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281 Ansichten547 SeitenAn English version of the seminal treatise by Isaac Newton in which he expounded upon the laws of nature.

Jul 09, 2014

© © All Rights Reserved

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An English version of the seminal treatise by Isaac Newton in which he expounded upon the laws of nature.

© All Rights Reserved

Als PDF, TXT **herunterladen** oder online auf Scribd lesen

0 Bewertungen0% fanden dieses Dokument nützlich (0 Abstimmungen)

281 Ansichten547 SeitenAn English version of the seminal treatise by Isaac Newton in which he expounded upon the laws of nature.

© All Rights Reserved

Als PDF, TXT **herunterladen** oder online auf Scribd lesen

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3

st

Ed.

Isaac NEWTON.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce.

34

THE MATHEMATICAL

PRINCIPLES OF

NATURAL

PHILOSOPHY

Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

st

Ed.

Isaac NEWTON.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce.

35

DEFINITIONS.

DEFINITION I

The quantity of matter is a measure of the same arising jointly from the density and

magnitude [volume].

AIR with the density doubled, in a volume also doubled, shall be quadrupled; in triple

the volume, six times as great. You understand the same about snow and powders with

the condensing from melting or by compression. And the account of all bodies is the

same which are condensed in different ways by whatever causes. Here meanwhile I have

no account of a medium, if which there were, freely pervading the interstitia of the parts

[of the body]. But I understand this quantity everywhere in what follows under the name

of the body or of the mass. That becomes known through the weight of any body: for the

proportion to the weight is to be found through experiments with the most accurate of

pendulums set up, as will be shown later.

DEFINITION II.

The quantity of motion is a measure of the same arising from the velocity and quantity of

matter jointly.

The whole motion is the sum of the motions within the single parts ; and therefore in a

body twice as great, with equal velocity, it is doubled, & with the velocity doubled four

times as great.

DEFINITION III.

The innate force of matter is the resisting force, by which each individual body, however

great it is in itself, persists in its state either of rest or of moving uniformly straight

forwards.

This innate [or vis insita ] force is proportional always to its body, and nor does it

differ at all from the inertia of the mass, unless in the required manner of being

considered. From the inertia of matter it arises, that each body may be disturbed with

difficulty either from its state of rest or from its state of motion. From which the vis insita

will be possible also to be called by a most significant name the vis inertiae [force of

inertia]. Truly the body exercises this force only in the change made of its state by some

other force impressed on itself ; and the exercise is under that difference with respect to

Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

st

Ed.

Isaac NEWTON.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce.

36

resistance and impetus: Resistance: in as much as the body is resisting a change in its

state by the force acting; Impetus: in as much as the same body, with the force of

resistance requiring to concede to the obstacle, tries to change the state of this obstacle.

One commonly attributes resistance to states of rest and impetus to states of movement :

but motion and rest, as they are considered commonly, are distinguished only in turn

from each other; nor are [bodies] truly at rest which may be regarded commonly as being

in a state of rest.

[The use of the word directum , direct or straight forward rather than straight line, as is

given in texts on mechanics removes a circular argument from the definition, as the body

can only so move in the absence of forces, and cannot be part of the definition as well as

a consequence; and there are of course no lines drawn in space, although we could in

principle detect deviations of motion along a given direction. Clearly, this was Newton's

original meaning, where he uses the word directum, and his thoughts on the

predominance of Mechanics over Geometry are set out in the Preface to the first edition. ]

DEFINITION IV.

The impressed force is the action exercised on the body, to changing the state either of

rest or of motion uniform in direction.

This force is in position only during the action, nor remains in the body after the action.

For the body may persevere in any new state by the force of inertia only. Moreover the

impressed force is of diverse origins, as from a blow, from pressure, or from the

centripetal force.

DEFINITION V.

It is the centripetal force, by which bodies are drawn, impelled, or tend in some manner

from all sides towards some point, as towards a centre.

Gravity is [a force] of this kind, by which bodies tend towards the centre of the earth ;

the magnetic force, by which iron seeks a loadstone; and that force, whatever it may be,

by which the planets are drawn perpetually from rectilinear motion, and are forced to

revolve along curved lines. A stone rotating in a sling is trying to depart from the turning

hand; and in its attempt has stretched the sling, and with that the more the faster it

revolves, and it flies off as soon as it is released. I call the force contrary to that

endeavour the centripetal force, by which the sling continually pulls the stone back to the

hand and keeps it in orbit, as it is directed to the hand or the centre of the orbit. And the

account is the same of all bodies, which are driven in a circle. All these are trying to

recede from the centre of the orbit; and unless some other force shall be present trying the

opposite to this, by which they may be confined and retained in the orbits, and each thus I

call centripetal, they will depart with a uniform motion in straight lines. A projectile, if it

were abandoned by the force of gravity, would not be deflected towards the earth, but

would go in a straight line to the heavens; and that with a uniform motion, but only if the

Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

st

Ed.

Isaac NEWTON.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce.

37

air resistance may be removed. By its gravity it is drawn from the rectilinear course and

always is deflected to the earth, and that more or less for its gravity and with the velocity

of the motion. So that the smaller were the gravity for a quantity of matter or the greater

the velocity with which it was projected, by that the less will it deviate from a rectilinear

course and the further it will go on. If a leaden sphere is projected from the peak of some

mountain with a given velocity along a horizontal line by the force of gunpowder, it may

go on in a curved line for a distance of two miles, before it falls to earth : since here with

the velocity doubled it may go on twice as far as it were, and with ten times the velocity

ten times as far as it were: but only if the resistance of the air is removed. And by

increasing the velocity it may be possible to increase the distance to any desired distance

in which it is projected, and the curvature of the line that it may describe be lessened ,

thus so that it may fall only according to a distance of ten or thirty or ninety degrees ; or

also so that it may encircle the whole earth or finally depart into the heavens, and from

the departing speed to go on indefinitely. And by the same account, by which the

projectile may be turned by the force of gravity in obit and may be able to encircle the

whole earth, also the moon is able, either by the force of gravity, but only it shall be of

gravity, or some other force , by which it may be acted on, always to be drawn back from

a rectilinear course towards the earth, and to be turning in its orbit : and without such a

force the moon would not be able to be retained in its orbit. This force, if it should be just

a little less, would not be enough to turn the moon from a rectilinear course : if just a little

greater, would turn the moon more and it would be led from its orbit towards the earth.

Certainly it is required, that it shall be of a just magnitude : and it is required of

mathematicians to find the force, by which a body will be able to be retained carefully in

some given orbit ; and in turn to find the curved path, in which a body departing from

some given place with a given velocity may be deflected by a given force. Moreover the

magnitude of this centripetal force is of three kinds, absolute, accelerative, and motive.

[ Newton uses some of his later dynamical ideas to refine the centripetal force acting on a

body under the influence of a large mass into three parts: the absolute force, which

depends primarily on the magnitudes of the large mass and small mass, e.g. if the

centripetal force were produced on a body near the sun, or near the earth, all else being

equal; the accelerative force is simply the acceleration due to gravity on a small mass at

some location: the force of gravity on a unit mass (i.e. g) ; by motive force Newton means

the rate of change

( ) d mv

dt

of the quantity of motion mv or momentum, which in turn he

calls simply motion.]

DEFINITION VI.

The absolute magnitude of a centripetal force is a measure of the same, greater or less,

for the effectiveness of the cause of propagating that from the centre into the orbital

regions.

Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

st

Ed.

Isaac NEWTON.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce.

38

So that the magnetic force for the size of the loadstone either extends more in one

loadstone of greater strength, or lesser in another.

DEFINITION VII.

The accelerative magnitude of the centripetal force is the measure of this proportional to

velocity, that it generates in a given time.

As the strength of the same loadstone is greater in a smaller distance, smaller in

greater : or the force of gravity is greater in valleys, less at the tops of high mountains,

and small still (as it will become apparent afterwards) at greater distances from the globe

of the earth ; but at equal distances it is the same on all sides, because therefore all

falling bodies (heavy or light, large or small) with the air resistance removed, accelerate

equally.

DEFINITION VIII.

The motive magnitude of the centripetal force is the measure of this, proportional to the

motion, which it generates in a given time.

As the weight is greater in a greater body, less in a smaller ; and in the same body

greater near the earth, less in the heavens. This magnitude is the centripetency or the

propensity of the whole body to move towards the centre, and (as thus I have said) the

weight; and it becomes known always by that force equal and opposite to itself, by

which the descent of the body can be impeded.

And the magnitudes of these forces for the sake of brevity can be called the motive,

accelerative, and absolute forces, and for the sake of being distinct refer to bodies

attracted towards the centre, to the locations of these [moving] bodies, and to the centre

of the forces: there is no doubt that the motive force for a body, as the attempt of the

whole towards the centre [of the attracting body] is composed from the attempts of all the

parts ; and the accelerative force at the position of the body, as a certain effectiveness,

spread out in the orbit from the centre through the individual locations to the bodies

towards moving the bodies which are in these places ; but the absolute force towards the

centre, as being provided by some cause, without which the motive forces may not be

propagated through the regions in the revolution; or for that cause there shall be some

central body (such is the loadstone at the centre of the magnetic force, or the earth from

the centre of the force of gravity) or some other [cause] which may not be apparent. The

concept here is only mathematical : For I do not consider the causes and physical seats of

the forces.

Therefore the accelerative force is to the motive force as the velocity is to the motion.

For the quantity of the motion arises from the velocity and also from the quantity of

matter; the motive force arises from the accelerative force taken jointly with the same

quantity of matter. For the sum of the actions of the accelerative force on the individual

particles of the body is the whole motive force [i.e. the weight]. From which next to the

Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

st

Ed.

Isaac NEWTON.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce.

39

surface of the earth, where the accelerative gravity or the gravitating force is the same in

all bodies, the motive gravity or weight is as the body : but if it may ascend to regions

were the accelerative weight shall be less, the weight equally may be diminished, and it

will be always as the body and accelerative gravity jointly. Thus in regions were the

accelerative gravity is twice as small, the weight of the body small by two or three times

will be four or six times as small. Again I name attraction and impulses, in the same

sense, accelerative and motive forces. But for these words attraction, impulse, or of any

propensity towards the centre, I use indifferently and interchangeably among themselves;

these forces are required only to be considered from the mathematical point of view and

not physically. From which the reader may be warned, lest by words of this kind he may

think me to define somewhere either a kind or manner of action or a physical account, or

to attribute truly real forces to the centres (which are mathematical points); if perhaps I

have said to draw from the centre or to be forces of the centres.

Scholium.

Up to this stage it has been considered to explain a few notable words, and in the

following in what sense they shall be required to be understood. Time, space, position

and motion, are on the whole the most notable. Yet it is required to note that ordinary

people may not conceive these quantities otherwise than from the relation they bear to

perception. And thence certain prejudices may arise, with which removed it will be

agreed to distinguish between the absolute and the relative, the true and the apparent, the

mathematical and the common usage.

l. Absolute time, true and mathematical, flows equably in itself and by its nature

without a relation to anything external, and by another name is called duration. Relative,

apparent, and common time is some sensible external measure of duration you please

(whether with accurate or with unequal intervals) which commonly is used in place of

true time; as in the hour, day, month, year.

II. Absolute space, by its own nature without relation to anything external, always

remains similar and immovable: relative [space] is some mobile measure or dimension of

this [absolute] space, which is defined by its position to bodies according to our senses,

and by ordinary people is taken for an unmoving space: as in the dimension of a space

either underground, in the air, or in the heavens, defined by its situation relative to the

earth. Absolute and relative spaces are likewise in kind and magnitude; but they do not

always endure in the same position. For if the earth may move, for example, the space of

our air, because relative to and with respect to the earth it always remains the same, now

there will be one part of absolute space into which the air moves, now another part of

this; and thus always it will be moving absolutely.

llI. The position [or place] is a part of space which a body occupies, and for that

reason it is either an absolute or relative space. A part of space, I say, not the situation of

[places within] the body, nor of the surrounding surface. For there are always equal

Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

st

Ed.

Isaac NEWTON.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce.

40

positions[within] equal solid shapes; but not so surfaces as most are unequal on account

of dissimilarities of the figures;

[for a surface is liable to change, due to air resistance, etc.]

Truly positions may not have a magnitude on speaking properly, nor are they [to be

considered] as places rather than as affectations of places [i.e. the position is not a

physical property of the body, but rather an indication of where the body is situated at

some time in space]. The whole motion is the same as the sum of the motions of the parts,

that is, the translation of all from its place is the same as the sum of the translations of the

parts from their places ; and thus the place of the whole is the same as the sum of all the

parts of the places and therefore both inside and with the whole body.

IV. An absolute motion is the translation of a body from one absolute place into

another absolute place, a relative [motion] from a relative [place] into a relative [place].

Thus in a ship which is carried along in full sail, the relative position of the body is that

region of the ship in which the body moves about, or the part of the whole cavity of the

ship [hold] which the body fills up, and which thus is moving together with the ship : and

relative quiet is the state of being of the body in that same ship or in the part of the hold.

But the persistence of the body is true rest in the same part of space in which the ship is

not moving, in which the ship itself together with the hold and all the contents may be

moving. From which if the earth truly is at rest, the body which relatively at rest in the

ship, truly will be moving and absolutely with that velocity by which the ship is moving

on the earth. If the earth also is moving; there is the true and absolute motion of the body,

partially from the motion of the ship truly in an unmoving space, partially from the

motion of the ship relative to the earth: and if the body is moving relatively in the ship,

the true motion of this arises, partially from the true motion of the earth in motionless

space, partially from the relative motion both of the ship on the earth as well as of the

body in the ship ; and from these relative motions the motion of the body relative to the

earth arises. So that if that part of the earth, where the ship is moving, truly is moving to

the east with a speed of 10010 parts; and by the wind in the sails the ship is carried to the

west with a velocity of ten parts ; moreover a sailor may be walking on the ship towards

the east with a velocity of one part : truly the sailor will be moving and absolutely in the

immobile space with a velocity of 10001 to the east, and relative to the earth towards the

east with a speed of nine parts.

Absolute time is distinguished from relative time in astronomy by the common

equation of time. For the natural days are unequal, which commonly may be taken as

equal for the measure of time. Astronomers correct this inequality, so that they measure

the motion of the heavens from the truer time. It is possible, that there shall be no

uniform motion, by which the time may be measured accurately. All motions are able to

be accelerated and retarded, but the flow of absolute time is unable to change. The

duration or the perseverance of the existence of things is the same, either the movement

shall be fast or slow or none at all: hence this is distinguished by merit from the

sensibilities of their measurement, and from the same [the passage of time] is deduced

through an astronomical equation. But a need prevails for phenomena in the

determination of this equation, at some stage through an experiment with pendulum

clocks, then also by the eclipses of a satellite of J upiter.

Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

st

Ed.

Isaac NEWTON.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce.

41

As the order of the parts of time is unchangeable, thus too the parts of space. These

could be moved from their own places (as thus I may say), and they will be moved away

from each other [i.e. out of sequence]. For the times and the spaces are themselves of this

[kind] and as if the places of all things: in time according to an order of successions, and

in space according to an order of positions, to be put in place everywhere. Concerning the

essence of these things, it is that they shall regarded as places : and it is absurd to move

the first places. These therefore are absolute places ; and only the translations from these

places are absolute motions.

In truth since these parts of space are unable to be seen, and to be distinguished from

each other by our senses; we use in turn perceptible measures of these. For we define all

places from the positions and distances of things from some body, which we regard as

fixed : and then also we may consider all motion with respect to the aforementioned

place, as far as we may conceive bodies to be transferred from the same. Thus in

exchange of absolute places and motions we make use of relative ones ; not to be an

inconvenience in human affairs : but required to be abstracted from the senses in [natural]

philosophical matters. And indeed it can happen, that actually no body may be at rest, to

which the position and motion may be referred to.

But rest and motion, both absolute and relative, are distinguished in turn from each

other by their properties, causes and effects. The property of rest is, that bodies truly at

rest are at rest among themselves. And thus since it shall be possible, that some body in

the regions of fixed [stars], or far beyond, may remain absolutely at rest ; moreover it is

impossible to know in turn from the situation of bodies in our regions, whether or not

any of these given at a remote position may serve [to determine true rest in the absolute

space for local bodies]; true rest cannot be defined from the situation of these bodies

between themselves.

A property of motion is, that the parts which maintain given positions to the whole,

share in the motion of the whole. For all the rotating parts are trying to recede from the

axis of the motion, and the impetus of the forwards motion arises from the impetus of the

individual parts taken together. Therefore with the motion for circulating bodies [e.g.

planets], they do move in circles [i.e. orbits] in which they are relatively at rest. And

therefore true and absolute motion cannot be defined by a translation from the vicinity of

such bodies, which [otherwise] may be regarded as being in a state of rest. For external

bodies [introduced by way of example] must not only seem as being in a state of rest, but

also truly to be at rest. Otherwise everything included also participates in the true orbiting

motion, besides a translation from the vicinity of the orbiting body ; and with that

translation taken away they are not truly at rest, but they may be seen only at rest in this

manner. For the orbiting bodies are to the included, as the total exterior part to the interior

part, or as a shell to the kernel. But with the shell moving also the kernel is moving, or a

part of the whole, without a translation from the vicinity of the shell.

The relation to the preceding property is this, because in the place moved a single

location is moved : and thus a body, which is moved with the place moved, also shares

the motion of its place. Therefore all [relative] motions, which are made from moved

places, are only parts of both the whole and absolute motions, and every whole motion is

composed from the motion of the body from its first place, and from the motion of this

place from its own place in turn, and thus henceforth ; until at last it may arrive at a

Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

st

Ed.

Isaac NEWTON.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce.

42

stationary place, as in the example of the sailor mentioned above. From which whole and

absolute motions can be defined only from unmoved places: and therefore above I have

referred to these as immovable places, and relative places to be moveable places. But

they are not immovable places, unless all the given positions may serve in turn from

infinity to infinity ; and so always they remain immovable, and I call the space which

they constitute immovable.

The causes, by which true and relative motions can be distinguished from each other

in turn, are the forces impressed on bodies according to the motion required to be

generated. True motion neither can be generated nor changed, other than by forces

impressed on the motion of the body itself: but relative motion can be generated and

changed without forces being impressed on this body. For it suffices that they be

impressed on other bodies alone to which the motion shall be relative, so that with these

yielding, that relation may be changed from which it consisted, of rest or relative motion.

On the contrary true motion always is changed from the forces impressed on a moving

body ; but the relative motion from these forces is not changed by necessity. For if the

same forces thus may be impressed on other bodies also, for which a relation is made,

thus so that the relative situation will be conserved on which the relative motion is

founded. Therefore all relative motion can be changed where the true may be conserved,

and to be conserved where the true may be changed ; and therefore true motion in

relations of this kind are considered the least.

