowance being made for the inequality of retardation which they suffer from a small power of resistance in the air) descend to the earth from equal heights in equal times; and that equality of times we may distinguish to a great accuracy, by the help of pendulums. I tried the thing in gold, silver, lead, glass, sand, common salt, wood, water, and wheat. I provided two wooden boxes, round and equal: I filled the one with wood, and suspended an equal weight of gold (as exactly as I could) in the centre of oscillation of the other. The boxes hanging by equal threads of 11 feet made a couple of pendulums perfectly equal in weight and figure, and equally receiving the resistance of the air. And, placing the one by the other, I observed them to play together forward and backward, for a long time, with equal vibrations. And therefore the quantity of matter in the gold (by Cor. 1 and 6, Prop. XXIV, Book II) was to the quantity of matter in the wood as the action of the motive force (or vis motrix) upon all the gold to the action of the same upon all the wood: that is, as the weight of the one to the weight of the other: and the like happened in the other bodies. By these experiments, in bodies of the same weight, I could manifestly have discovered a difference of matter less than the thousandth part of the whole, had any such been. But, without all doubt, the nature of gravity towards the planets is the same as towards the earth. For, should we imagine our terrestrial bodies removed to the orb of the moon, and there, together with the moon, deprived of all motion, to be let go, so as to fall together towards the earth, it is certain, from what we have demonstrated before, that, in equal times, they would describe equal spaces with the moon, and of consequence are to the moon, in quantity of matter, as their weights to its weight. Moreover, since the satellites of Jupiter perform their revolutions in times which observe the sesquiplicate proportion of their distances from Jupiter's centre, their accelerative gravities towards Jupiter will be reciprocally as the squares of their distances from Jupiter's centre; that is, equal, at equal distances. And, therefore, these satellites, if supposed to fall towards Jupiter from equal heights, would describe equal spaces in equal times, in like manner as heavy bodies do on our earth. And, by the same argument, if the circumsolar planets were supposed to be let fall at equal distances from the sun, they would, in their descent towards the sun, describe equal spaces in equal times. But forces which equally accelerate unequal bodies must be as those bodies: that is to say, the weights of the planets towards the sun, must be as their quantities of matter. Further, that the weights of Jupiter and of his satellites towards the sun are proportional to the several quantities of their matter, appears from the exceedingly regular motions of the satellites (by Cor. 3, Prop. LXV, Book 1). For if some of those bodies were more strongly attracted to the sun in proportion to their quantity of matter than others, the motions of the satellites would be disturbed by that inequality of attraction (by Cor. 2, Prop. LXV, Book I). If, at equal distances from the sun, any satellite, in proportion to the quantity of its matter, did gravitate towards the sun with a force greater than Jupiter in proportion to his, according to any given proportion, suppose of d to e; then the distance between the centres of the sun and of the satellite's orbit would be always greater than the distance between the centres of the sun and of Jupiter nearly in the subduplicate of that proportion: as by some computations I have found. And if the satellite did gravitate towards the sun with a force, lesser in the proportion of e to d, the distance of the centre of the satellite's orb from the sun would be less than the distance of the centre of Jupiter from the sun in the subduplicate of the same proportion. Therefore if, at equal distances from the sun, the accelerative gravity of any satellite towards the sun were greater or less than the accelerative gravity of Jupiter towards the sun but by one 11000 part of the whole gravity, the distance of the centre of the satellite's orbit from the sun would be greater or less than the distance of Jupiter from the sun by one 12000 part of the whole distance; that is, by a fifth part of the distance of the utmost satellite from the centre of Jupiter; an eccentricity of the orbit which would be very sensible. But the orbits of the satellites are concentric to Jupiter, and therefore the accelerative gravities of Jupiter, and of all its satellites towards the sun, are equal among themselves. And by the same argument, the weights of Saturn and of his satellites towards the sun, at equal distances from the sun, are as their several quantities of matter; and the weights of the moon and of the earth towards the sun are either none, or accurately proportional to the masses of matter which they contain. But some they are, by Cor. 1 and 3, Prop. V.

But further; the weights of all the parts of every planet towards any other planet are one to another as the matter in the several parts; for if some parts did gravitate more, others less, than for the quantity of their matter, then the whole planet, according to the sort of parts with which it most abounds, would gravitate more or less than in proportion to the quantity of matter in the whole. Nor is it of any moment whether these parts are external or internal; for if, for example, we should imagine the terrestrial bodies with us to be raised up to the orb of the moon, to be there compared with its body: if the weights of such bodies were to the weights of the external parts of the moon as the quantities of matter in the one and in the other respectively; but to the weights of the internal parts in a greater or less proportion, then likewise the weights of those bodies would be to the weight of the whole moon in a greater or less proportion; against what we have shewed above.

