710 words - 3 pages

Before the Early Modern Period, the system of the universe often eluded people of earth. Early scientists and philosophers like Aristarchus of Samos, and Ptolemy formed hypotheses that touched the surface the universe’s complex functions, but did not full reveal the mysteries the heavens hold. However, when mathematician and physicist, Sir Isaac Newton proposed his law of universal gravitation, numerous doors to the understanding of the world began to open.

Newton’s law is represented as F = (G m1m2) / r^2, where F is the attractive force, G is the gravitational constant, m1 is the first mass, m2 the second mass, and r is the distance between the center of the masses. This equation ...view middle of the document...

However, Newton’s speculation did not stop there. If an apple could have an attractive force towards the Earth’s mass, could the moon? It occurred to Newton that the influences which caused the apple to hurl towards Earth, where also present in the moon’s orbit. Similar to the apple, the moon is drawn to Earth by a gravitational force, but the two bodies never meet due to the Earth’s faster rotation. Newton concluded that since the moon felt the same effects of gravitation that the apple did, that gravity is a universal concept.

When Newton first published his law of universal gravitation in his Principia, during 1687, fellow physicist Robert Hooke accused Newton of plagiarism shortly after. Hooke claimed that prior to Newton’s publishment of universal gravitation, he already suggested the idea of an inverse square law, and attraction between masses. Newton denied these accusations, saying that the idea of both relations was proposed by others, like Bullialdus and Borelli. Much of the information for Newton’s formula derived from Kepler's Third Law of Planetary motion. Kepler's law states...

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