The effects, by which absolute and relative motions are to be distinguished from each

other, are the forces of receding from the axis of circular motion. For none of these forces

in circular motion are in mere relative motion, but are in a true [circular] motion greater

from true absolute motion for a quantity of motion. If a vessel may hang from a long

thread, and always is turned in a circle, while the thread becomes very stiff, then it may

be filled with water, and together with the water remains at rest; then by another force it

is set in motion suddenly in the opposite sense and with the thread loosening itself, it

may persevere a long time in this motion; the surface of the water from the beginning was

flat, just before the motion of the vessel: But after the vessel, with the force impressed a

little on the water, has the effect that this too begins to rotate sensibly; itself to recede a

little from the middle, and to ascend the sides of the vessel, adopting a concave figure, (as

I have itself tested) and by moving faster from the motion it will rise always more and

more, while the revolutions by being required to be completed in the same times with the

vessel, it may come to relative rest with the same vessel. Here the ascent indicates an

attempt to recede from the axis of the motion, and by such an attempt it becomes known,

and the true and absolute circular motion of the water is measured, and this generally is

contrary to the relative motion. In the beginning, when the motion of the water was a

maximum relative to the vessel, that motion did not incite any attempt to recede from the

axis: the water did not seek circumference by requiring to ascend the sides of the vessel,

but remained flat, and therefore the true circular motion had not yet begun. Truly later,

when the relative motion had decreased, the ascent of this to the sides of the vessel

indicated an attempt of receding from the axis; and this trial showed this true circular

motion always increasing, and finally made a maximum when the water remained at rest

relative to the vessel. Whereby this trial does not depend on the translation of the water

Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

st

Ed.

Isaac NEWTON.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce.

43

with respect to orbiting bodies, and therefore true circular motion cannot be defined by

such translations. Truly the circular motion of each revolving body is unique,

corresponding to a singular and adequate effort to be performed : but relative motions are

for innumerable and varied external relations ; and corresponding to a relation, generally

they are lacking in true effects, unless in as much as they share in that true and single

motion. And by those who wish, within a system of these [rotational motions], our

heavens [i.e. local space] to revolve in a circle below the heavens of the fixed stars [i.e.

distant interstellar space], and the planets to defer with it ; the individual parts of the

heavens, and the planets which truly are moving, which indeed within their nearby

heavens [i.e. the local part of space relative to themselves] are relatively at rest, truly are

moving. For they change their positions in turn (as otherwise the system truly passes into

rest) and together with the deferred heavens they participate in the motion of these, and

so that the parts of the revolving total are trying to recede from the axes of these.

Relative quantities are not therefore these quantities themselves, the names of which

they bear, but those perceptible measures (true or mistaken) of them which are used by

ordinary people in place of the measured quantities. [Thus, a length is related to a

standard length, etc.] But if the significances of words are required to be defined from the

use; these measures perceptible [to the senses] are to be particularly understood by these

names : Time, Space, Location and Motion ; and the discourse will be contrary to custom

and purely mathematical, if measured quantities here are understood. [Here Newton is

expressing the fact that he uses such quantities in our sense as abstract variables, rather

than as mere units for measuring the amounts of physical quantities, as one might use in

arithmetic.] Hence they carry the strength of holy scriptures, which may be interpreted

there by these names regarding measured quantities. Nor do they corrupt mathematics or

[natural] philosophy any less, who combine true quantities with the relations of these and

with common measures.

Indeed it is most difficult to know the true motion of bodies and actually to

discriminate from apparent motion ; therefore because the parts of that immobile space,

in which bodies truly are moving, do not meet the senses. Yet the cause is not yet quite

desperate. For arguments are able to be chosen, partially from apparent motions which

are the differences of true motions, partially from forces which are the causes and effects

of true motions. So that if two globes, to be connected in turn at a given distance from the

intervening thread, may be revolving about the common centre of gravity; the exertion of

the globes to recede from the axis of the motion might become known from the tension in

the thread, and thence the quantity of the circular motion can be computed. Then if any

forces acting equally likewise may be impressed mutually on the faces of the globes to

increase or diminish the circular motion, the increase or decrease in the circular motion

may become known from the increase or decrease in the tension of the thread ; and

thence finally the faces of the globes on which the impressed forces must be impressed,

so that the motion may be increased maximally; that is, the faces to the rear, or which are

following in the circular motion. But with the faces which are following known, and with

the opposite faces which precede, the determination of the motion may be known. In this

manner both the quantity and the determination of the motion of this circle may be found

in a vacuum however great, where nothing may stand out externally and perceptibly by

which the globes may be able to be brought together [in comparison]. If now bodies may

Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

st

Ed.

Isaac NEWTON.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce.

44

be put in place in that space with a long distance maintained between themselves, such as

the fixed stars are in regions of the heavens : indeed it may not be possible to know from

the relative translation of the globes among the bodies, whether from these or those a

motion may be required to be given. But if attention is turned to the string, and the

tension of that itself is taken to be as the required motion of the globes ; it is possible to

conclude that the motion is that of the globes, and [the distant] bodies to be at rest ; &

then finally from the translation of the globes among the bodies, the determination of this

motion can be deduced. But the true motion from these causes, are to be deduced from

the effects and from the apparent differences, or on the contrary from the motions or

forces, either true or apparent, the causes and effects of these to be found, will be taught

in greater detail in the following. For towards this end I have composed the following

treatise.

Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

st

Ed.

Isaac NEWTON.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce.

45

AXIOMS,

OR

THE LAWS OF MOTION.

LAW I.

Every body perseveres either in its state of resting or of moving uniformly in a direction,

unless that is compelled to change its state by impressed forces.

PRojectiles persevere in their motion, unless in as much as they may be retarded by the

resistance of the air, and they are impelled downwards by the force of gravity. A child's

spinning top, the parts of which by requiring to stick together always, withdraw

themselves from circular motion, does not stop rotating, unless perhaps it may be slowed

down by the air. But the greater bodies of the planets and comets preserve both their

progressive and circular motions for a long time made in spaces with less resistance .

LAW II.

The change of motion is proportional to the [magnitude of the] impressed motive force,

and to be made along the right line by which that force is impressed.

If a force may generate some motion ; twice the force will double it, three times

triples, if it were impressed either once at the same time, or successively and gradually.

And this motion (because it is determined always in the same direction generated by the

same force) if the body were moving before, either is added to the motion of that in the

same direction, or in the contrary direction is taken away, or the oblique is added to the

oblique, and where from that each successive determination is composed.

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LAW III.

To an action there is always an equal and contrary reaction : or the actions of two bodies

between themselves are always mutually equal and directed in opposite directions.

Anything pressing or pulling another, by that is pressed or pulled just as much. If

anyone presses a stone with a finger, the finger of this person is pressed by the stone. If a

horse pulls a stone tied to a rope, and also the horse (as thus I may say) is drawn back

equally by the stone: for the rope stretched the same on both sided requiring itself to be

loosened will draw upon the horse towards the stone, and the stone towards the horse;

and yet it may impede the progress of the one as much as it advances the progress of the

other. If some body striking another body will have changed the latter's motion in some

manner by the former's force, the same change too will be undergone in turn on its own

motion in the contrary direction by the force of the other (on account of the mutual

pressing together). By these actions equal changes are made, not of the velocities but of

the motions ; obviously in bodies not impeded otherwise. For changes of the velocity,

are made likewise in the contrary parts, because the motions are changed equally, they

are inversely proportional with the bodies [i.e. with their masses]. This law is obtained

with attractions also, as will be approved in a nearby scholium.

COROLLARY I.

A body with forces added together describes the diagonal of the parallelogram in the

same time, in which the separate sides are described.

If the body in a given time, by the force alone M impressed

at the place A, may be carried with a uniform motion from A

to B; and by the single force N impressed at the same place,

may be carried from A to C: the parallelogram ABDC may be

completed, and by each force that body may be carried in the

same time on the diagonal from A to D. For because the force

N acts along the line AC parallel to BD itself, this force by law II will not at all change

the velocity required to approach that line BD generated by the other force. Therefore the

body approaches the line BD in the same time, whether the force N may be impressed or

not ; and thus at the end of the time it may be found somewhere on that line BD. By the

same argument at the end of the same time the body will be found somewhere on the line

CD, and on that account it is necessary to be found at the concurrence D of each of the

lines. Moreover it will go in rectilinear motion from A to D by law I.

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COROLLARY II.

And hence the composition of the force directed along AD is

apparent from any oblique forces AB and BD, and in turn

the resolution of any force directed along AD into any

oblique forces AB and BD. Which composition and

resolution indeed is confirmed abundantly from mechanics.

So that if from the centre of some wheel O the unequal radii OM, ON emerge , the

weights A and P may be sustained by the threads MA, NP, and the forces of the weights

are required towards moving the wheel: Through the centre O a right line KOL is drawn,

meeting the threads perpendicularly at K and L, and with the centre O, and OL the

greater of the intervals OK, OL, a circle is described

meeting the thread MA in D: and AC shall be

parallel to the right line made OD , and the

perpendicular DC. Because it is of no importance,

whether the points of the threads K, L, D shall be

fastened or not to the plane of the wheel; the

weights will prevail the same, and if they may be

suspended from the points K and L or D and L. But

the total force of the weight A is set out by the line

AD, and this is resolved into the forces AC, CD, of

which AC by pulling [drawing in the original text]

the radius OD directly from the centre provides no

force to the required wheel movement ; but the other forceDC, by pulling on the radius

DO perpendicularly, accomplishes the same, as if it pulls the radius OL the equal of OD

itself; and that is, the same weight P, but only if that weight shall be to the weight A as

the force DC to the force DA, that is (on account of the similar triangles ADC, DOK,) as

OK to OD or OL. Therefore the weights A and P, which are inversely as the radii OK and

OL placed in line, will exert the same influence, and thus remain in equilibrium : which is

the most noticeable property of scales, levers, and of a wheel and axle. If either weight

shall be greater than in this ratio, the force of this will be so much greater requiring the

wheel to rotate.

But if a weight p, equal to the weight P, is suspended partly by the thread Np, and

partly by resting on the oblique plane pG : [the forces] pH and NH are acting, the former

perpendicular to the horizontal, the latter perpendicular to the plane pG; and if the force

of the weight p acting downwards, is set out by the line pH, this can be resolved into the

forces pN, HN. If some plane pQ shall be perpendicular to pN, cutting the other plane pG

in a line parallel to the horizontal [here we have to think in 3 dimensions]; and the weight

p lies only on the planes pQ, pG ; that it may press on these planes by these forces pN,

HN, without doubt the plane pQ perpendicularly by the force pN, and the plane pG by the

force HN. And thus if the plane pQ may be removed, so that the weight may stretch the

thread ; because now the thread in turn by being required to sustain the weight, performs

the function of the plane removed, may be extended by that same force pN, which before

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acted on the plane. From which, the tension of this oblique thread will be to the tension of

the thread of the other perpendicular PN, as pN to pH. And thus if the weight p shall be to

the weight A in a ratio, which is composed from the reciprocal ratio of the minimum

distances of their threads pN, AM from the centre of the wheel, and in the direct ratio

pH to pN; the same weights likewise will prevail for the wheel being moved, and thus

mutually will sustain each other, as any test can prove.

But the weight p, pressing on these two oblique planes, can be compared to a wedge

making a split between the internal surfaces: and thence the forces of the wedge and of

the hammer become known: seeing that since the force by which the weight p presses

hard on the plane pQ to the force, by which the same either by its weight or impelled by

the blow of the hammer acting along the line pH in the plane, shall be as pN to pH; and

to the force, by which it presses hard on the other plane pG, as pN to NH. But also the

force of a screw can be deduced by a similar division of the forces; obviously which

wedge is pushed against by a lever. Therefore the uses of this corollary appear to be the

widest, and by extending widely the truth of this prevails; since from now with what has

been said, all mechanical devices may depend on explanations shown in different ways

by authors. And from these indeed we may derive easily the forces of machines, which

from wheels, revolving cylinders, pulleys, levers, stretched cords and weights directly or

obliquely ascending, and with the rest from the powers of mechanics are accustomed to

be assembled, and as also the forces of tendons requiring the bones of animals to be

moved.

[The diagram has been altered a little, as in the original the oblique angle appears to be

90

0

. Note that Newton pays a little attention here to statics and simple machines.]

COROLLARY III.

The quantity of motion which is deduced by taking the sum of the motions of the

contributing factors in the same direction and the difference of the contributing factors in

the opposite direction , may not change from the action of bodies among themselves.

And indeed the action and the contrary reaction to that are equal by law III, and thus

by law II bring about equal changes in the motions towards the contrary directions.

Therefore if the motions are made in the same direction; whatever is added to the motion

of the departing body, is taken from the motion of the following body thus, so that the

sum may remain the same as before. If the bodies may get in each other's way, an equal

among will be taken from the motion of each, and thus the difference of the contributing

factors of the motions in the opposite directions will remain the same.

So that if a spherical body A shall be three times greater than a spherical body B, and it

may have two parts of velocity ; and B may follow on the same right line with a velocity

of ten parts, and thus the motion of A shall be to the motion of B itself, as 6 to 10 : the

motion from these may be put to be of 6 parts and of 10 parts, and the sum will be of 16

parts. Therefore in the meeting of the bodies, if the body A may gain a motion of 3, 4, or

5 parts, the body B will lose just as many parts, and thus the body A will go on after the

reflection with 9, 10 or 11 parts, and B with 7, 6, or 5 parts, with the same sum of the

parts present as before. If the body A may gain 9, 10, 11, or 12, and thus may move past

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the meeting with 15, 16, 17, or 18 parts ; the body B, by losing as many parts as A may

gain, may be progressing with one part, with 9 parts lost, or it may be at rest with the 10

parts of its motion missing, or with one part it may be moving backwards with one part

more (as thus I may say) missing from its motion, or it may be moving backwards with

two parts on account of subtracting 12 parts of the motion forwards. And thus the sum of

the motions in the same direction 15 1 + or 16 0 + , and the differences in the opposite

directions 17 1 and 18 2 will be always 16 parts, as before the meeting and the

reflection. But with the motions known with which bodies go on after the reflection, the

velocities of which may be found, on putting that to be to the velocity before the

reflection, as the motion after is to the motion before. So that in the final case, where the

motion of the body A were of six parts before reflection and of eight parts afterwards, and

the velocity of two parts before the reflection; the velocity of six parts after the reflection

may be found, on being required to say, that the motion of 6 parts before the reflection to

the 18 parts afterwards, thus of 2 parts of velocity before the reflection to 6 parts of

velocity afterwards.

But if bodies are incident between themselves mutually obliquely either non spherical

or with differing rectilinear motions, and the motions of these may be required after

reflection ; the position of the plane in which the meeting bodies are touching at the point

of concurrence is required to be known: then the motion of each body (by Corol.II) is

required to be separated into two parts, one perpendicular to this plane, the other parallel

to the same : but the parallel motions, therefore because the bodies act in turn between

themselves along a line perpendicular to this plane, are required to have retained the same

motion before and after the reflection, and the changes in the perpendicular motions thus

required are to be attributed equally in opposite directions, so that both the sum of the

acting together and the difference of the contrary may remain the same as before. From

reflections of this kind also circular motions are accustomed to arise about their own

centres. But I will not consider these cases in the following, and it would be exceedingly

long to consider showing all this here.

COROLLARY IV.

The common centre of gravity of two or more bodies, from the actions of the bodies

between themselves, does not change its state either of motion or of rest ; and therefore

the common centre of gravity of all bodies in the mutual actions between themselves (with

external actions and impediments excluded) either is at rest or is moving uniformly in

direction.

For if two points may be progressing with a uniform motion in right lines, and the

distances of these is divided in a give ratio, the dividing point either is at rest or it is

progressing uniformly in the right line. This is shown later in a corollary to lemma XXIII

of this work, if the motion of the points is made in the same plane ; and by the same

account can be demonstrated, if these motions are not made in the same plane. Hence if

some bodies are moving uniformly in right lines, the common centre of gravity of any

two either is at rest or progresses uniformly in a right line; because the line joining the

centres of these bodies therefore is required to be progressing uniformly in right lines, it

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is divided by this common centre in a given ratio. And similarly the common centre of

these two and of any third either is at rest or progressing uniformly in a right line ;

because the distances between the common centre of the two bodies and of the third body

from that therefore is divided in a given ratio . In the same manner also the common

centre of these three and of some fourth body either is at rest or is moving uniformly in a

straight line; because from that the distance between the common centre of the three and

the centre of the fourth body therefore is divided in a given ratio, and thus ad infinitum.

Therefore in a system of bodies, which in the interactions among themselves in turn and

in general are free from all extrinsic forces, and therefore singly are moving uniformly in

individual right lines, the common centre of gravity of all either is at rest or is moving in

a direction uniformly.

Again in a system of two bodies acting on each other in turn, since the distances of the

centres of each from the common centre of gravity shall be reciprocally as the bodies [i.e.

the masses of the bodies]; the relative motions of the bodies from the same shall be

equally between themselves either approaching to that centre or receding from the same.

Hence that centre, from the equal changes of the motions made in opposite directions,

and thus from the actions of these bodies between themselves, neither will move forwards

nor be retarded nor suffers a change in its state as far as motion or rest is concerned. But

in a system of several bodies, because the common centre of gravity of any two bodies

acting mutually between themselves on account of that action allows no change at all in

its state ; and of the remaining , the action from which does not hinder these, the common

centre of gravity thence suffers nothing; but the distance of these two centres of gravity is

divided by the common centre of all the bodies into parts to which the total [masses] of

the bodies are reciprocally proportional ; and thus with the state of their moving or

resting maintained from these two centres, the common centre of all also maintains its

own state: because it is evident that common centre of all on account of the actions of

two bodies between themselves at no time changes its own state as far as motion and rest

are concerned. But in such a system all the actions of the bodies between each other, are

either between two bodies, or between the actions of two composite bodies ; and

therefore at no time do they adopt a change of everything from the common centre in the

state of this of motion or rest. Whereby since that centre where the bodies do not act

among themselves in turn, either is at rest, or is progressing uniformly in some right

motion, will go on the same, without the opposition of bodies, without actions between

themselves, either to be at rest or always to be progressing uniformly in a direction ;

unless it may be disturbed from that state by some external forces. Therefore it is the

same law of a system of many bodies, which of a solitary body, as far as persevering in a

state of motion or of rest. Indeed the progressive motion either of a solitary body or of a

system of bodies must always be considered from the motion of the centre of gravity.

COROLLARY V.

The motions of bodies between themselves included in a given space are the same,

whether that space be at rest, or the same may be moving in a direction without circular

motion.

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For the differences of the motions given in the same direction , and the sums to be

given in the opposite directions, are the same initially in each case (by hypothesis), and

with these sums or differences the collisions and impulses arise with which the bodies

strike each other. Therefore by law II the effects of the collisions are equal in each case ;

and therefore the motion between themselves in one case will remain equal to the

motions between themselves in another case. The same may be proven clearly by an

experiment. All motions between bodies occur in the same way on a ship, whither that is

at rest or is moving uniformly in a direction.

COROLLARY VI.

If bodies may be moving in some manner among themselves, and from the forces with

equal accelerations may be impressed to move along parallel lines ; all will go on to

move in the same manner between themselves, and if by these forces they are not to be

disturbed.

For these forces equally (for the quantities of the bodies required to be moved) and by

acting along parallel lines, all the bodies will be moved equally (as far as velocity is

concerned) by law II, and thus at no time will the positions and motions of these between

each other be changed.

Scholium.

Thus far I have treated the fundamentals with the usual mathematics and confirmed

many times by experiment. By the first two laws and from the first two corollaries

Galileo found the fall of weights to be in the duplicate ration of the time, and the motion

of projectiles to be in a parabola; by agreeing with experiment, unless as far as the those

motions are retarded a little by the resistance of the air. With a body falling uniform

gravity, by acting equally in equal small intervals of time, will impress equal forces on

that body, and generates equal velocities: and in the total time the total force impressed

and the total velocity it generates is proportional to the time. And the distances described

in the proportional times, are as the velocities and times taken together ; that is in the

duplicate ratio of the times. And with the body projected up uniform gravity impresses

forces and velocities taken proportional to the times ; and the times required to rise the

greatest heights are as the velocities required to be taken away, and these heights are as

the velocities and the times taken together or, in the duplicate ratio of the velocities.