Cor. 1. Hence the weights of bodies do not depend upon their forms and textures; for if the weights could be altered with the forms, they would be greater or less, according to the variety of forms, in equal matter; altogether against experience.

Cor. 2. Universally, all bodies about the earth gravitate towards the earth; and the weights of all, at equal distances from the earth's centre, are as the quantities of matter which they severally contain. This is the quality of all bodies within the reach of our experiments; and therefore (by Rule III) to be affirmed of all bodies whatsoever. If the aether, or any other body, were either altogether void of gravity, or were to gravitate less in proportion to its quantity of matter, then, because (according to Aristotle, Des Cartes, and others) there is no diiference betwixt that and other bodies but in mere form of matter, by a successive change from form to form, it might be changed at last into a body of the same condition with those which gravitate most in proportion to their quantity of matter; and, on the other hand, the heaviest bodies, acquiring the first form of that body, might by degrees quite lose their gravity. And therefore the weights would depend upon the forms of bodies, and with those forms might be changed: contrary to what was proved in the preceding Corollary.

Cor. 3. All spaces are not equally full; for if all spaces were equally full, then the specific gravity of the fluid which fills the region of the air, on account of the extreme density of the matter, would fall nothing short of the specific gravity of quicksilver, or gold, or any other the most dense body; and, therefore, neither gold, nor any other body, could descend in air; for bodies do not descend in fluids, unless they are specifically heavier than the fluids. And if the quantity of matter in a given space can, by any rarefaction, be diminished, what should hinder a diminution to infinity?

Cor. 4. If all the solid particles of all bodies are of the same density, nor can be rarefied without pores, a void, space, or vacuum must be granted. By bodies of the same density, I mean those whose vires inertiae, are in the proportion of their bulks.

Cor. 5. The power of gravity is of a different nature from the power of magnetism; for the magnetic attraction is not as the matter attracted. Some bodies are attracted more by the magnet; others less; most bodies not at all. The power of magnetism in one and the same body may be increased and diminished; and is sometimes far stronger, for the quantity of matter, than the power of gravity; and in receding from the magnet decreases not in the duplicate but almost in the triplicate proportion of the distance, as nearly as I could judge from some rude observations.


PROPOSITION VII. THEOREM VII.

That there is a power of gravity tending to all bodies, proportional to the several quantities of matter which they contain.

That all the planets mutually gravitate one towards another, we have proved before; as well as that the force of gravity towards every one of them, considered apart, is reciprocally as the square of the distance of places from the centre of the planet. And thence (by Prop. LXIX, Book I, and its Corollaries) it follows, that the gravity tending towards all the planets is proportional to the matter which they contain.

Moreover, since all the parts of any planet A gravitate towards any other planet B; and the gravity of every part is to the gravity of the whole as the matter of the part to the matter of the whole; and (by Law III) to every action corresponds an equal re-action; therefore the planet B will, on the other hand, gravitate towards all the parts of the planet A; and its gravity towards any one part will be to the gravity towards the whole as the matter of the part to the matter of the whole.   Q.E.D.

Cor. 1. Therefore the force of gravity towards any whole planet arises from, and is compounded of, the forces of gravity towards all its parts. Magnetic and electric attractions afford us examples of this; for all attraction towards the whole arises from the attractions towards the several parts. The thing may be easily understood in gravity, if we consider a greater planet, as formed of a number of lesser planets, meeting together in one globe; for hence it would appear that the force of the whole must arise from the forces of the component parts. If it is objected, that, according to this law, all bodies with us must mutually gravitate one towards another, whereas no such gravitation any where appears, I answer, that since the gravitation towards these bodies is to the gravitation towards the whole earth as these bodies are to the whole earth, the gravitation towards them must be far less than to fall under the observation of our senses.

Cor. 2. The force of gravity towards the several equal particles of any body is reciprocally as the square of the distance of places from the particles; as appears from Cor. 3, Prop. LXXIV, Book I.

PROPOSITION VIII. THEOREM VIII.

In two spheres mutually gravitating each towards the other, if the matter in places on all sides round about and equi-distant from the centres is similar, the weight of either sphere towards the other will be reciprocally as the square of the distance between their centres.