[Duplicate ratio means of course, as the square.] And the

motion arising of a body projected along some right line is

composed from the motion arising from gravity. So that if the

body A by its motion of projection only in a given time can

describe the right line A B and from its motion only of

requiring to fall, can describe the height AC in the same time:

the parallelogram ABDC may be completed, and that body will

be found at the end of the time at the place D from the

composed motion ; and the curved line AED, which that body

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describes, will be a parabola which the right line AB touches at A, and the ordinate BD of

which is as AB squared. The demonstrations of the times of oscillations of pendulums

will depend on the same laws and corollaries, from the daily experience with clocks.

From the very same, and with the third law Sir Christopher Wren, Dr. John Wallis and

Christian Huygens, easily the principle outstanding geometers of the age, have

discovered separately the rules of hard bodies colliding and rebounding, and almost at the

same time they communicated the same with the Royal Society, among themselves (as

regards these laws) everything is in agreement: and indeed first Wallis, then Wren and

Huygens produced the discovery. But the truth has been established by Wren in person

before the Royal Society through an experiment with pendulums : which also the most

illustrious Mariotte soon deemed worthy to explain in a whole book. Truly, so that this

experiment may agree to the precision with theories, and account is required to be had,

both of the resistance of the air, as well as of the elasticity of the colliding bodies.

The spherical bodies A, B may hang

from parallel threads and with AC, BD

equal from the centres C, D. From these

centres and intervals the bisected

semicircles EAF, GBH are described, with

radii CA, DB. The body A may be drawn to

some point R of the arc EAF, and thence

may be released (with the body B taken

aside), and after one oscillation it may

return to the point V. RV is the retardation from the air resistance. ST is made the fourth

part of RV placed in the middle, thus evidently so that R S and TV are equal, and R S to

ST shall be as 3 to 2. And thus ST will show the retardation in falling from S to A

approximately. [A rule gained from experience perhaps for light damping.]

Body B may be restored to its place B. Body A may fall from the point S, and the

velocity of that at the place of reflection A will be without so great a sensible error, and as

if it had fallen from the location T in a vacuum. Therefore this velocity is set out by the

chord of the arc TA. For the velocity of the pendulum at the lowest point is as the chord

of the arc, that it has described on falling, the proposition is well known from geometry.

After the reflection the body A may arrive at the location s, and the body B at the location

k. The body B may be taken away and the position v may be found ; from which if the

body A may be sent off and after one oscillation may return to the location r, let st be the

fourth part of that rv placed in the middle, thus so that it may be considered that rs and tv

are equal ; and the velocity may be set out by the chord of the arc tA, that the body A had

approximately after the reflection at the place A. For t will be that true and correct place,

to which the body A, with the resistance of the air removed, ought to be able to rise. The

location k to which the body B has risen is required to be corrected by a similar method,

and requiring to find the location l, to which that body ought to ascend in a vacuum. With

this done it is possible to test everything, in the same way as if we were placed in a

vacuum. Yet the body A will be required to adopt (as thus I may say) the chord TA of the

arc, which shows the velocity of this, so that the motion may be had approximately at the

place A before the reflection ; then the chord tA of the arc, so that the motion of this may

be had approximately at the place A after the reflection. And thus the body B will be

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required to adopt the chord of the arc Bl, so that the approximate motion of this may be

had after the reflection. And by a similar method, where the bodies are sent off at the

same time from two different locations, the motions of each are required to be found both

before, as well as after the reflection ; and then finally the motions among themselves are

to be brought together and the effect of the reflection deduced. In this manner with the

matter requiring to be tested with ten feet pendulums, and that with bodies both unequal

as well as equal, and by arranging so that bodies may concur from the greatest intervals,

such as 8, 12, or 16 feet ; I have found [the text has reperi or you find in the singular

command mode, which has been taken as a misprint, rather than repperi which has been

adopted for translation] always within an error of 3 inches in the measurement, where the

bodies themselves were meeting each other directly, equal changes were obtained in the

contrary parts of the motions for the bodies, and thus the actions and reactions always to

be equal. So that if the body A were incident on body B at rest with 9 parts of motion, and

with 7 parts removed it went on with 2 parts after the reflection ; body B was rebounding

with these 7 parts. If the bodies were going against each other, A with 12 parts and B with

6, and A was returning with 2 parts ; B was returning with 8, each with the removal of 14

parts. From the motion of A 12 parts are removed and nothing remains: 2 other parts are

taken away , and there is made a motion of 2 parts in the opposite direction: and thus

from the motion of the body B of 6 parts by requiring 14 parts to be taken away, 8 parts

are made in the opposite direction. But if the bodies were going in the same direction, A

faster with 14 parts, and B slower with 5 parts, and after the reflection A was going on

with 5 parts ; B was going on with 14 parts, with the translation made of 9 parts from A

to B. And thus for the rest. From arunning together and collision of bodies at no time

does the quantity of motion change, which is deduced from the sum of the motions acting

in the same directions or from the differences in contrary directions. For the error of an

inch or two I may attribute to the difficulty required in performing the individual

measurements accurately enough. It was with difficulty, not only that the pendulums thus

be dropped at the same time, so that the bodies could strike each other at the lowest

position A B; but also the locations s, k to be noted, to which the bodies were ascending

after the collision. But the unequal density of the parts of the pendulous bodies, and the

construction from other causes of irregularity, were leading to errors.

Again lest anyone may object to the rule requiring approval which this experiment has

found, to presuppose the bodies either to be completely hard, or perhaps perfectly elastic,

none are to be found of this kind in natural compositions ; because I add now experiments

described which succeed equally with soft or hard bodies, without doubt by no means

depending on the condition of hardness. For if that rule is required to be extended to

bodies which are not perfectly hard, the reflection is to be diminished only in a certain

proportion to the magnitude of the elastic force. In the theory of Wren and Huygens

absolutely hard bodies return with the speed of the encounter. Most surely that will be

proven with perfectly elastic bodies. In imperfectly elastic bodies the return speed is

required to be diminished likewise with the elastic force ; therefore because that elastic

force, (unless where the parts of bodies are struck by their coming together, or extended a

little as if they suffer under a hammer,) and certainly shall be required to be determined

(as much as I know) and may be made so that bodies may return with a relative velocity

in turn, which shall be in a given ratio to the relative velocity of approach. This I have

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tested thus with balls of wool closely piled together and strongly constricted. First by

dropping pendulums and by measuring the reflection, I have found the magnitude of the

elastic force; then with this force I have determined the reflections in other cases of

concurrence, and they have answered the trials. Always the wool have returned with a

relative velocity, which is to be to the relative velocity of concurrence as around 5 to 9.

Balls of steel return with almost the same velocity ; others from cork with a little less :

but with glass the proportion was around 15 to 16. And with this agreed upon, the third

law has agreed with theory as far as impacts and reflections are concerned, which clearly

agree with experiment.

I briefly show the matter for attractions thus. With any two bodies A and B mutually

attracting each other, consider some obstacle placed between each, by which the meeting

of these may be impeded. If either body A is drawn more towards the other body B, than

that other B towards the first A, the obstacle will be urged more by the pressing of body A

than by the pressing of body B; and hence will not stay in equilibrium. The pressing will

prevail stronger, and it will act so that the system of the two bodies and the obstacle may

move in the direction towards B, and in motions in free spaces always by accelerating,

may depart to infinity. Which is absurd and contrary to the first law. For by the first law

the system must persevere in it state of rest or of uniform motion in a direction, and hence

the bodies will press equally on the obstacle, and on that account are drawn equally in

turn. I have tested this with a loadstone and iron. If these placed in their own vessels

touching separately they may float next to each other in still water ; neither propels the

other, but from the equality of the attraction they sustain mutual attempts between

themselves, and finally they remain in an established

equilibrium.

Thus also is the gravity between the earth and the mutual

parts of this. The earth FI is cut by some place EG into two

parts EGF and EGI: and the mutual weights of these shall be

equal mutually between themselves. For if by another plane

HK which shall be parallel to the first part EG, the greater part

EGI shall be cut into the two parts EGKH and HKI, of which

HKI shall be equal to the first part cut EFG: it is evident that

the middle part EGKH by its own weight will not be inclined to either of the extreme

parts, but between each in equilibrium, thus so that I may say, it may be suspended and it

is at rest. But the extreme part HKI by its own weight presses on the middle part, and will

urge that into the other extreme part EGF; and thus the force by which the sum of the

parts HKI & EGKH , EGI tends towards the third part EGF, is equal to the weight of the

third part HKI, that is to the weight of the third part EGF. And therefore the weights of

the two parts EGI, EGF are mutually in equilibrium, as I had wished to show. And unless

these weights shall be equal, the whole earth floating on the free aether may go towards

the greater weight, and from that required flight would go off to infinity.

J ust as bodies in coming together and reflecting may exert the same influence [on each

other], the velocities of which are reciprocally as their innate forces: thus the agents exert

the same influence in the movements of mechanical devices, and by contrary exertions

mutually sustain each other, the velocities of which, following the determination of the

forces considered, are reciprocally as the forces. Thus the weights exert the same

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influence towards moving the arms of scales, which with the scales oscillating are

reciprocally as the velocities of these up and down: that is, the weights, if they ascend up

and down rightly [i.e. vertically], exert the same influences, which are reciprocally as the

distances of the points from which they are suspended from the axis of the scales; if, by

an oblique plane or from other obstacles to the motion, the ascents or descents are

oblique, they exert the same influence, which are reciprocally as the ascent and descent,

just as made along the perpendicular: and that on account of the determination of the

weight acting downwards.

Similarly with a pulley or a pulley system, the force of the hand directly drawing on

the rope which shall be to the weight , ascending either directly or obliquely, as the

perpendicular speed of ascent to the speed of the hand pulling directly on the rope will

sustain the weight. In clocks and similar devices, which have been constructed from little

wheels joined together, the forces required contrary to promoting and retarding the

motions of the wheels if they are reciprocally as the speeds of the wheels on which they

are impressed, will mutually sustain each other. The force of a screw required to press

upon a body is to the force of hand turning the handle, as the rotational speed of the

handle in that part where it is pressed on by the hand, to the speed of progress of the

screw towards the body pressed. The forces by which a wedge urges the two parts of

wood to be split are to the force of the hammer to the wedge, as the progress of the wedge

following a determined force impressed by the hammer on itself, to the speed by which

the parts of the wood, following lines perpendicular to the faces of the wedge. And an

account of all machines is the same.

The effectiveness and use of these consists in this only, that by diminishing the speed

we augment the force, and vice versa: From which the general problem is solved in all

kinds of suitable mechanical devices : a given weight is to be moved by a given force, or

some given resistance is to be overcome by a given force. For if machines may be formed

thus, so that the speeds of the driving force and of the resistance shall be reciprocally as

the forces ; the driving force will sustain the resistance : and it may overcome the same

with a greater difference of the speeds. Certainly if the disparity of the speeds shall be so

great, so that all resistance may also overcome, which is accustomed to arise both from

the slipping and friction of nearby bodies between each other, as well as from the

cohesion and in turn of the separation and continued elevation of bodies ; with all that

resistance overcome, the excess force will produce an acceleration motion proportional to

itself, partially within the parts of the machine, and partially within the resisting body. It

is not the intention of this work to treat everything mechanical. I have wished only to

show, both how wide and sure the third law of motion shall be. For if the action of the

driving force may be estimated from the speed and this force taken jointly ; and similarly

the reaction of the resistance may be estimated conjointly from the velocities of the

individual parts of this, and from the friction of these, from the cohesion, and from the

weight, and from the acceleration arising ; the action and the reaction will always be

equal to each other in turn, in every use of instruments. And as far as the action is

propagated by the instrument and finally may be impressed on any resisting body, the

final determination of this will always be contrary to the determined reaction.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section I.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 76

THE MATHEMATICAL PRINCIPLES OF

NATURAL PHILOSOPHY

CONCERNING THE

MOTION OF BODIES

BOOK ONE.

SECTION I.

Concerning the method of first and last ratios, with the aid of which the following are

demonstrated.

LEMMA I.

Quantities, and so the ratios of quantities, which tend steadily in some finite time to

equality, and before the end of that time approach more closely than to any given

differences, finally become equal.

If you say no; so that at last they may become unequal, and there shall be a final

difference D of these. Therefore they are unable to approach closer to equality than to the

given difference a D: contrary to the hypothesis.

Q. E. D.

LEMMA II.

If in some figure AacE, with the right lines Aa, AE and the curve acE in place, some

number of parallelograms are inscribed Ab, Bc, Cd, &c. with equal bases AB, BC, CD,

&c. below, and with the sides Bb, Cc, Dd, &c. maintained parallel to the side of the

figure Aa; & with the parallelograms aKbl, bLcm, cMdn, &c. filled in. Then the width

of these parallelograms may be diminished and the number may be increased to

infinity : I say that the final ratios which the inscribed figure AKbLcMdD, the

circumscribed figure AalbmcndoE, and to the

curvilinear figure AabcdE have in turn between each other, are ratios of equality.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section I.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 77

For the difference of the inscribed and circumscribed figures is the sum of the

parallelograms Kl, Lm, Mn, Do, that is (on account of

the equal bases) the rectangle under only one of the

bases Kb and the sum of the heights Aa, that is, the

rectangle ABla. But this rectangle, because with the

width of this AB diminished indefinitely, becomes less

than any given [rectangle] you please. Therefore (by

lemma I) both the inscribed and circumscribed figures

finally become equal, and much more [importantly] to

the intermediate curvilinear figure.

Q. E. D.

LEMMA III.

Also the final ratios are the same ratios of equality, when the widths of the

parallelograms AB, BC, CD, &c. are unequal, and all are diminished indefinitely.

For let AF be equal to the maximum width, and the parallelogram FAaf may be

completed. This will be greater than the difference of the inscribed and of the

circumscribed figure ; but with its own width AF diminished indefinitely, it is made less

than any given rectangle.

Q. E. D.

Corol. I. Hence the final sum of the vanishing parallelograms coincides in every part

with the curvilinear figure.

Corol. 2. And much more [to the point] a rectilinear figure, which is taken together

with the vanishing chords of the arcs ab, bc, cd, &c., finally coincides with the

curvilinear figure.

Corol. 3. And in order that the circumscribed rectilinear figure which is taken together

with the tangents of the same arcs.

Corol. 4. And therefore these final figures (as far as the perimeter acE,)

are not rectilinear, but the curvilinear limits of the rectilinear [figures].

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section I.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 78

LEMMA IV.

If in the two figures AacE, PprT, there are inscribed (as above ) two series of

parallelograms, and the number of both shall be the same, and where the widths are

diminished indefinitely, the final ratios of the parallelograms in the one figure to the

parallelograms in the other, of the single to the single, shall be the same ; I say on

which account, the two figures in turn AacE, PprT are in that same ratio.

And indeed as the parallelograms are one to one, thus (on being taken together) shall be

the sum of all to the sum of all, and thus figure to figure; without doubt with the former

figure present (by lemma III) to the first sum, and with the latter figure to the latter sum

in the ratio of equality.

Q. E. D.

Corol. Hence if two quantities of any kind may be divided into the same number of

parts in some manner; and these parts, where the number of these is increased and the

magnitude diminished indefinitely, may maintain a given ratio in turn, the first to the

first, the second to the second, and with the others in their order for the remaining : the

whole will be in turn in that same given ratio. For if, in the figures of this lemma the

parallelograms are taken as the parts between themselves, the sums of the parts always

will be as the sum of the parallelograms ; and thus, when the number of parts and of

parallelograms is increased and the magnitude is diminished indefinitely, to be in the

final ratio of parallelograms to parallelograms, that is (by hypothesis) in the final ratio of

part to part.

LEMMA V.

All the sides of similar figures, which correspond mutually to each other, are in

proportion, both curvilinear as well as rectilinear: and the areas shall be in the squared

ratio of the sides.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section I.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 79

LEMMA VI.

If some arc in the given position ACB is subtended by the chord AB, and at some

point A, in the middle of the continued curve, it may be touched by the right line AD

produced on both sides; then the points A, B in turn may approach and coalesce ; I say

that the angle BAD, contained within the chord and tangent, may be diminished

indefinitely and vanishes finally.

For if that angle does not vanish, the arc ACB

together with the tangent AD will contain an

angle equal to a rectilinear angle, and therefore

the curve will not be continuous at the point A,

contrary to the hypothesis.

Q. E. D.

LEMMA VII.

With the same in place; I say that the final ratio of the arc, the chord, and of the

tangent in turn is one of equality.

For while the point B approaches towards the point A, AB and AD are understood

always to be produced to distant points b and d, and bd is drawn parallel to the section

BD. And the arc Acb always shall be similar to the arc ACB. And with the points A, B

coming together, the angle dAb vanishes, by the above lemma ; and thus the finite arcs

Ab, Ad and the intermediate arc Acb coincide always, and therefore are equal. And thence

from these always the proportion of the right lines AB, AD, and of the intermediate arc

ACB vanish always, and they will have the final ratio of equality.

Q. E. D.

Corol. I. From which if through B there is

drawn BF parallel to the tangent, some line

AF is drawn passing through A always cutting

at F, this line BF finally will have the ratio of

equality to the vanishing arc ACB, because

from which on completing the parallelogram

AFBD, AD will have always the ratio of equality to AD.

Corol. 2. And if through B and A several right lines BE, BD, AF, AG, are drawn

cutting the tangent AD and the line parallel to itself BF; the final ratio of the cuts of all

AD, AE, BF, BG, and of the chords and of the arc AB in turn will be in the ratio of

equality.

Corol. 3. And therefore all these lines can be taken among themselves in turn, in the

whole argument concerning the final ratios.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section I.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 80

LEMMA VIII.

If the given right lines AR, BR, with the arc ACB, the chord AB and the tangent

AD, constitute the three triangles RAB, RACB, RAD, then the points A and B

approach together: I say that the final form of the vanishing triangles is one of

similitude, and the final ratio one of equality.

For while the point B approaches towards

the point A, always AB, AD, AR are understood

to be produced a great distance away to the

points b, d and r, and with rbd itself to be made

parallel to RD, and the arc Acb always shall be

similar to the arc ACB. And with the points A

and B merging, the angle bAd vanishes, and

therefore the three finite triangles coincide rAb,

rAcb, rAd, and by the same name they are

similar and equal. From which and with these

RAB, RACB, RAD always similar and proportional, finally become similar and equal to

each other in turn.

Q. E. D.

Corol. And hence those triangles, in the whole argument about the final ratios, can be

taken for each other in turn.

LEMMA IX.

If the right line AE and the curve ABC, for a

given position, mutually cut each other in the

given angle A, and to that right line AE at another

given angle, BD and CE may be the applied

ordinates, crossing the curve at B and C, then the

points B and C likewise approach towards the point

A: I say that the areas of the triangles ABD and

ACE will be in the final ratio in turn, in the square

ratio of the sides .

And indeed while the points B and C approach

towards the point A, it is understood always that the

points AD and AE are to be produced to the distant points d and e, so that Ad and Ae shall

be proportional to AD and AE themselves, and the ordinates db and ec are erected parallel

to the ordinates DB and EC , which occur for AB and AC themselves produced to b and c.

It is understood that there be drawn, both the curve Abc similar to ABC itself, as well as

the right line Ag, which touches each curve at A, and which cuts the applied ordinates

DB, EC, db, ec in F, G, f, g. Then with the length Ae remaining fixed, the points B and C

come together at the point A; and with the angle cAg vanishing, the curvilinear areas Abd

to Ace coincide with the rectilinear areas Afd to Age; and thus (by lemma V.) they will be

in the square ratio of the sides Ad and Ae : But with these areas there shall always be the

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section I.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 81

proportional areas ABD to ACE, and with these sides the sides AD to A E. And therefore

the areas ABD to ACE shall be in the final ratio as the squares of the sides AD to AE.

Q. E. D.

LEMMA X.

The finite distances which some body will describe on being pushed by some force,

shall be from the beginning of the motions in the square ratio of the times, that force

either shall be determined and unchanged, or the same may be augmented or

diminished continually.

The times are set out by the lines AD to AE, and the velocities generated by the

ordinates DB to EC; and the distances described by these velocities will be as the areas

ABD to ACE described by these ordinates, that is, from the beginning of the motion itself

(by lemma IX) in the square ratio of the times AD to AE.

Q. E. D.

Cor I. And hence it is deduced easily, that the errors of bodies describing similar parts

of similar figures in proportional times, which are generated by whatever equal forces

applied similarly to bodies, and are measured by the distances of bodies of similar figures

from these places of these, to which the bodies would arrive in the same times with the

same proportionals without these forces, are almost as the squares of the times in which

they are generated.

[These corollaries examine the effect of small resistive forces on otherwise uniformly

accelerated motion; the initial motion being free from such velocity-related resistance.]

Corol. 2. Moreover the errors which are generated by proportional forces similarly

applied to similar parts of similar figures, are as the forces and the squares of the times

jointly.

Corol. 3. The same is to be understood from that concerning any distances whatsoever

will describe which bodies acted on by diverse forces. These are, from the beginning of

the motion, as the forces and the squares of the times jointly.

Corol. 4. And thus the forces are described directly as the distances, from the start of

the motion, and inversely as the squares of the times.

Corol.5. And the squares of the times are directly as the distances described and

inversely with the forces.

Scholium.

If indeterminate quantities of different kinds between themselves are brought together,

and of these any may be said to be as some other directly or inversely : it is in the sense,

that the first is increased or decreased in the same ratio as the second, or with the

reciprocal of this. And if some one of these is said to be as another two or more directly

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section I.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 82

or inversely : it is in the sense, that the first may be increased or diminished in the ratio

which is composed from the ratios in which the others, or the reciprocals of the others,

are increased or diminished. So that if A may be said to be as B directly and C directly

and D inversely: it is in the sense, that A is increased or diminished in the same ratio with

1

B C

D

, that is, that

BC

A and

D

are in turn in a given ratio.

LEMMA XI.

The vanishing subtense of the angle of contact, in all curves having a finite

curvature at the point of contact, is finally in the square ratio of the neighbouring

subtensed arcs.

Case I. Let that arc AB be [called] the subtensed arc [of the

chord] AB, the subtense of the angle of contact is the

perpendicular BD to the tangent. To this subtense AB and to

the tangent AD the perpendiculars AG and BG are erected,

concurring in G; then the points D, B, G may approach the

points d,b,g, and let J be the intersection of the lines BG, AG

finally made when the points D and B approach as far as to A.

It is evident that the distance GJ can be less than any assigned

distance. But (from the nature of the circles passing through

the points ABG, Abg) AB squared is equal to AG BD , and

Ab squared is equal toAg bd ; and thus the ratio AB squared

to Ab squared is composed from the ratios AG to Ag and BD

to bd. But because GJ can be assumed less than any length

assigned, it comes about that the ratio AG to Ag may differ

less from the ratio of equality than for any assigned

difference, and thus so that ratio AB squared to Ab squared may differ less from the ratio

BD to bd than for any assigned difference. Therefore, by lemma I, the final ratio AB

squared to Ab squared is the same as with the final ratio BD to bd.

Q. E. D.

[Thus, in the limit,

2 2

: : BD bd AB Ab = ; the term subtensed is one not used now in

geometry, and does not get a mention in the CRC Handbook of Mathematics, etc., and as

it is used here, it means simply the chord subtending the smaller arc in a circle. The

related versed sine or sagitta that we will meet soon is the maximum distance of the arc

beyond the chord, given by

2

2

1 2 cos sin

= , where is the angle subtended by the

arc of the unit circle.]

Case 2. Now BD to AD may be inclined at some given angle, and always there will be

the same final ratio BD as bd as before, and thus the same AB squared to Ab squared.

Q. E. D.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section I.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 83

Case 3. And although the angle D may not be given, but the right line BD may

converge to a given point, or it may be put in place by some other law; yet the angles D,

d are constituted by a common rule and always will incline towards equality, and

therefore approach closer in turn than for any assigned difference, and thus finally will be

equal, by lemma I, and therefore the lines BD to bd are in the same ratio in turn and as in

the prior proposition.

Q. E. D.

Corol. 1. From which since the tangents AD to Ad, the arcs AB to Ab, and the sines of

these BC to bc become equal finally to the chords AB to Ab ; also the squares of these

finally shall be as the subtenses BD to bd.

[Thus,

2

2

; ; ; and

arcAB BC AD AB AB AB AB BD

Ad Ab arcAb Ab bc Ab bd

Ab

. = Care must be taken to note that

some ratios are equal in the limit only, while others are true more generally.]

Carol. 2. The squares of the same also are finally as the versed sines [sagittae] of the

arcs, which bisect the chords and they converge to a given point. For these versed sines

are as the subtenses BD to bd.

Corol. 3. And thus the sagitta is in the square ratio of the

time in which the body will describe the arc with a given

velocity.

Carol. 4. The [areas of the] rectilinear triangles ADB to

Adb are finally in the cubic ratio of the sides AD to Ad, and

in the three on two ratio [of the powers] of the sides DB to

db; as in the combined ratio of the sides AD and DB to Ad

and db present. And thus the triangles ABC to Abc are

finally in the triplicate ratio of the sides BC to bc. Truly I

call the three on two ratio the square root of the cube, which

is composed certainly from the simple cube and square root

[ratios].

[For the areas of the triangles are as

3 3

2 2

2 2 3 3 3 3

: : :

: : : :

Also, : : : : : : ]

AD.DB Ad.db AD Ad BD bd

AD ad AB Ab AB Ab AD ad .

AD.DB Ad.db AD ad BD bd BD bd BD bd BD bd .

=

= = =

= = =

Corol.5. And because DB to db finally are parallel and in the square ratio of AD to

Ad : the final curvilinear areas ADB to Adb (from the nature of parabolas) are two thirds

of the parts of the rectilinear triangles ADB to Adb; and the segments AB to Ab one third

parts of the same triangles. And thence these areas and these segments will be in the

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section I.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 84

cubic ratio both of the tangents AD to Ad; as will as of the chords and of the arcs AB to

Ab.

Scholium.

Moreover in all these we suppose the angle of contact neither to be infinitely greater to

the angles of contact which circles maintain with their tangents, nor with the same

infinitely small ; that is, the curvature at the point A, neither to be infinitely small nor

infinitely great, or the interval AJ to be of finite magnitude. For DB can taken

as AD

3

: [Thus far, as the angle DAB becomes very small, AB AD , and

2 2

: : BD bd AD Ad .] as in that case no circle can be drawn through the point A between

the tangent AD and the curve AB, and hence the angle of contact will be infinitely smaller

than with circles. And by a similar argument, if DB becomes successively as

4 5 6 7

AD , AD , AD , AD ,&c. there will be had a series of contact angles going on to

infinity, of which any of the latter is infinitely smaller then the first. And if DB is made

successively as

6 7 3 4 5

3 5 6 2 4

2

, AD , AD , AD , AD AD , AD , &c. [i.e. powers between 1 and 2]

another infinite series of contact angles will be had, the first of which is of the same kind

as with circles, the second infinitely greater, and any later infinitely greater with the

previous. But between any two from these angles a series of intermediate angles to be

inserted can go off on both sides to infinity, any latter of which will be infinitely greater

of smaller with the previous. As if between the terms

2 3

and AD AD the series

13 7 8 17 11 9 6 5 14 11

6 5 3 3 5 6 4 4 2 4

, , AD , AD , AD AD , AD , AD , AD , AD AD , AD ,&c. is inserted. And again

between any two angles of this series a new series of intermediate angles can be inserted

in turn with infinite intervals of differences. And nor by nature will it know a limit

Everything which have been shown fully about curved lines and surfaces , easily may

be applied to the surface curves of solids and the curves within. Truly I have presented

these lemmas, so that I might escape the tedium of deducing long demonstrations ad

absurdum, in the custom of the old geometers. For they are rendered more contracted by

the method of indivisibles. But because the hypothesis of indivisibles is harder, and

therefore that method is less recommended geometrically; I have preferred the

demonstrations of the following things, the sums and ratios of the first arising and for the

final of the vanishing quantities, that is, to deduce the limits of sums and ratios; and

therefore demonstrations of these limits which I have been able to present briefly.

Because indeed with these the same may be done better by the method of indivisibles ;

and with the principles now demonstrated we may use them without risk. Hence in the

following, if when I have considered quantities as it were from [being] small and

unchangeable, or if I have used small curved lines for right lines ; I may not wish

indivisibles to be understood, but vanishing divisibles, not the sums and ratios of parts

but the limits of the sums and ratios of parts being determined always to be understood ;

and the strength of such demonstrations always to be recalled to the method of the

preceding lemmas.

To the accusation, that the final proportion of vanishing quantities shall be nothing;

obviously which, before they will have vanished, it is not the final, where they will have

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section I.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 85

vanished, and there is nothing. But by the same argument it may be equally contended the

velocity is to be zero for a body at a certain place, when the motion may have finished,

you may arrive at the final velocity : for this not to be the final, before the body has

reached the place, and when it has reached there it is zero. And the easy response is : By

the final velocity that is to be understood, by which the body is moving, and neither

before it has reached the final place and the motion has ceased, nor afterwards, but then at

the instant it touches that place; that is, that velocity itself by which the body reaches the

final place and from which motion it ceases. And similarly by the ultimate ratio of

vanishing quantities, the ratio of the quantities is required to be understood, not before

they vanish, not after, but with which they vanish. And equally the first ratio arising is the

ratio by which they are generated. And the first sum and final sum [in turn] is to be, by

which they begin or cease (either to be increased or decreased). The limits stand out to

which the velocity is able to reach at the end of the motion, but not to be transgressed.

This is the final velocity. And in a like manner is the ratio of the limit of a quantity and of

the proportions of all beginnings and endings. And since here the limit shall be certain

and defined, the problem is truly the same geometrical one to be determined. Truly

everything geometrical has been legitimately used in all the geometrical determinations

and demonstrations.

It may be contended also, that if the final vanishing ratios of vanishing quantities may

be given, and the final magnitudes will be given: and thus a quantity will be constructed

entirely from indivisibles, contrary to what Euclid demonstrated concerned with

incommensurables, in Book X of the Elements. Truly this objection is supported by a

false hypothesis. These final ratios actually vanishing from any quantities, are not the

ratios of the final quantities, but the limits to which the ratios of quantities always

approach by decreasing without bounds ; and which can be agreed they approach nearer

than for whatever differences, at no time truly to be transgressed, nor at first to be

considered as quantities being diminished indefinitely. The matter is understood more

clearly with the infinitely great. If two quantities of which the difference has been given

may be increased indefinitely, the final ratio of these is given, without doubt the ratio of

equality, nor yet thus will the final quantities of this be given or the maxima of which that

is the ratio. In the following, therefore if when I discuss quantities, in advising about

things to be considered easily, either as minimas, vanishing or final ; you may understand

the quantities are determined with great care, but always to be thought of as diminishing

without limit. [In the sense that they are finite and getting smaller, and keep on doing so.]

[Translator's Note: At this stage, we are made aware by Newton of the two methods of

doing calculations, apart from the ponderous reducti ad absurdum type geometrical

methods of the ancient Greeks, e.g. the approach of Archimedes to solving certain

problems, and as used by Huygens in his Horologium in deriving the isochronous

property of his cycloidal pendulum : The method of the first and last ratio, which appears

to be none other than extracting a limit from first principles by seeking closer and closer

upper and lower bounds indefinitely; and the method of indivisibles, which is akin to the

modern calculus. At present, for the sake of economy and to avoid further controversy it

would seem regarding vanishing quantities, only the first of the two has been used and

shown in some detail.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section I.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 86

Newton goes to great pains to construct a geometrical method which embodies the

ideas both of integration and differentiation, but which avoids directly the forming of

integrals and derivatives as we know them now; instead, the idea of a limit is set out

initially, which incidentally demolishes Zeno' s Paradox in a sentence, and which in

words is more or less the present definition of such, the difference between the limiting

value and nearby values can be made as small as it pleases without end, without actually

being made equal. In the method of first and last sums and ratios, a geometrical method is

established for carrying out this process, and so for treating integration and

differentiation.

At first we look at slightly greater and slightly smaller rectangles enclosing a curve,

which approach each other and the segment of the area under the curve closer and closer

as their number is increased and the bases diminished, which on the whole seems highly

credible. Thus a formulation of integration is obtained. In the second a parallelogram is

presented in which a small arc of the curve lies near the diagonal, crossing at the ends,

and one side of the parallelogram is a tangent at one vertex; as the parallelogram is

diminished in size, the diagonal, the curve, and the tangent finally merge together closer

and closer; on elaboration, we are to follow points on lines in diminishing similar

triangles approaching an ultimate point at their intersection, where the two similar

triangles vanish, but their finite ratios of corresponding sides is maintained by two other

trustworthy similar triangles which remain finite all along, this method also seems

intuitively ok, as we are told that the final ratio is to be evaluated from the finite similar

triangles, at least in the case of the curve being a circle, which follows readily from

elementary geometry, while of course Newton rightly asserts that the dreaded zero on

zero is never used.

Thus the objections of the doubters were allayed, or at least they had less to argue

about. This approach is and was not enough for the pure mathematicans at the time, at

least those on the continent; we must remember that Newton was (in my view) essentially

a physicist doing mathematics, at which he was extraordinarily adept, as well as an

experimentalist cum alchemist cum theologian, rather than a pure mathematician. The

method considers points moving along lines in time, which we now would consider as a

mere parameter, and we are asked to retrace these positions into the past to arrive at the

starting point, or very close to it. Thus, Newton's calculus in the Principia is about the

rates of change of quantities with time.]

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section II.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 95

SECTION II.

On the finding of centripetal forces.

PROPOSITION I. THEOREM I.

The areas which bodies will describe driven in circles, with the radii drawn towards a

motionless centre of the forces, remain together in immoveable planes, and to be

proportional to the times.

The time may be divided into equal parts, and in the first part of the time the body may

describe the right line AB with the force applied [at B]. Likewise in the second part of the

time, if nothing may hinder, the body may go on

along the right line to c, (by Law I.) describing the

line Bc itself equal to AB; thus so that from the radii

AS, BS, cS acting towards the centre, the equal areas

ASB, BSc may be completed. Truly, when the body

comes to B, by a single but large impulse the

centripetal force acts, and brings about that the body

deflects from the line Bc and goes along in the line

BC ; cC is acting parallel to BS itself, crossing BC in

C; and with the second part of the time completed,

the body (by the corollary to Law I.) may be found

at C, in the same plane with the triangle ASB. J oin

SC; and the triangle SBC, on account of the parallels SB, Cc, will be equal to the triangle

SBc, and thus also equal to the triangle SAB. By a similar argument if the centripetal force

acts successively at C, D, E, &c. making it so that the body in particular small times will

describe the individual lines CV, DE, EF, &c. all these will lie in the same plane; and the

triangle SCD to the triangle SBC, and SDE to SCD itself, and SEF will be equal to SDE

itself. Therefore in equal times equal areas are described in the motionless plane : and by

adding together, the sums of any areas SADS, SAFS are between themselves, as the times

of describing. Now the number may be increased and the width of the triangles

diminished indefinitely; and finally the perimeter of these ADF, (by the fourth corollary

of the third lemma) will be a curved line: and thus the centripetal force, by which the

body is drawn perpetually from the tangent of this curve, may act incessantly ; truly any

areas described SADS, SAFS always proportional to the times of description, in this case

will be proportional to the same times. Q. E. D.

Corol. I. The velocity of the body attracted towards the motionless centre, in intervals

without resistance, is reciprocally as the perpendicular sent from that centre to the

rectilinear tangent of the orbit. For the velocities at these locations A, B, C, D, E, are as

the bases of equal [area] triangles AB, BC, CD, DE, EF, and these bases are reciprocally

as the perpendiculars sent to themselves.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section II.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 96

Corol. 2. If the chords AB, BC of two arcs described successively by the same body in

equal times in non-resisting distances [or spaces] may be completed in the parallelogram

ABCV; and of this diagonal, as it finally has that position when these arcs are diminished

indefinitely, BV may be produced both ways, and will pass through the same centre of the

forces.

Corol. 3. If the chords of arcs described in equal times in distances without resistance

AB, BC and DE, EF may be completed into the parallelograms ABCV, DEFZ; the forces

at B and E are in turn in the ratio of the final diagonals BV, EZ, when the arcs themselves

are diminished indefinitely. For the motions of the body BC and EF are composed (by the

Law I corollary) from the motions Bc, BV and Ef, EZ: but yet BV and EZ are equal to Cc

and Ff themselves, in the demonstration of this proposition they were being generated by

the impulses of the centripetal force at B and E, and thus they are proportional to these

impulses.

Corol. 4. The forces by which any bodies in non-resisting intervals are drawn back

from rectilinear motion and may be turned into curved orbits are between themselves as

these versed sines of the arcs described in equal times which converge to the centre of

forces, and they bisect the chords when these arcs are diminished indefinitely. For these

versed sines are as the half diagonals, about which we have acted in the third corollary.

Corol.5. And thus the same forces are as the force of gravity, as these versed sines are

to the perpendicular versed sines to the horizontal of the arcs of parabolas, which

projectiles describe in the same time.

Corol. 6. All remains the same by Corollary V of the laws, when the planes, in which

the bodies may be moving, together with the centres of forces, which in themselves have

been placed, are not at rest, but may be moving uniformly in a direction.

[Some important features to note in these corollaries are :

1. The distances travelled by the body AB, BC, CD, etc., in successive constant time

intervals t are related to the constant velocities in the intervals from the start of each

interval by the simple relations :

; ; etc

A B

AB v t BC v t . = = ;

since the areas of the triangles etc SAB, SCB, . described in the equal time intervals are

equal, (and note how this has been achieved in diagram by means of the triangles of equal

areas and etc. ScC CcB, ), then on calling the perpendicular distances from S to AB,

BC, etc.,

A B

h ,h , etc.,

etc; or, , etc.

A B C

SAB SBC SCD, . h AB h BC h CD = = = = , and hence

, etc.

A A B B C C

h v h v h v = = ,

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section II.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 97

and thus the perpendicular distance from the centre of force varies inversely as the

velocity of the body in that section of the motion. We would now interpret this result in

terms of conservation of angular momentum of the orbiting body.

2.When the parallelgrams VBcC, etc. collapse as t tends to zero, the impelling force acts

along the diagonal towards S.