After I had found that the force of gravity towards a whole planet did arise from and was compounded of the forces of gravity towards all its parts, and towards every one part was in the reciprocal proportion of the squares of the distances from the part, I was yet in doubt whether that reciprocal duplicate proportion did accurately hold, or but nearly so, in the total force compounded of so many partial ones; for it might be that the proportion which accurately enough took place in greater distances should be wide of the truth near the surface of the planet, where the distances of the particles are unequal, and their situation dissimilar. But by the help of Prop. LXXV and LXXVI, Book I, and their Corollaries, I was at last satisfied of the truth of the Proposition, as it now lies before us.

Cor. 1. Hence we may find and compare together the weights of bodies towards different planets; for the weights of bodies revolving in circles about planets are (by Cor. 2, Prop. IV, Book I) as the diameters of the circles directly, and the squares of their periodic times reciprocally; and their weights at the surfaces of the planets, or at any other distances from their centres, are (by this Prop.) greater or less in the reciprocal duplicate proportion of the distances. Thus from the periodic times of Venus, revolving about the sun, in 224d.16¾h, of the utmost circumjovial satellite revolving about Jupiter, in 16d.16815h.; of the Huygenian satellite about Saturn in 15d.22⅔h.; and of the moon about the earth in 27d.7h.43'; compared with the mean distance of Venus from the sun, and with the greatest heliocentric elongations of the outmost circumjovial satellite from Jupiter's centre, 8' 16"; of the Huygenian satellite from the centre of Saturn, 3'4"; and of the moon from the earth, 10'33": by computation I found that the weight of equal bodies, at equal distances from the centres of the sun, of Jupiter, of Saturn, and of the earth, towards the sun, Jupiter, Saturn, and the earth, were one to another, as 1, 11067, 13021, and 1169282 respectively. Then because as the distances are increased or diminished, the weights are diminished or increased in a duplicate ratio, the weights of equal bodies towards the sun, Jupiter, Saturn, and the earth, at the distances 10000, 997, 791, and 109 from their centres, that is, at their very superficies, will be as 10000, 943, 529, and 435 respectively. How much the weights of bodies are at the superficies of the moon, will be shewn hereafter.

Cor. 2. Hence likewise we discover the quantity of matter in the several planets; for their quantities of matter are as the forces of gravity at equal distances from their centres; that is, in the sun, Jupiter, Saturn, and the earth, as 1, 11067, 13021 and 1169282 respectively. If the parallax of the sun be taken greater or less than 10" 30"', the quantity of matter in the earth must be augmented or diminished in the triplicate of that proportion.

Cor. 3. Hence also we find the densities of the planets; for (by Prop. LXXII, Book I) the weights of equal and similar bodies towards similar spheres are, at the surfaces of those spheres, as the diameters of the spheres and therefore the densities of dissimilar spheres are as those weights applied to the diameters of the spheres. But the true diameters of the Sun, Jupiter, Saturn, and the earth, were one to another as 10000, 997, 791, and 109; and the weights towards the same as 10000, 943, 529, and 435 respectively; and therefore their densities are as 100, 94½, 67, and 400. The density of the earth, which comes out by this computation, does not depend upon the parallax of the sun, but is determined by the parallax of the moon, and therefore is here truly defined. The sun, therefore, is a little denser than Jupiter, and Jupiter than Saturn, and the earth four times denser than the sun; for the sun, by its great heat, is kept in a sort of a rarefied state. The moon is denser than the earth, as shall appear afterward.

Cor. 4. The smaller the planets are, they are, caeteris paribus, of so much the greater density; for so the powers of gravity on their several surfaces come nearer to equality. They are likewise, caeteris paribus, of the greater density, as they are nearer to the sun. So Jupiter is more dense than Saturn, and the earth than Jupiter; for the planets were to be placed at different distances from the sun, that, according to their degrees of density, they might enjoy a greater or less proportion to the sun's heat. Our water, if it were removed as far as the orb of Saturn, would be converted into ice, and in the orb of Mercury would quickly fly away in vapour; for the light of the sun, to which its heat is proportional, is seven times denser in the orb of Mercury than with us: and by the thermometer I have found that a sevenfold heat of our summer sun will make water boil. Nor are we to doubt that the matter of Mercury is adapted to its heat, and is therefore more dense than the matter of our earth; since, in a denser matter, the operations of Nature require a stronger heat.


PROPOSITION IX. THEOREM IX.

That the force of gravity, considered downward from the surface of the planets, decreases nearly in the proportion of the distances from their centres.

If the matter of the planet were of an uniform density, this Proposition would be accurately true (by Prop. LXXIII. Book I). The error, therefore, can be no greater than what may arise from the inequality of the density.