3. The distances through which the centripetal force act, when applied, are given by the

displacements BV or cC, EZ or fF, etc. By Lemma XI of Section I, these displacements

tend towards the squares of the versed sines of the arcs AC and DF as t tends to zero.

4. These deliberations apply to parabolic arcs with uniform gravity acting uniformly, and

also under the circumstances that the whole system is moving with a uniform motion in

some direction.

It should be noted that Newton, in the following propositions, has essentially let the

number of sides of the polygon go to to infinity, and a geometrical analysis is performed

on one of the small segments of the original polygon envelope of the resulting curve.]

PROPOSITION II. THEOREM II.

Any body, that is moving in some curved line described in a plane, and with the radius

drawn to some point, either motionless or progressing uniformly in a rectilinear

motion, will describe areas about that point proportional to the times, and is urged on

by a centripetal force tending towards the same point.

Case I. For any body, because it is moving in a curved line, is turned from rectilinear

motion by some force acting on itself (by Law I.). And that force, by which the body is

turned from a rectilinear course, and it is known that the minima triangles SAB, SBC,

SCD, &c. are described equally in equal intervals of time about the fixed point S, acts in

the location B along a line parallel to cC itself (by Prop.XL, Book. I. Elem. and Law II.)

that is, along the line BS; and in the place C along a line parallel to dD itself, that is,

along the line SC, &c. Therefore the force always acts along lines tending towards that

fixed point S.

Q. E. D.

Case:2. And, by the fifth corollary of the laws, it is likewise, either the surface is at

rest in which the body will describe a curvilinear figure, or it may be moving together

with the same body, and with its own point S moving uniformly in a direction, with the

figure described.

Corol. I. In intervals or in non-resisting mediums, if the areas are not proportional to

the times, the forces do not tend to the meeting point of the radii, but thence are deviated

as a consequence, or towards the direction in which the motion is made, but only if the

description of the areas is accelerated: if it may be retarded ; they are deviated in the

opposite way.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section II.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 98

Corol. II. Also in mediums with resistance, if the description of the areas is

accelerated, the directions of the forces deviate from the running together of the radii

towards the direction in which there shall be motion.

Scholium.

A body can be urged by a centripetal force composed from several forces. In this case

the understanding of the proposition is, because that force which is composed from all the

forces, tend towards the point S. Again if some force may act always following a line

described perpendicular to a surface ; this will act so that the body is deflected from the

plane of its motion: but the magnitude of the surface described neither will be increased

or diminished, and therefore in the composition of the forces is required to be ignored.

PROPOSITION III. THEOREM III.

Every body, which with a radius drawn to the centre of some other moving body will

describe areas about that centre proportional to the times, is acted on by a force

composed from the centripetal force tending towards that other body, and by the force

arising from all the acceleration, by which that other body is acted on.

Let L be the first body, and T the other body : and (by corollary VI of the laws) if by a

new force, which shall be equal and contrary to that, by which the other body T is driven,

may urge each body along parallel lines ; the first body L goes on to describe the same

areas as before about the other body T: but the forceT, by which the other body was

being, now is destroyed by the force equal and contrary to itself ; and therefore (by Law

I) that other body T itself now left to itself, itself either will be at rest or it will be moving

uniformly forwards : and the first body L by being pressed on by the difference of the

forces, that is, by being urged by the remaining force, goes on to describe areas

proportional to the times about the other body T. Therefore it tends (by theorem II.) by

the difference of the forces to the other body T as centre.

Q. E. D.

Corol. 1. Hence if the one body L, by a radius drawn to the other T, will describe areas

proportional to the times ; and concerning the total force (either simple, or from several

forces joined together composed according to the second corollary of the laws,) by which

the first body L is urged, the total accelerative force is subtracted (by the same corollary

of the laws), by which the other body is impressed : all the remaining force, by which the

first body is impressed, tends towards the other body T as centre.

Corol. 2. And, if these areas are approximately proportional to the times, the

remaining force will tend approximately to the other body T.

Corol. 3. And in turn, if the remaining force tends approximately towards the other

body T, these areas will be approximately proportional to the times.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section II.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 99

Corol. 4. If the body L with the radius drawn to the other body T will describe areas,

which with the times are deduced to be very unequal ; and that other body T either is at

rest, or is moving uniformly in a direction : the action of the centripetal force tending

towards the body T either is zero, or it is a mixture and composed from the actions of

other very strong forces : and the total force from all, if there are several forces added

together, is directed towards another centre (either fixed or moving). The same will be

obtained, when the other body is moved by some other motion ; but only if the centripetal

force is assumed, which remains after subtracting the total force acting on that other body

T .

Scholium.

Because the description of the equal areas is an indication of the centre, which that

force considers, by which the body is influenced especially, and by which it is drawn

back from rectilinear motion, and retained in its orbit ; why may we not take in the

following the equal delineation of the areas as the sign of a centre, about which the

motion of all circles in free intervals is carried out ?

PROPOSITION IV. THEOREM IV.

The centripetal forces of bodies, which describe different circles with equal motion,

tend towards the centres of these circles ; and to be between themselves, so that they

are in the same time as the squares of the arcs described and as the radii of the circles.

These forces tend towards the centres of the circles by Prop. II. and Corol.2, Prop. I.

and are between themselves as with the smallest arcs in equal times, as without doubt of

the versed sines described by Corol.4, Prop. I, that is , as the squares of the arcs

themselves applied to the diameters of the circles by Lem. VII. and therefore, since these

arcs shall be as the arc described in any equal times, and the diameters shall be as the

radii of these ; the forces will be as the squares of any arcs described in the same time

applied to the radii of the circles.

Q. E. D.

Corol. I. Since these arcs shall be as the velocities of the bodies, [and inversely as the

radii] the centripetal forces shall be composed from the square ratio of the velocities

directly, and in the simple inverse ratio of the radii.

Corol. 2. And, since in the periodic times they shall be in the ratio composed from the

ratio of the radii directly, and in the ratio of the velocities inversely ; the centripetal

forces are in the ratio composed from the ratio of the radii directly, and in the square ratio

of the periodic times inversely.

Corol. 3. From which if the periodic times may be equal, and therefore the velocities

shall be as the radii; also the centripetal forces shall be as the radii; and vice versa.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section II.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 100

Corol. 4. And if both the periodic times and the velocities shall be as the square roots

of the radii ; the centripetal forces shall be equal among themselves ; and vice versa.

Corol.5 . If the periodic times shall be as the radii, and therefore the velocities are

equal; the centripetal forces shall be inversely as the radii : and vice versa.

Corol. 6. If the periodic times shall be in the three on two power ratio of the radii, and

therefore the velocities reciprocally in the square root ratio of the radii ; the centripetal

forces shall be reciprocally as the square of the radii, and vice versa.

Corol. 7. And universally, if the time of the period shall be as any power

n

R of R, and

therefore the velocity inversely as the power

1 n

R

of the radius ; the centripetal force will

be reciprocally as the power

2 1 n

R

of the radius: and vice versa.

Corol. 8. All the same things described concerning times, velocities, and forces, by

which similar bodies of any similar shape, and with centres having been put in place in

these figures similarly, follow from the preceding demonstration and applied to these

cases. But it is required for the description of the equality of areas to be substituted for

the equality of motion, and the distances of the bodies from the centres to be taken for the

radii.

[This had been shown experimentally by Kepler in his second law of planetary motion.]

Corol. 9. It also follows from the same demonstration ; that the arc, which a body will

describe in a given circle by the centripetal force on rotating uniformly in some given

time, is the mean proportional between the diameter of the circle, and the descent of the

body on falling in the same time caused by the same given force.

[These results are set out in the analytical manner by Routh and Brougham in their

Analytical View of Sir Isaac Newton's Pricipia, p. 36 37; and also are dealt with

conclusively by modern authors.]

Scholium.

The case of corollary six prevails with celestial bodies, (as also our Wren, Hook, and

Halley have deduced separately) and therefore who consider the centripetal force

decreasing in the square ratio of the distances from the centre, I have decided to explain

further in the following.

Again from the preceding propositions and from the benefit of the corollaries of this,

also the proportion of the centripetal force to any known force is deduced, such as that of

gravity. For if a body may be revolving in a circle concentric with the earth by its gravity,

this weight is the centripetal force of that [motion]. But by Corol. IX of this proposition,

from the descent of the weight and the time of one revolution, and the arc described in

some given time is given. And from propositions of this kind Huygens in his exemplary

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section II.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 101

treatise de Horologio Oscillatorio [Concerning the Oscillatory (i.e. Pendulum) Clock]

brought together the force of gravity with the centrifugal forces of revolution.

Also the preceding can be demonstrated in this manner. In any circle a polygon is

understood to be described of some number of sides. And if the body be required to move

with a given velocity along the sides of the polygon, and is to be reflected by the circle,

according to the individual angles of this; the force, with which the individual reflections

impinge on the circle, will be as the velocity of this: and thus the sum of the forces in a

given time will be as that velocity, and the number of reflections jointly : that is (if the

kind of polygon may be given) as the distance described in that given time, and increased

or decreased in the ratio of the length of the same to the aforementioned radius ; i.e. , as

the square of this length applied [i.e. multiplied by] to the radius: and thus, if a polygon

with an infinite number of sides may coincide with the circle, as the square of the arc

described in the given time applicable to the radius. This is the centrifugal force, by

which the body acts on the circle ; and to this the contrary force is equal, by which the

circle continually repels the body towards the centre.

PROPOSITION V. PROBLEM I.

With the velocity given in some places, by which a body will describe some given

figure with forces commonly tending towards some given centre, to find that centre.

The three lines PT, TQV, VR [along which the velocity acts] touch the described figure

in just as many points P, Q, R, concurring in T and V.

To the tangents the perpendiculars PA, QB, RC are

erected reciprocally proportional to the velocities of

the body at these points P, Q, R, from which they have

been raised ; that is, thus so that PA to QB shall be as

the velocity at Q to the velocity at P, and QB to RC

shall be as the velocity at R to the velocity at Q .

Through the ends of the perpendiculars A, B, C are

drawn AD, DBE, EC at right angles concurring in D

and E [parallel to the respective tangents]: And TD and VE are drawn concurrent at the

centre sought S. For the perpendiculars sent from the centre S to the tangents PT, QT (by

Corol. I, Prop. I.) are inversely as the velocities of the body at the points P and Q; and

thus by the construction [these perpendiculars from S to the tangents from T and V will

be] directly as the perpendiculars AP and BQ , that is: as the perpendiculars are sent from

the point D to the tangents. From which it is easily deduced that the points S, D, T are on

a single right line. And by a similar argument the points S, E, V also are on a single right

line; and therefore the body is turning about the centre S at the concurrence of the lines

TD and VE.

Q. E. D.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section II.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 102

[We give here the Le Seur and J anquier proof of Prop. V ; note 206, p. 78 :

The points S, D, and T do lie on a single

straight line. For from the centre S, with

the perpendiculars SG, SF sent to the

tangents TV, TF; and from the point D,

with the perpendiculars DK, DH, it is

apparent the angles FSG, HDK to be

equal and contained betwee parallel

lines, and on account of the sides SF, SG,

DH, DK, in an analogous manner, the

triangles FGS, HKD are similar ; and

thus the angle SFG, DHK are equal; and

hence there will be :

: : :

: : :

TH TF HK FG DH SF,

&

TK TG HK FG DK SG.

= =

= =

On account of which TD, produced, will pass through the centre S.]

PROPOSITION VI. THEOREM V.

If a body is revolving in some orbit in a non resisting space about an immobile centre,

and some arc just arisen may be described in the minimum time, and the versed sine of

the arc may be understood to be drawn, which bisects the chord, and which produced

passes through the centre of forces : the centripetal force at the middle of the arc will

be directly as the versed sine and inversely with the time squared.

For the versed sine at the given time is as the force (Per

Cor.4. Prop. I.), and with an increase in the time in some

ratio, on account of the increase of the arc in the same ratio,

the versed sine may be increased in that ratio squared (By

Cor.2. & 3, Lem. XI.) and thus the versed sine is as the

force to the first power and the time to the second power.

The squared ratio of the time is rearranged on both sides of

the proportionality, and the force becomes directly as the versed sine and inversely as the

time squared.

Q. E. D.

The same is easily shown also by Cor.4., Lem. X.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section II.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 103

[i.e. in an obvious notation, vSin ~F

c

; t t and the arc ; the versed sine

increases as

2

, and thus ( )

2

c

vSin F t . See note to Cor.1 below.]

Corol. I. If the body P may describe the curved line APQ by revolving about the

centre S; truly the right line ZPR may touch the curve at some point P, and to the tangent

from some other point of the curve Q , QR is acting parallel to the length SP, and QT may

be sent perpendicular to that distance SP: the centripetal force will be reciprocally as the

volume

2 2

SP QT

QR

which it shall be finally, when the points P and Q coalesce. For QR is equal to the versed

sine of twice the arc QP, in the middle of which is P, and twice the triangle SQP or

SP QT is proportional to the time, in which the double of this arc will be described;

and thus can be written for the time to be expressed.

Q. E. D.

[Recall that the versed sine, or the turned sine, is the line segment DB ; see the added

diagram here; given by

2

2 2 vSin r r cos r sin = = , or for very small

arcs, by

2

2 vSin r = ; thus

2

2

s

r

vSin = in this case, and the elemental area

of the corresponding sector OCB is

2

1

2

r rs = . Now, in these motions

equal areas are described in equal times, and thus the elemental [i.e.

instantaneous] area is proportional to the elemental time and vice versa :

2

1

2

t r rs = and thus the centripetal force or acceleration for unit mass, for areas

such as found above becomes

( )

( ) 2

2

2

vSin

c

t

t

F r r

= ,

the modern form, which is inversely as

2 2

SP QT

QR

the idea of angular velocity was not apparent at the time, it seem that Euler was

responsible for this, so that Newton's derivation of the centripetal acceleration goes as far

as the deviation from the tangent towards S, QR; this distance is divided by the area of the

associated triangle SP QT squared, proportional to the time squared, as one expects for

an acceleration.]

Corol. 2. By the same argument the centripetal force is reciprocally as the volume

2 2

SY QP

QR

, but only if the perpendicular ST shall be sent from the centre of forces to

the tangent PR of the orbit. For the rectangles and SY QP SP QT are equal.

Corol. 3. If the orbit either is a circle, or either touches or cuts a circle concentrically :

that is, the angle of contact, or which contains the smallest section with a circle, and

having the same radius of curvature at the point P [as the circle]; and if PV shall be a

chord of this circle for a body acted on by a centre of forces: the centripetal force [which

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section II.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 104

was previously inversely as

2 2

SY QP

QR

2

SY PV .

For PV is as

2

QP

QR

.

[ We give here the Le Seur and J anquier proof of Prop.

VI, Cor. III ; note 211, p. 81 :

PV shall beas

2

QP

QR

. For let PQVF be the osculating

circle, and with the chord QM drawn, as well as the

other chord PV drawn through the centre of forces S,

the former may be bisected in K, and there will be (by

Prop. 35, Book III, Euclid Elements),

2

QK VK PK = ; but with PK evanescent, QR PK = ,

and (by Cor. I, Lemma VII) QK QP = , hence

2

2

and

QP

QR

QP PV QR, VP . = = ]

Corol. 4. With the same in place, the centripetal force is directly as the velocity squared ,

and inversely as that chord [PV]. For the velocity is reciprocally as the perpendicular SY

by Corol. I. Prop. I.

Corol. 5. Hence if some curvilinear figure APQ is given, and in that there may be given

also a point S, towards which the centripetal force is always directed, the law of the

centripetal force can be found, from which some body P drawn back from a straight line

always will be retained in the perimeter of that figure, and by revolving describes it.

Without doubt either the volume

2 2

SP QT

QR

or the volume

2

SY PV is required to be

computed, for this is reciprocally proportional to the force. We will give examples of this

matter in the following problems.

PROPOSITION VII. PROBLEM II.

A body may rotate in the circumference of a circle, the

law of the attracting centripetal force towards some

given point is required.

Let VQPA be the circumference of the circle; S the

point given, to which the force as it were tends towards its

centre ; P the body brought to the circumference ; Q the

nearest point, into which it will be moved; and PRZ the

tangent to the circle at the previous point. The chord PV

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section II.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 105

may be drawn through the point S; and with the diameter of the circle VA drawn, AP is

joined; and to SP there may be sent the perpendicular QT, which produced may run to

meet tangent PR in Z; and then LR may act through the point Q, which shall be parallel to

SP itself, and then crosses to the circle at L, and then with the tangent PZ at R. And on

account of the similar triangles ZQR, ZTP, VPA; there will be RP

2

(that is RL RQ ) to

QT

2

as AV

2

to PV

2

. And thus

2

2

RL RQ PV

AV

is equal to QT

2

. [Note the degenerate cyclic

quadrilateral LQPP.] This equality may be multiplied by

2

SP

QR

, and with the points P and

Q coalescing there may be written PV for RL. Thus

2 3

2

SP PV

AV

becomes equal to

2 2

SP QT .

QR

. Therefore (by Corol.1. & 5. Prop. VI.) the centripetal force is inversely as

2 3

2

SP PV

AV

as the square of the distance or of the height SP, and jointly as the cube of

the chord PV. Q. E. D.

The Same Otherwise.

To the tangent PR produced there may be sent the perpendicular SY: and on account of

the similar triangles SYP, VPA; there will be AV to PV as SP to SY : and thus

SP PV

AV

equals SY, and

2 3

2

SP PV

AV

equals

2

SY PV . And therefore (by Coral.3. & 5. Prop. VI.)

the centripetal force is reciprocally as

2 3

2

SP PV

AV

reciprocally as

2 3

SP PV . Q. E. D.

Corol. I. Hence if the given point S, towards which the centripetal force always tends,

may be located on the circumference of this circle, for example at V, thecentripetal force

will be reciprocally as the fifth power of the height SP.

Corol. 2. The force, [proportional to

2 3

SP PV ] by which

the body P is revolving in a circle APTV about the centre of

forces S, is to the force, by which the same body P in the

same circle and in the same periodic time can be revolving

about some other centre of forces R, as

2

RP SP to the cube

of the right line SG, which is a right line drawn from the

centre of the first force S to the tangent of the orbit PG, and

which is parallel to the distance of the body from the second centre of forces. For from

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section II.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 106

the construction of this proposition, the first force is to the second force as

2 3 2 3

to RP PT SP PV that is, as

3 3

2

3

to

SP PV

SP RP

PT

similar triangles PSG, TPV [for :

SG SP PG

PV TP TV

= = ]) to SG

3

.

Corol.3. The force, by which a body P is revolving in some orbit about a centre of

forces S is that force, by which the same body P in the same orbit and in the same

periodic time can revolve about some other centre of forces R, as

2

SP RP ; and certainly

contained under the distance of the body from the first centre of forces S and with the

square of the distance of this from the second centre of force R, to the cube of the right

line SG, which is drawn from the centre of the first forces S to the tangent of the orbit

PG, and is parallel to the distance RP of the body from the second centre of forces. For

the forces in this orbit at some point P of this are in a circle of the same curvature.

PROPOSITION VIII. PROBLEM III.

A body may move in the semicircle PQA : towards effecting this, a law of the

centripetal force is required thus tending towards a

remote point S, so that all the lines PS, RS drawn

towards that, will be had as parallel.

From the semicircle with centre C, the radius CA is

drawn, cutting such parallels in M and N, and CP may

be joined. On account of the similar triangles CPM,

PZT and RZQ there is CP

2

to PM

2

as PR

2

to QT

2

,

and from the nature of the circle PR

2

is equal to the

rectangle QR RN QN + , or if with the points P and Q merged together to the rectangle

2 QR PM . Therefore CP

2

to PM

2

is as 2 QR PM to QT

2

and thus

2

QT

QR

equals

3

2

2PM

CP

, and [the ratio for the inverse of the centripetal force]

2 2 3 2

2

2

equals

QT SP PM SP .

QR

CP

Therefore (by Corol.I.&5, Prop. VI.) the centripetal force is reciprocally as

3 2

2

2PM SP

CP

2

2

2SP

CP

ignored) reciprocally as

3

PM .

Q. E. D.

The same may be deduced easily from the preceding proposition.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section II.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 107

Scholium.

And from an argument not much dissimilar the body may be found to move in an

ellipse, or also in a hyperbola or a parabola, by a central force which shall be reciprocally

as the cube of the applied ordinate to a centre of forces acting at a great distance.

PROPOSITION IX. PROBLEM IV.

A body may be rotating on the [equiangular] spiral PQS with all the radii SP, SQ,

&c. cut in a given angle : the law of the centripetal force is required tending towards

the centre of the spiral.

A small indefinite angle PSQ may be given, and on that account all the given angles

will be given by a figure with the appearance SPRQT .

[Recall that we need to evaluate

2 2

QT SP

QR

force.] Therefore the ratio

QT

QR

is given [i.e. constant], and

2

QT

QR

is as QT, that is (on

account of the kind of that given figure) as SP. Now the angle PSQ may be changed in

some manner, and the right line QR subtending the contact angle QPR will be changed

(by lemma XI) in the square ratio of PR itself or in the square ratio of QT. Therefore

2

QT

QR

will remain the same which it was first, that is as SP. Whereby

2 2

QT SP

QR

is as

SP

3

and thus (by Corol.1 & 5, Prop. VI ), the centripetal force is reciprocally as the cube

of the distance SP.

Q. E. D.

The Same Otherwise.

The perpendicular SY sent to the tangent, and the chord PV of the circle concentrically

cutting the spiral are in given ratios to the altitude SP [i.e. and

SY PV

SP SP

are both

constant]; and thus

3

SP is as

2

SY PV , that is (by Corol.3.& 5, Prop. VI.) reciprocally

as the centripetal force.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section II.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 108

LEMMA XII.

All the parallelograms drawn about any conjugate diameters of a given ellipse or

hyperbola are equal to each other.

Shown in works on conic sections.

[Note that conjugate diameters for the ellipse are defined from the chords parallel to

parallel tangents on either side of the ellipse; the one parallel chord passing through the

centre is the one diameter, while the conjugate diameter bisects all these chords,

beginning and ending on the contact points of the parallel tangents. ]

PROPOSITION X. PROBLEM V.

A body may be rotating in an ellipse : the law of the force is required tending towards

the centre of the ellipse.

With the semi-axes CA, CB of the ellipse taken ;

GP, DK the other conjugate diameters ; PF, QT the

perpendiculars to the diameters ; Qv the applied

ordinate to the diameter G P; and if the parallelogram

QvPR may be completed, there will be (from works

on conics );

[Newton defers proving the following theorem, which

is not quite trivial : but which follows from a like

theorem for the circle, as the ellipse can be regarded

as a projected circle, for which some theorems apply with a little modification. It is

perhaps the case that theorems used by Newton for the circle were thus extended to the

other conic sections where appropriate. Using the diagram given here, this theorem states

that

2 2 2

: : Pv vG Qv PC CD = , where PC and CD are semi-conjugate diameters and thus

PR is parallel to CD ; now, in the case of the circle, the corresponding theorem is

2

: 1:1 Pv vG Qv = , where QT and Cv are perpendicular to GP and

2 2

= PC CD , a well-

known result ; but the ratios based on parallel lines are not altered on projection, and the

result follows with the others accounted for. This extension to the ellipse in the form

given is shown, for example, in Theorem 9, 136, Elements of Analytical Geometry,

Gibson & Pinkerton, Macmillan & Co., 1911. A branch of geometry not studied much

these days. To return to the translation : ]

the rectanglePvG [i.e. Pv vG ] is to

2

Qv as

2

PC is to

2

CD and (on account of the

similar triangles QvT, PCF)

2

Qv to

2

QT as

2

PC to

2

PF ; and with the ratios taken

jointly, the rectangle PvG to

2

QT as

2

PC to

2

CD and

2

PC to

2

PF that is,

2 2 2

2

2

to as to

QT CD PF

vG PC .

Pv

PC

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section II.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 109

2 2 2

2 2 2 2

2 2

2 2 2

2

2 2 2 2

[ and ; or

or

= .]

Pv vG PC Qv PC

i.e.

Qv CD QT PF

Pv vG PC PC

,

QT CD PF

vG PC

QT / Pv CD PF / PC

= =

Write QR for Pv, and (by Lemma XII.) for BC CA CD PF , also (with the points P

and Q coinciding) 2PC for vG, and with the extremes and means multiplied in turn there

becomes

2 2 2 2

2

equal to

QT PC BC CA

QR PC

. Therefore there is, (by Coral.5, Prop. VI.)

the centripetal force varies reciprocally as

2 2

2BC CA

PC

2 2

2BC CA ) reciprocally as

1

PC

; that is, directly as the distance PC.

Q. E. I.

The same otherwise.

In the right line PG from the one side of the point T there may be taken u so that Tu

shall be equal to Tv itself; then take uV, which shall be to vG as

2

DC is to

2

PC . And

since from the theory of conics there is

2 2 2

to as to Qv Pv vG DC PC ,

2

Qv is equal to

PV uV . With the rectangle uPv added to both sides, and the square of the chord of the

arc PQ will be produced equal to the rectangle VPv ; and thus the circle, which touches

the conic section at P and passed through the point Q, will also pass through the point V.

The points P and Q run together, and the ratio uV to vG, which is the same as the ratio

2 2

to DC PC , becomes the ratio PV to PG or PV to 2PC; and thus PV will be equal to

2

2DC

PC

. Therefore the force, by which the body P is revolving in an ellipse, will be

reciprocally as

2

2DC

PC

into

2

PF (by Carol.3, Prop. VI) that is (on account of

2

2DC

into

2

PF given) directly as PC.

Q. E. I.

Scholium

Corol. I. Therefore the force is as the distance of the body from the centre of the ellipse :

and in turn, if the force shall be as the distance, the body will move in an ellipse having

the centre at the centre of forces, or perhaps in a circle, into which certainly the ellipse

can be transported.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section II.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 110

Corol.2. And the periodic times of the revolutions made will be equal in all ellipses

around the same centre. For these times are equal in similar ellipses (by Corol. 3. and 8.

Prop. IV.) but in ellipses having a common major axis they are accordingly in turn as the

whole total elliptic areas, and inversely likewise of the particular areas described ; that is,

directly as the minor axes, and the velocities of the bodies inversely at the principal

vertices ; that is, as the minor axes directly, and inversely as the ordinates at the same

point of the common axis ; and therefore (on account of the equality of the direct and

inverse ratios) in the ratio of equality.

Scholium.

If with the centre of the ellipse departing to infinity it may change into a parabola, the

body will be moving in this parabola ; and a constant force now emerges at an infinite

distance from the centre. This is Galileo's theorem. And if with a parabolic section of a

cone (with the inclination of the plane to the section of the cone changed) may be

changed into a hyperbola, the body will be moved in the perimeter of this with the

centripetal force turned into a centrifugal force. And just as in a circle or ellipse, if the

forces tending towards the centre of the figure placed on the abscissa [i.e. the x or

ordinate axis]; these forces by augmenting or diminishing the ordinates in some given

ratio, either by changing the angle of inclination of the ordinates to the abscissae, always

may be augmented or diminished in some ratio of the distances from the centre, but only

if the periodic times remain constant; thus also in general figures, if the ordinates be

augmented or diminished in some given ratio, or the angle of the ordinates may be

changed in some manner, with the periodic times remaining ; the forces tending towards

some centre placed on the abscissa tending to particular ordinates may be augmented or

diminished in the ratio of the distances from the centre.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section III.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 122

SECTION III.

Concerning the motion of bodies in eccentric conic sections.

[The Rectangle Theorem is a general theorem for Conic Sections with many

applications: If two variable secants of

a conic whose directions are fixed cut

the conic in P, Q and P', Q', and intersect

in O, then

OP.OQ

OP' .OQ'

is constant for all

positions of O. (For a coordinate

geometry proof, see e.g. Elements of

Analytical Conics, Gibson & Pinkerton, p.434. (1911)) We

will demonstrate this theorem for an elliptical section,

following this reference. Thus, if the chords PQ and P'Q'

intersect at O outside the ellipse shown here, then if the

tangents parallel to these chords in turn, op and op' , intersect at o, then

2

2

OP.OQ op

OP' .OQ'

op'

= .

Similarly, if the semi-diameters CD and CD' parallel to the chords are considered, then

2

2

2 2

OP.OQ op

CD

OP' .OQ'

op' CD'

= = . A useful case occurs when O lies on the focus S of the ellipse, in

which case we have the added relations

2

2

2 2

OP.OQ op

CD SL.SK

OP' .OQ' SL' .SK'

op' CD'

= = = . In this latter case,

there is added property that the harmonic mean of the two segments of a focal chord is

equal to the semi-latus rectum l , where

2

2

b

a

l = for the standard ellipse: i.e.

1 1 2

SL SK l

+ = , or

2

;

KL

SL.SK l

= hence we have all these relations :

2

2

2 2

OP.OQ op

CD SL.SK KL

OP' .OQ' SL' .SK' K' L'

op' CD'

= = = = .

Thus, we have Newton's Theorem :

If VQ is an ordinate of the diameter PCP' of a conic, CP and CD are conjugate semi-

diameters, then

2

2 2

P' V.VP CP

VQ CD

= .

From the given figure, which satisfies the requirements of the Rectangle Theorem, we

have now in addition :

;

P' C.CP P' V.VP

DC.CD' QV.VQ'

= giving

2

2 2

P' V .VP CP

VQ CD

= for conjugate axes, where C is the centre of the

ellipse or hyperbola . A similar result holds for the hyperbola, though care must be taken

with signs.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section III.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 123

To prove a similar theorem for the parabola, used below by Newton, i.e. that

2

4 QV SP.PV = , we proceed as follows : . From the Rectangle Theorem applied to the

infinite parallel chords and R T , and with the

conjugate semi-diameter formed by the tangent

TPR:

2

2 2 2

or

QV

RP TP TP

RQ.R TA.T PV TA

= = , since =1

R

T

as RQ

and TA are parallel. Therefore

2

2

PV.TP

TA

QV = Also,

PG is normal to the tangent, and PN is the ordinate

of the point P. Now, from the geometry of the

figure, TA AN = and TS SP SG = = ;

2

or 2 2

TN TP

TG TP

TP TN.TG .TA. SP = = = . Therefore

2

2

4

PV.TP

TA

QV SP.PV = = , as required.

In addition,

2 2

2 4 4 4 .UA PN .UA PN TA.AS AN.AS, = = = = giving the familiar formula

2

4 y ax. = ]

PROPOSITION Xl. PROBLEM VI.

A body may be revolving in an ellipse: the law of the centripetal force is required

attracting towards the focus of the ellipse.

[Note : This is one of the main results of the Principia, that was of great interset at the

time, and was the proposition that Newton had mislaid when first visited by Halley

enquiring about such; surely part of the folklore that now extends around Newton, and

indicative of his disregard for the intellectual pursuits of others in the years following his

rebuttals by Hooke.

Thus, as always in these diagrams, we are looking for an expression for the area

transcribed about the centre of force, here the focus F, in the element of time the body

travels from P to Q, and this quantity squared is divided by a length corresponding to the

versed sine in the limit, a distance proportional to and in the direction of the force within

the arc of the motion (see Prop.I, Th.I, Sect. 2); thus the inverse of the acceleration is

obtained as the limit is approached. Newton is careful enough to state in Sect. I that he

does not take a limit, just approaches as near as you wish with smaller and greater

magnitudes, effected by the longer sides of the parallelogram that encompass the arc that

tends towards the long diagonal of the parallelogram.

This incremental parallelogram is itself of some interest, as its 'long' and 'short' sides

are determined by different causes : the long side PR corresponds to a small increment of

the tangent line following the First Law of Motion, and the corresponding side Qx is an

increment of a diameter of the section, the conjugate diameter of which passes through

the centre C of the conic; the short side QR following the Second Law of Motion

corresponds to the versed sine of the force, and acts towards the focal point F. Thus, from

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section III.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 124

the point P, one line is sent to S, and another to C; while from Q one line is Qv, while the

other drawn is QT, perpendicular to SP. Hence the area traced out is proportional to

PS QT which in turn is proportional to the time, while QR is the distance moved under

the action of the central force. Hence the centripetal acceleration can be found

proportional to

( )

2

QR

PS QT

.This ratio must be identified with known properties of the curve

via proportionals, etc. derived from theorems of the conic section involved, one of which

is :

2

2 2

Gv.vP PC

Qv CD

= , shown above from elementary considerations . Thus Newton used what

might be called geometrical dynamics in his calculations.]

Let S be a focus of the ellipse. SP may be drawn cutting both the diameter of the

ellipse DK in E, and the applied ordinate Qv [i.e, a semi-chord of the axis PCG] in x, and

the parallelogram QxPR may be completed. It is apparent that EP is equal to the major

semi-axis AC : because there, with the line HI drawn from the other focus of the ellipse

parallel to EC itself, on account of the equal lines

CS, CH, the lines ES, and EI are made equal, thus so

that EP shall be half the sum of PS, PI, that is (on

account of the parallel lines HI, PR, and the equal

angles IPR, HPZ) half the sum of PS, PH, which

themselves jointly are equal to the total axis length

2AC.

[Thus, in the customary equation for the ellipse

2

2

2 2

1

y

x

a b

+ = , and from the construction :

2 SP PH a + = ; from the reflection theorem for a ray

travelling from one focus to the other, the angles IPR, HPZ are equal; then

; PH PI SE EI = = ; therefore, 2 SP PI a + = and ( )

1

2

SP PI a + = .]

The perpendicular QT may be sent to SP, and I call L the principal latus rectum of the

ellipse [a useful constant, the length of the vertical focal chord, equal to

2

2b

a

] (or

2

2BC

AC

),

there will be L QR to L Pv as QR to Pv, that is, as PE or AC to PC [from the similar

triangles Pvx and PFC]; and L Pv to Gv.vP as L to Gv; and Gv.vP to

2

Qv as

2

PC to

2

CD ,

[thus we have the ratios :

L QR QR

AC PE

L Pv Pv PC PC

= = = ;

L Pv L

Gv.vP Gv

= ;

2

2 2

Gv.vP PC

Qv CD

= ],

and (per Corol.2, Lem. VII.)

2

Qv to

2

Qx with the points Q and P merged together is the

ratio of equality;

2

Qx or

2

Qv is to

2

QT as

2

EP to

2

PF , that is, as

2

CA to

2

PF or (per

Lem. XII.) as

2

CD to

2

CB . [Note 261 (i) Leseur & J anquier: From the nature of conics,

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section III.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 125

the diameters of the parts made in terms of squares of the ordinates : as the square of the

transverse diameter to the square of the conjugate of that : PF CD AC BC = , and

thus

2 2 2 2

PF CD AC BC = , and thus

2 2

2 2

AC CD

PF BC

= . Note also that the lines DK, IH, Qv,

and RP are all parallel; hence the angle FEP in the right angle triangle PEF is equal to the

angle QxT in the small right angled triangle QxT, which triangles are hence similar.]

[i.e.

2 2

2 2

2 2 2 2

Qx Qv

CA EP

QT QT PF PF

= = = .]

And with all these ratios taken together, L QR becomes to

2

QT as

2 2

AC L PC CD , or

2 2 2

2.CB PC CD to

2 2

PC Gv CD CB , or as 2.PC to Gv.

2 2 2 2 2

2 2 2 2 2

2 2

[ .]

L QR

AC L PC CD .CB PC CD .PC

Gv

QT PC Gv CD CB PC Gv CD CB

i.e.

= = =

But with the points Q and P coalescing, 2.PC and Gv are equal. Therefore from these

proportionalities L QR and

2

QT are equal. These equalities are multiplied by

2

SP

QR

,

and there becomes

2

L SP equals

2 2

SP QT

QR

centripetal force is reciprocal as

2

L SP that is, reciprocally in the squared ratio of the

distance SP.

Q E.I.

[Note the desire to be rid of vanishing quantities, and to replace these with finite lengths ;

the triangles QTx and PCE fulfil this role; the first has vanishing sides, and the latter does

not; hence a ratio of vanishing sides in the first gives rise to a finite ratio in the second.

This can be accomplished by setting one vanishing ratio equal to a finite ratio times by a

vanishing ratio common to both the desired final quantities : considerable skill must be

exercised to do this. Thus, no quantities are allowed to vanish, merely to cancel to a finite

number. A crucial deduction in this matter is finding the length EP equal to AC. There is

also the ratios of the sections of chords:

2

2 2

Gv.vP PC

Qv CD

= ; thus it is necessary also to get rid

of Pv somehow, as well as Qx

2

the latter from the similar triangles mentioned; the

former from the vanishing triangle Pxv which is similar to the triangle PFE, which gives

the ratio

Pv PC PC

Px PE AC

= = . Thus, regarding the finite value of the vanishing quantities

2

QR

QT

,

we can set

Pv Pv

PC PC

QR Px PE AC = = = ; while

2

2

2

Qv

PC

Gv

CD

Pv = ; thus, in place of QR,

we may write

2 2

2

2 2

Qv Qv

AC PC PC

PC Gv Gv

CD CD

AC = . Again, QT

2

can be replaced by

2

2

2

PF

CA

Qx . It then follows that

( )

2

2

2 2 2 2

1

QR Qv

PC AC

Gv

QT CD Qx PF

AC = ; but from above,

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section III.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 126

2 2

2 2

AC CD

PF BC

= , and hence

( )

2

2

2 2 2 2 2 2

1 1

2

QR Qv

PC CD PC AC

Gv Gv

QT CD Qx BC BC BC

AC AC = = = , since

Gv tends to 2PC in the limit; hence

2

2

2

1

QR

BC

AC

QT

= , or

2

1

QR

QT

L = , as required.]

The Same Otherwise.

Since the force attracting the body towards the centre of the ellipse, by which the body

is able to rotate about that, shall be (by Corol.I, Prop. X.) as the distance CP from the

centre of the ellipse C; CE is taken parallel to the tangent of the ellipse PR ; and the

force, by which the same body P can revolve about some other point of the ellipse S, if

CE and PS are concurrent in E, will be as

3

2

PE

SP

(by Corol.3, Prop.VII.) that is, if the

point S shall be the focus of the ellipse, and thus PE may be given, as reciprocally as

2

SP . Q.E.1.

By the same brevity, with which we have extended the fifth problem to the parabola and

the hyperbola, here it is allowed to be used likewise; truly on account of the worth of the

problem, and the use of this in the following, it will be a pleasure to confirm the other

propositions by demonstration.

PROPOSITION XII. PROBLEM VII.

A body may be moving in a hyperbola : the law of the centripetal force is required

tending towards the focus of the figure.

With the semi-axes CA, CB of the hyperbola taken; PG, KD are other conjugate

diameters; PF is the perpendicular to the diameter KD; and Qv the applied ordinate to the

diameter GP. Construct SP cutting with the diameter DK in E, and then with the applied

ordinate Qv in x, and the parallelogram QRPx may be completed. It is apparent that EP is

equal to the transverse semi-axis AC, because there, from the other focus of the hyperbola

H the line HI parallel to EC is drawn, on account of which the equal quantities CS, CH

may be equal to ES, E1 ; thus so that EP shall be the semi-difference of PS, PI, that is

(on account of the parallel lines IH, PR and the equal angles IPR, HPZ) of PS, PH, which

amounts to the total difference of the axis 2.AC .

[This is a special case, where the chord SP is perpendicular to the axis, perhaps chosen to

ease the diagram : from symmetry and from the construction, and CH CS EI ES = = ; for

the hyperbola, 2 PH PS .AC = ; now PI = PH, i.e. the triangle PHI is isosceles : for if

we assume the physical result that a ray from H striking at P appears to come from S on

reflection, then the angles RPH and IPZ are equal, hence the normal line FP bisects the

angle HPI, and so the triangle is isosceles, and PI PH = . Hence

2 or on dividing by 2. PI PS .AC PE AC = = ]

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section III.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 127

To SP there may be sent the perpendicular QT. And I call L the principal latus rectum of

the hyperbola (or

2

2BC

AC

), there will beL QR to L Pv as QR to Pv, or Px to Pv, that is

: (on account of the similar triangles Pxv, PEC) as PE to PC, or AC to PC. Also there will

be L Pv to Gv Pv as L to Gv; and (from the nature of conics) the rectangle Gv.vP to

2

Qv as

2 2

to PC CD ; and (by Corol.2, Lem.VII.)

2 2

to Qv Qx with the points Q and P

coalescing shall become the ratio of equality ; and

2 2

or Qx Qv is to

2 2 2

as to QT EP PF ,

that is, as

2 2

to CA PF , or (by Lem.XII.) as

2 2

to CD CB : and with all these ratios taken

togetherL QR shall be to

2

QT as

2 2

AC L PC CD , or

2 2 2

2CB PC CD to

2 2

PC Gv CD CB , or as 2PC to Gv. [See below for modern notation.] But with the

points P and Q coalescing 2PC and Gv are equal. And therefore from these proportions

L QR and

2

QT are equal. These equalities are multiplied by

2

SP

QR

, and there becomes

2

L SP equal to

2 2

SP QT

QR

reciprocally as

2

L SP , that is, reciprocally in the ration of the square of the distance SP.

Q. E. I.

[The derivation and notation follow the ellipse above exactly.]

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section III.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 128

2

2 2

2

2 2 2

2 2 2 2

2 2 2 2 2

2 2 2 2 2

2 2

[ ; ; ;

as = = = .

Finally, = = = .]

L QR QR

Px AC L Pv Gv.vP PC PE L

L Pv Pv Pv PC PC Gv Pv Gv

Qv CD

Qx

CA CD EP

QT PF PF CB

L QR

AC L PC CD CB PC CD PC

Gv

QT PC Gv CD CB PC Gv CD CB

Q P,

= = = = = =

The same otherwise.

The force may be found, by which the body tends from the centre of the hyperbola C.

This will be produced proportional to the distance CP. Truly thence (by Carol.III,

Prop.VII.) the force tending towards the focus S will be as

3

2

PE

SP

that is, on account of

PE given reciprocally as

2

SP .

Q.E.1.

In the same manner it may be shown, because the body by this force turned from

centripetal to centrifugal will be moving in the above hyperbola.

[The idea of free positive and bound negative energy orbits was not of course

available at the time, whereby a body with total energy >0 describes a hyperbola about

an attracting source of force such as the sun, a body with total energy <0 describes an

ellipse, while the parabola corresponds to zero energy, such as a comet starting from rest

at essentially an infinite distance from the sun. Thus, an attractive gravitational force can

still give rise to this hyperbolic motion. Such comets with zero or positive energy have

been observed occasionally. In the diagram, the attractive force may act from the one

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section III.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 129

focus, while a repulsive force may act from the other, and in this respect they have the

same effect.]

LEMMA XIII.

The latus rectum of a parabola pertaining to some vertex is four times the distance of that

vertex from the focus of the figure.

This is apparent from conic sections.

[For the modern reader, the delightful Book of Curves by E. H. Lockwood (CUP) can be

consulted for the more common properties referring to conic sections, as well as for

details about many other well-known curves.]

LEMMA XIV.

The perpendicular, which is sent from the focus of the parabola to the tangent of this

curve, is the mean proportional between the distance of the focus from the point of

contact and from the principal vertex of the figure.

For let AP be the parabola, S the focus of this,

A the principle vertex, P the point of contact of

the tangent, PO the applied ordinate to the

principle diameter, PM the tangent crossing the

principal axis M, and SN the perpendicular from

the focus to the tangent. AN is joined and on

account of the equal lines MS and SP, MN and

NP, MA and AO , the right lines AN and OP are

parallel ; and thence the triangle SAN will be right-angled at A, and similar to the equal

triangles SNM and SNP: therefore PS is to SN as SN is to SA. Q.E.D.

[

PS SN

SN SA

i.e. = .]

[For the envelope of the parabola can be constructed from the tangents by rotating the

right angle SAN about S while N moves progressively along the coordinate line AN from

N to some N' (not shown here) whereby SNN'P is a cyclic quadrilateral and the angle ANS

is the angle between the chord and the tangent, equal to the angle in the alternate segment

NPS, on letting N' tend towards N. See Lockwood p.4 for the details.]

Corol. 1.

2

PS is to

2

SN as PS to SA. [For

2

SN PS.SA = and

2

PS PS

PS.SA SA

= .]

Corol. 2. And on account of SA given there is

2

SN as PS.

Corol. 3. And the running together of any tangent PM with the right line SN, which is

from the focus into the perpendicular itself, falls on the right line AN, which is a tangent

to the parabola at the principle vertex.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section III.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 130

PROPOSITION XIII. PROBLEM VIII.

A body may be moving in the perimeter of a parabola :the law of the centripetal force

tending towards the focus of this figure is to be acquired.

The construction of the lemma may remain, and let P be a body on the perimeter of

the parabola, and from the closest place Q, into

which the body may move, with the line QR

drawn acting parallel to Sp itself and the

perpendicular QT, and also Qv parallel to the

tangent, and running to meet both with the

diameter PG in v, as well as the interval SP in x.

Now on account of the similar triangles Pxv,

SPM, and the equality of the sides SM, SP, the

other sides Px or QR and Pv are equal. But from

the theory of conics [See note at start of this section.] the square of the ordinate Qv is

equal to the rectangle under the latus rectum and the segment of the diameter Pv, that is

(by Lem. XIII.) to the rectangle 4PS Pv , or to 4PS QR ; and with the points P and Q

merging together, the ratio Qv to Qx (by Corol 2, Lem.VII.) shall be one of equality.

Hence

2

Qx in that case is equal to the rectangle 4PS QR . But (on account of the similar

triangles QxT , SPN)

2 2 2 2

is to as to Qx QT PS SN , that is (by Corol.I, Lem.XIV.) as PS

to SA, that is, as 4PS QR to 4SA QR , and thence (by Prop. IX, Lib. V. Elem.)

2

QT and 4SA QR are equal. This equality is multiplied by

2

SP

QR

, and there becomes

2

2

SP QT

QR

equal to

2

4 SP SA : and therefore (by Corol.I. and V, Prop. VI.) : the

centripetal force is reciprocally as

2

4 SP SA , that is, on account of 4SA given,

reciprocally in the square ration of the distance SP.

Q.E.I.

[

2 2

4 Qv Qx PS QR = ;

2

2

2 2

4

4

Qx PS QR

PS PS

SA SA QR

QT SN

= = = ;

2

4 QT SA QR = .]

Corol. I. From the three latest propositions it follows, that if some body P may

emerge from the position P and follows some line PR with whatever velocity, and with

the centripetal force, which shall be reciprocally proportional to the square of the distance

of the position from the centre, likewise may be acting ; this body will be moved in some

conic sections having the focus in the centre of forces ; and vice versa. For from given

focus and point of contact, and from the position of the tangent, it is possible to describe

a conic section, which will have a given curvature at that point. But the curvature is given

from the given centripetal force, and from the velocity of the body : and it is not possible

to describe two orbits mutually touching each other with the same centripetal force and

with the same velocity.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section III.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 131

Corol 2. If the velocity, with which the body leaves from its position P, shall be that, by

which the short line PR may be able to be described in some smallest part of time ; and

the centripetal force shall be able in the same time to move through the distance QR: this

body will be moved in some conic section, the principal latus rectum is that quantity

2

QT

QR

which finally is made when the small lines PR and QR are diminished indefinitely.

The circle I refer to the ellipse in these corollaries ; and I rule out the case, where the

body descends to the centre along a straight line.

PROPOSITION XIV. THEOREM VI.

If several bodies are rotating about a common centre, and the centripetal force shall

be in the reciprocal square ratio of the distances of the places from the centre ; I say that

the principal latera recta are in the square ratio of the areas, which the bodies describe

by the radii to the centre in the same time.

For (by Corol 2, Prop. XIII, [and Prop. XI]) the latus

rectum L is equal to the quantity

2

QT

QR

which finally comes

about, when the points P and Q coincide. But the minimum

line QR in the given time is as the generating centripetal

force, that is (by hypothesis) reciprocally as SP

2

. Therefore

2

QT

QR

is as

2 2

QT SP , that is, the latus rectum L is in the

square ratio of the area QT SP .

Q.E.D.

Corol. Hence the total area of the ellipse, and to which the rectangle under the axis is

proportional, is composed from the square root ratio of the latus rectum, and from the

ratio of the periodic time. For the total area is as the area QT SP , which will be

described in the given time, taken into the periodic time.

PROPOSITION XV. THEOREM VII.

With the same in position, I say that the periodic times for ellipses are in the ratio of the

three on two power of the major axis.

For the minor axis is the mean proportional between the major axis and the latus

rectum, and thus the rectangle under the axes is in the ratio of the major axis. But this

rectangle (by Corol. Prop. XIV.) is in the ratio composed from the square root of the

latus rectum and in the ratio of the periodic time. The ratio of the square root of the

lengths of the lines are subtracted from both sides, and there will remain the three on two

ratio of the major axis with the ratio of the periodic time.

Q.E.D.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section III.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 132

Corol. Therefore the periodic times are the same in ellipses and circles, of which the

diameters are equal to the major axes of ellipses.

PROPOSITION XVI. THEOREM VIII.

With the same in place, and with the right lines drawn to the bodies, which at that

instant are tangents to the orbits, and with perpendiculars sent from the common focus to

these tangents: I say that the velocities of the bodies are in a ratio composed from the

inverse ratio of the perpendiculars, and directly with the square root ratio of the

principal latera recta.

Send the perpendicular SY from the focus S to

the tangent PR, and the velocity of the body P will

be reciprocally in the ratio of the square root of the

quantity

2

SY

L

. For that velocity is as the minimum

arc PQ described in the given moment of time, that

is (by Lem.VII.) as the tangent PR, that is, on

account of the proportionals PR to QT and SP to

SY, as

SP QT

SY

or as SY reciprocally and

SP QT directly; and SP QT shall be as the area

described in the given time, that is (by Prop.XIV.) in the square root ratio of the latus

rectum.

Q E.D.

Corol.I. The principal latera recta are in a ratio composed from the square of the ratio

of the perpendiculars and, and in the squared ratio of the velocities.

Corol. 2. The velocities of bodies, at the maximum and minimum distances from the

common focus, are in a ratio composed from the inverse ratio of the distances, and

directly as the square root of the principal latera recta. For the perpendiculars now are

these distances themselves.

Corol.3. And thus the velocities in a conic section, at the maximum or minimum

distances from the focus, is to the velocity in a circle at the same distance from the centre,

in the square root ratio of the principal latus rectum to twice that distance.

Corol. 4. The velocities of bodies gyrating in ellipses at their mean distances from the

common focus are the same as of bodies gyrating in circles at the same distances; that is

(by Corol.6, Prop. IV.) reciprocally in the square root ratio of the distances. For the

perpendiculars now are the minor semi-axes, and these are as the mean proportionals

between the distances and the latera recta. This ratio may be taken inversely with the

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section III.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 133

square root ratio of the latus rectums directly, and it becomes the ratio of the inverse

square of the distances.

Corol. 5. In the same figure, or even in different figures, of which the principal latera

recta are equal, the velocity of the body is inversely as the perpendicular sent from the

focus to the tangent.

Corol. 6. In a parabola the velocity is reciprocally in the square root ratio of the distance

of the body from the focus of the figure; in an ellipse it is changed more, in a hyperbola

less than in this ratio. For (by Corol. 2, Lem. XIV.) the perpendicular sent from the focus

to the tangent of the parabola is in the inverse square ratio of the distance. In a hyperbola

the perpendicular is varied less, in an ellipse more.

Corol. 7. In the parabola the velocity of a body at some distance from the focus is as the

velocity of the body revolving in a circle at the same distance from the same centre in the

square root ratio of two to one; in an ellipse it is less, in a hyperbola it is greater than in

this ratio. For (by Corollary 2 of this Prop.)the velocity at the vertex of the parabola is in

this ratio, and (by Corollary 6 of this Prop. and Proposition IV) the same proportion is

maintained between all the distances. Hence also in the parabola the velocity everywhere

is equal to the velocity of the body revolving in a circle at half the distance, in an ellipse

it is less, greater in a hyperbola.

Corol. 8. The velocity of gyration in some conic section is to the velocity of gyration

in a circle at a distance of half the principle latus rectum of the section, as that distance to

the perpendicular from the focus sent to the tangent of the section. This is apparent from

corollary five.

Corol. 9. From which when (by Corol 6. Prop. IV.) the velocity of gyration in this

circle shall be to the velocity of gyration in some other circle reciprocally in the square

root ratio of the distances ; there becomes from the equality the velocity of gyration in the

conic section to the velocity of gyration in a circle at the same distance, as the mean

proportional between that common distance and half the principle latus rectum of the

section, to the perpendicular sent from the common focus to the tangent of the section.

PROPOSITION XVII. PROBLEM IX.

Because the centripetal force shall be reciprocally proportional to the square of the

distance of the places put in place from the centre, and because the magnitude of that

force shall be known absolutely; the line is required, that the body will describe from that

place progressing with a given velocity along a given right line.

The centripetal force tending towards the point S shall be that, by which the body p

may gyrate in some given orbit pq, and the velocity of this may be known at the position

p. From the place P the body P may emerge following the line PR with a given velocity,

and thence soon, with the centripetal force acting, that may be deflected in the section of

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section III.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 134

a cone PQ. Therefore this right line PR is a tangent at P. Likewise pq may touch the other

orbit in p, and if from S these

perpendiculars are understood to be sent,

(by Corol. I, Prop. XVI.) the principle

latus rectum of the conic section will be

to the principle latus rectum of the orbit

in a ratio composed from the squared

ratio of the perpendiculars and from the

squared ratio of the velocities, from

which thus it is given. Let L be the latus

rectum of the conic section. Therefore

the focus S of this conic section is given.

The complement of the angle RPS to two right angles makes the angle RPH; and from the

position given of the line PH, on which the other focus H may be located. With the

perpendicular SK sent from PH, the conjugate semi-axis BC is understood to be erected,

and there will be

2 2 2 2 2 2

2

2 2

2 4 4 4

2

SP KPH PH SH CH BH BC

SP PH L SP PH SP SPH PH L SP PH.

+ = = = =

+ + = + + +

On both sides there may be added

2 2

2.KPH SP PH L SP PH + + , and there

becomes 2 2 L SP PH SPH KPH, + = + or to as 2 2 to SP PH PH .SP .KP L + + . From

which PH is given both in length as well as in position. Without doubt if that shall be the

velocity of the body at P, so that the latus rectum L were less than 2 2 .SP .KP + , PH will

be added to the same direction of the tangent PR with the line PS; and thus the figure will

be an ellipse, and it will be given from the given foci S, H, and the principle axis

SP AH + . But if the velocity of the body shall be so great, so that the latus rectum L

were equal to 2 2 .SP .KP + , PH will be infinitely long; and therefore the figure will be a

parabola having the axis SH parallel to the line PK, and thence it will be given. But if the

body at this point emerges with a greater velocity from its place P , a length may be

required to be taken PH at another direction of the tangent; and thus with the tangent

arising between the two foci, the figure will be a hyperbola having the principle axis

equal to the difference of the lines SP and PH, and thence it will be given. For if the body

in these cases may revolve in a conic section thus found, it has been shown in Prop. XI,

XII, and XIII, that the centripetal force will be inversely as the square of the distance

from the centre of the forces S; and thus the line PQ is shown to be correct, as the body

may describe by such a force, from some given place P, with a given velocity, emerging

along the given right line PR in place. Q.E.F.

Corol. I. Hence in every conic section from a given vertex D , with the latus rectum L,

and with the focus S, another focus H is given on taking DH to DS as the latus rectum to

the difference between the latus rectum and 4DS. For the proportion to SP PH PH + is as

2 2 SP KP + to L in the case of this corollary, shall be DS DH + to DH as 4DS to L, and

separately DS to DH as 4DS L to L.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section III.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 135

Corol. 2. From which if the velocity of the body is given at the principal vertex D, the

orbit may be found readily, clearly on taking the latus rectum of this to twice the distance

DS, in the square ratio of the velocity of this given to the velocity of the body in a circle

at a distance of rotation DS (by Corol.3, Prop. XVI. ;) then DH to DS shall be as the latus

rectum to the difference between the latus rectum and 4DS.

Corol. 3. Hence also if the body may be moving in some conic section, and it may be

disturbed from it orbit by some external impulse ; it is possible to know, what course it

will pursue afterwards. For on compounding the proper motion of the body with that

motion, that the impulse alone may generate, the motion of the body will be had with

which it will emerge along a given line in place with the given impulse in place,.

Corol. 4. And if that body may be disturbed continually by some extrinsic impressed

force, as the course may become know approximately, by requiring the changes to be

deduced which the force induces on that body at some points, and from analogous series

the continuous changes can be judged at the intermediate places.

Scholium.

If the body P tending towards some given point R

by the centripetal force, may be moving on the

perimeter of some given conic section, the centre of

which shall be C; and the centripetal law of the

force may be required : CG is drawn parallel to the

radius RP , and crossing to the tangent of the orbit

PG at G; and that force (by Corol.I. and Schol. Prop.

X. & Corol.3, Prop.VII.) will be as

3

2

CG

RP

.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section IV.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 142

SECTION IV.

Concerning the finding of elliptical, parabolic and hyperbolic orbits from a given

focus.

LEMMA XV.

If the two right lines SV and HV are changed in

direction at some third point V, with an ellipse or

hyperbola for which the two foci are S, H, of

which the one line HV shall be equal [in length] to

the principle axis of the figure, that is, to the axis

on which the foci are placed, and the other line SV

is bisected by a perpendicular TR sent from T ;

that perpendicular TR will be a tangent at some point [R] on the conic section: and vice

versa, if it touches, then HV will be equal [in length] to the principle axis of the figure.

For the perpendicular TR cuts the right line HV at R, produced if there were a need ;

and SR may be joined. On account of the equal lines TS, TV, the angles TRS and TRV and

the lines SR and VR will be equal. From which the point R will be on the conic section,

and the perpendicular TR will touch the same : and vice-versa.

Q.E.V.

[This section is concerned with the construction of conic sections satisfying various

conditions of the focii and tangents, and so is not involved with mechanics directly; due

to symmetry there will often be more than one point on the curve where a tangent with

the same or a known gradient acts. The ellipse and hyperbola written in standard form are

not of course functions as such, and are made up from the positive and negative square

root functions which are symmetric. ]

PROPOSITION XVIII. PROBLEM X.

With a focus and the principle axis given, to describe elliptic and hyperbolic trajectories,

which will pass through a given point, and will be tangents to given lines in place.

S shall be the common focus of the figures ; AB the

length [i.e. 2a in modern notation] of the principle axis

of any trajectory ; P the point through which the

trajectory must pass ; and TR the right line that it must

touch. With centre P, and with the interval [i.e. radius]

AB SP, if the orbit shall be an ellipse. or AB SP + ,

if that shall be a hyperbola, a circle HG may be

described. The perpendicular ST may be sent to the tangent TR, and the same may be

produced to V , so that TV shall be equal to ST; and the circle FH is described with centre

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section IV.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 143

V, and the interval [or radius] AB. By this method from the two circles either two points

P, p may be given, or two tangents TR, tr, or the point P and a tangent, are required to be

described. H shall be the common intersection of these, and from the foci S and H, with

that axis given, the trajectory may be described. I say that this has been accomplished.

For the trajectory described (because therefore PH SP + is equal to the axis in the case of

an ellipse, and PH SP in the case of a hyperbola) will pass through the point P, and (by

the above lemma) it touches the right line TR. And by the same argument the same will

pass through two [given] points P and p, or touch two [given] right lines TR and tr.

Q.E.F.

PROPOSITION XIX. PROBLEM XI.

To describe a parabolic trajectory about a given focus, which will pass through a given

point, and touch a given right line in position.

S shall be the focus, P the point and TR the tangent of

the trajectory to be described. With centre P, with the

interval [i.e. radius] PS, describe the circle FG. Send the

perpendicular ST from the focus to the tangent, and produce

the same to V, in order that TV shall be equal to ST. In the

same manner another circle fg is required to be described, if

another point p is given; or finding another point v, if

another tangent tr is given ; then the right line IF must be

drawn which touches the two circles FG, fg if the two

points P and p are given, or it may pass through the two

points V and v, if the two tangents TR and tr are given, or

touch the circle FG and pass through the point V, if the

point P and the tangent TR are given. Send the perpendicular SI to FI, and bisect the same

in K; and the parabola may be described with the principle axis SK and vertex K. I say the

proposition has been accomplished. For the parabola, on account of the equal lines SK

and IK, SP and FP, will pass through the point P; and (by Lem. XIV, Corol. 3.) on

account of the equal lines ST and TV and the right angle STR, touches the right line TR.

Q E.F.

PROPOSITION XX. PROBLEM XII.

To describe a trajectory of some given kind about a given focus, which will pass

through given points and touch a given right line in place.

Case I. With S the given focus, the

trajectory ABC shall be described through

the two points B and C. Because with the

kind of trajectory given, the ratio of the

principle axis to the separation of the focal

points will be given. On that account take

KB to BS, and LC to CS. From the centres B and C, with the distances BK, CL, describe

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section IV.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 144

two circles, and to the right line KL, which may touch the same [circles] at K and L, send

the perpendicular SG, and cut the same line at A and a, thus so that GA is to AS and Ga to

aS as KB is to BS, and with the axis Aa, vertices A, a, the trajectory may be described. I

say the construction is complete. For the other focus of the figure described shall beH,

and since GA shall be to AS as Ga to aS, there will be separately Ga GA or Aa to

aS AS or SH in the same ratio, and thus in the ratio that the principle axis of the figure

described has to the separation of the foci of this figure; and therefore the figure

described is of the same kind as that required to be described. And since KB to BS and LC

to CS shall be in the same ratio, this figure will pass through the points B, C, as has been

shown from the conics.

Q E.F.

[Here the proof indicated relies on the focus directrix property between S and GL for a

point on the ellipse, for which the ratios

CS

CL

, etc., are constant. Thus,

1 1; or giving or

AS aS AG aG AG AS Aa HS Aa aG

AG aG AS aS aG aS aG aS HS aS

, , = = = = = .]

Case 2. With S the given focus, the trajectory is to be described which may touch the two

right lines TR and tr at some points. [Note : The

original diagram in the 3

rd

edition has r at the

wrong side of t, if we want to apply Lemma VI,

assuming the trajectory is an ellipse.] Send the

perpendiculars ST and St from the focus to the

tangents and produce the same to V and v, so that

TV and tv shall be equal to TS and tS. Bisect Vv in

O, and erect the indefinite perpendicular OH, and

cut the right line VS produced indefinitely in K and

k, thus so that VK shall be to KS and Vk to kS as

the principal axis of the described trajectory is to the separation of the foci. [Thus, TR is a

tangent at the point R and

VK Vk VH

KS kS SH

= = .] With diameter Kk, a circle is described

cutting OH in H; and with the foci S, H, with the principal axis itself made equal to VH,

the trajectory is described. I say the construction is complete. For bisect Kk in X, and join

HX, HS, HV, and Hv. Because VK to KS is as Vk to kS [i.e. =

VK Vk

KS kS

]; and on adding

together as VK Vk + to KS kS +

[i.e.

2

2

; or

VK Vk KS kS VK Vk VX Vk

Vk kS KS kS KX kS

+ + +

+

= = = ];

and separately as Vk VK to kS KS , that is, as 2VX to 2KX and 2KX to 2SX

[i.e.

2

2

; or

Vk VK kS KS Vk VK Vk KX

Vk kS kS KS SX kS

= = = ];

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section IV.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 145

and thus, as VX to HX and HX to SX,[i.e. as and

VX HX

HX SX

which are hence equal to

Vk

kS

,]

there will be the similar triangles VHX and HXS, and therefore VH will be to SH as VX to

XH, and thus as VK to KS [i.e. =

VH VX VK

SH XH KS

= ]. Therefore the principal axis of the

described trajectory VH has that ratio to the separation of the foci SH, and therefore is of

the same kind. Since in addition VH and vH may be equal in length to the principal axis,

and VS and vS may be bisected by the perpendicular lines TR and tr, it is clear (from

Lem. XV.) these right lines touch the described trajectory.

Q E.F.

Case. 3. With the focus S given, a

trajectory shall be described which

touches the right line TR at the given point

R. Send the perpendicular ST to the right

line TR, and produce the same to V, so

that TV shall be equal to ST. J oin VR and

cut the right line VS produced indefinitely

in K and k, thus so that VK to SK and Vk

to Sk shall be as the principal axis of the

ellipse required to be described to the separation of the foci [i.e. =

VK Vk VH

SK Sk SH

= ] ; and

with a circle described on the diameter Kk, with the right line VR produced to be cut in H,

and with the foci S, H, with the principal axis made equal to the right line VH, the

trajectory will be described. I say that the construction is complete. For VH is to SH as

VK to SK, and thus as the principal axis of the trajectory described to the separation of the

foci of this, as may be apparent from the demonstration in the second case, and therefore

the trajectory described to be of the same kind with that to be described, truly the right

line TR by which the angle VRS may be bisected, to touch the trajectory in the point R, is

apparent from the theory of conics.

Q E. F.

Case 4. Now the trajectory APB shall be described about the focus S, which may touch

the right line TR, and may pass through some point P beyond the given tangent, and

which shall be similar to the figure apb, with the principal axis ab, and described with the

foci s, h. Send the perpendicular ST to the tangent TR, & produce the same to V, so that

TV shall equal ST. Moreover make the angles VSP, SVP equal to the angles hsq, shq ; and

with the centre q and with an interval [i.e. radius] which shall be to ab as SP to VS

describe a circle cutting the figure apb in p. J oin sp and with SH acting which shall be to

sh as SP is to sp, and which angle PSH may be put in place equal to the angle psh and the

angle VSH equal to the angle psq. And then with the foci S, H, and with the principle

axis distance AB equal to VH, the section of a cone may be described. I say that the

construction is done. For if sv is acting which shall be to sp as sh is to sq, and which put

in place the angle vsp equal to the angle hsq and the angle vsh equal to the angle psq, the

triangles svh and spq will be similar, and therefore vh will be to pq as sh to sq, that is (on

account of the similar triangles VSP, hsq ) so that VS is to SP or ab to pq. Therefore vh

and ab are equal.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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Book I Section IV.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 146

Again on account of the similar triangles VSH, vsh, VH is to SH as vh to sh, that is, the

axis of the conic section now described is to the interval of separation of the foci, as the

axis ab to the separation of the foci sh; and therefore the figure now described is similar

to the figure apb. But this figure passes through the point P, on account of which the

triangle PSH shall be similar to the triangle psh; and because VH is equal to the axis itself

and VS may be bisected perpendicularly by the right line TR, it will touch the same right

line TR.

Q.E.F.

LEMMA XVI.

From three given points, to put in place three right lines to a fourth point which is not

given, of which the differences are given or are zero.

Case I. Let these points be given A, B, C and let Z be

the fourth point, that it is required to find; on account

of the given difference of the lines AZ, BZ, the point Z

will be found on a hyperbola of which the foci are A

and B, and that given difference the principal axis. Let

MN be that axis. Take PM to MA so that it is as MN to

AB, [i.e.

MN PM

MA AB

= ; note that PR is the directrix of this

branch of the hyperbola.] and with PR erected

perpendicular to AB, and with the perpendicular ZR

sent to PR; there will be, from the nature of this

hyperbola, ZR to AZ as MN is to AB [i.e.

MN ZR

AZ AB

= ;

here Newton has used the inverse of the eccentricity to

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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Book I Section IV.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 147

define a constant ratio]. By similar reasoning the point Z will be located on another

hyperbola, of which the foci are A and C and the principal axis the difference between

AZ and CZ, and QS itself can be drawn perpendicular to AC, to which if from some point

Z of this hyperbola the normal ZS may be sent, this will be to AZ as the difference is

between AZ and CZ is to AC. Therefore the ratios of ZR and ZS to AZ are given, and on

that account the same ratio of ZR and ZS in turn is given ; therefore if the right lines RP

and SQ meet in T, and TZ and TA may be drawn, a figure of the kind TRZS will be given,

and with the right line TZ on which the point Z will be given in place somewhere. Also

there will be given the right line TA, and also the angle ATZ ; and on account of the given

ratios of AZ and TZ to ZS the ratio of these will be given in turn; and thence the triangle

ATZ will be given, the vertex of which is the point Z.

Q.E.I.

Case 2. If two from the three lines such as AZ and B Z may be made equal, thus draw the

right line TZ, so that it may bisect the angle AB ; then find the triangle ATZ as above.

Case 3. If all three are equal, the point Z may be located in the centre of the circle

passing through the points A, B, C.

Q.E.1.

This lemma problem is solved also in the book of Appolonius on tangents restored by

Vieta.

PROPOSITION XXI. PROBLEM XIII.

To describe a trajectory around a given focus, which will pass through given points

and touch given right lines in place.

The focus S may be given, a point P, and touching TR, and it shall be required to find

the other focus H. To the tangent send the

perpendicular ST and produce the same to Y; so that

TY shall be equal to ST, and YH will be equal to the

principal axis. J oin SP and HP, and SP will be the

difference between HP and the principal axis. In this

manner if several tangents TR may be given, or more

points P, always just as many lines TH, or PH,

drawn from the said points Y or P to the focus H,

which either shall be equal to the axis, or to some given lengths SP different from the

same, and thus which either are equal among themselves in turn, or have some given

differences; and thence, by the above lemma, that other focus H is given. But with the

foci in place together with the length of the axis (which either is YH; or, if the trajectory

be an ellipse, PH SP + ; or PH SP for a hyperbola,) the trajectory may be had.

Q E.1.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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Book I Section IV.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 148

Scholium.

When the trajectory is a hyperbola, I cannot

deal with the opposite hyperbola under the

name of this trajectory. For a body by

progressing in its motion cannot cross over into

the opposite hyperbola.

The case where three points are given can be

solved expediently thus. The points B, C, D

may be given. J oin BC, CD produced to E, F,

so that there shall be EB to EC as SB to SC,

and FC to FD as SC to SD. To EF drawn and

produced send the normals SG, BH, and on GS produced indefinitely take GA to AS and

Ga to aS as HB is to BS; and A will be the vertex, and Aa the principal axis of the

trajectory: which, just as Gd shall be greater, equal, or less than AS, will be an ellipse,

parabola or hyperbola; the point a falling in the first case on the same part of the line GF

with the point A; in the second case departing to infinity; in the third case on the opposite

side of the line GF. For if the perpendiculars CI, DK may be sent to GF ; IC will be to

HB as EC to EB, that is, as SC to SB; and in turn IC to SC as HB to SB or as GA to SA.

And by a like argument it is approved that KD to SD be in the same ratio. Therefore

place the points B, C, D in a conic section around the focus S thus described, so that all

the right lines, drawn from the focus to the individual points of the section, shall be in

that given ratio to the perpendiculars sent from the same points to the line GF.

By a method not much different the solution of this problem has been treated most

clearly in the geometry of de la Hire; Book VIII, Prop. XXV of his book on conic

sections.

[The New Elements of Conick Sections by Philip de la Hire was translated from Latin and

French editions into English in 1724; it is available on microfilm.]

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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Book I Section V.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 155

SECTION V.

Finding the orbits where neither focus is given.

[A thorough investigation of the origin and use of these Lemmas is given by

D.T.Whiteside in Vol. VI of his Mathematical Papers of Isaac Newton, CUP, p.238

onwards. In addition, a work can be reconstructed from Newton's Waste Book on the

Solid Locus of the ancient Greek mathematicians, which was lightly modified for these

Lemmas of the Principia (See Vol. IV Whiteside, p. 274 onwards for an account of this,

which bears a close resemblance to the version in the Principia.) Mention should also be

made of J . L. Coolidge's little book : A History of Conic Sections and Quartic Surfaces,

available as a Dover reprint, especially Ch.'s 3 & 4. This book gives a modern impression

on some of Newton's trail-blazing work, as he was unaware of the work done already by

others into the projective nature of conics. Newton clearly had an eye towards an

exhaustive survey of the construction of conic sections dating from antiquity, to which he

added significantly, with regard to possible applications to the orbits of planets and

comets; for in addition to the conventional treatment, he investigated the construction

and properties of conic sections from points on the curve only; for the directrix and focus,

relating to such curves given at a few points only, are unknown initially.]

LEMMA XVII.

If from some point P of a given conic section to the four sides AB, CD, AC, DB of

some trapezium ABDC produced indefinitely, and inscribed in that conic section, just

as many right lines PQ, PR, PS, PT may be drawn at given angles, one line to each side

: the rectangle PQ PR drawn to the two opposite sides, will be in a given ratio to the

rectangle PS PT drawn to the other two opposite sides.

Case 1. In the first place we may put the lines drawn to the opposite sides to be parallel

to one of the remaining sides, e.g. PQ and PR [are parallel] to the side AC, PS and PT to

the side AB. And in addition the two opposite sides

[of the trapezium], e.g. AC and BD, themselves in

turn shall be parallel. A right line, which may bisect

those parallel sides, will be one of the diameters of

the conic section, and it also will bisect RQ. Let O

be the point in which RQ may be bisected, and PO

will be the applied ordinate for that diameter.

Produce PO to K, so that OK shall be equal to PO,

and OK will be the applied ordinate for the other

part of the diameter

[Note: The use of the term applied ordinate by

Apollonius for the distance from the centre of the conic along an oblique axis to the curve

was a forerunner of the idea of a coordinate, developed by De Cartes some 1800 years

later.]

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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Book I Section V.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 156

Therefore since the points A, B, P and K shall be on the conic section, and PK may cut

AB in a given angle, the rectangle PQ.QK will be (by Prop.17,19, 21 & 23. Book III.

Apollonius Conics) in a given ratio to the rectangleAQ.QB. But QK & PR are equal, as

from the equality of OK, OP, and their difference from OQ, OR, and thence also the

rectangles PQ.QK and PQ PR are equal; and thus the rectangle PQ PR is to the

rectangle AQ.QB, that is in the given ratio to the rectangle PS PT .

Q.E.D.

[ The initial theorems referring to Apollonius relate to the rectangles formed by chords of

a conic section IJ and HF intersecting at the point

G, drawn through two random points on the

section I and H, to the ratio of the tangents

squared CA and CB from an external point C,

which are parallel to the given chords and vice

versa. Thus, in the diagram added, the letters of

which bear no relation to those above, the red and

blue chords are parallel to the tangents from some

external point C. The normals AE and BD also have been drawn and are part of a proof,

which we do not give here, but the proposition shown by Apollonius is that

2

2

=

FG GH CA

JG GI

CB

This Lemma can be extended to hyperbolic, circular and parabolic sections, and is further

generalised below. In the following, we shall include the ellipse that the reader had to

imagine drawn around the trapezium or quadrilateral; in general coloured lines have been

added by this translator; I am sorry if they cause offense; the purpose is to improve the

readability of the work.]

Case 2. Now we may consider the opposite sides of the

figure [trapezium] AC and BD not to be parallel. Bd

acts parallel to AC and then crosses to the right line ST

at t, and to the section of the cone at d. J oin Cd cutting

PQ in r, and PQ itself acts parallel to DM, cutting Cd in

M and AB in N. Now on account of the similar triangles

BTt, DBN; Bt or PQ is to Tt as DN to NB. Thus Rr is to

AQ or PS as DM to AN.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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Book I Section V.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 157

[i.e. = =

PQ

Bt DN

Tt Tt NB

and = =

Rr Rr DM

AQ PS AN

. ]

Hence, by taking antecedents multiplied into antecedents and consequents into

consequents, so that the rectangle PQ Rr is to the rectangle PS Tt , thus as the

rectangle ND.DM it to the rectangle AN.NB, and (by case I.) thus the rectangle PQ Pr is

to the rectangle PS Pt , and dividing thus the rectangle PQ PR is to the

rectanglePS PT .

Q.E.D.

Case 3. And then we may put the four lines PQ, PR, PS,

PT not to be parallel to the sides AC, AB but at some

inclination to that. Of these in turn Pq, Pr act parallel to AC

itself; Ps, Pt parallel to AB itself ; and therefore the given

angles of the triangles PQq, PRr, PSs, PTt, will give the

ratios PQ to Pq, PR to Pr, PS to Ps, and PT to Pt ;

[i.e. , and

PQ

PS PR PT

Pq Pr Ps Pt

, .]

and thus the composite ratios

to and to PQ PR Pq Pr, PS PT Ps Pt . But, by the above demonstrations, the ratio

to Pq Pr Ps Pt has been given : and therefore the ratio PQ PR to PS PT also is

given. Q.E.D.

LEMMA XVIII.

With the same in place ; if the rectangle drawn to the two opposite sides of the

trapezium PQ PR shall be in a given ratio to the rectangle drawn to the remaining

two sides PS PT ; the point P, from which the lines are drawn, will lie on the conic

section described about the trapezium.

Consider a conic section to be described through the points A, B, C, D, and any of the

infinitude of points P, for example p: I say that the point P always lies on this section. If

you deny this, join AP cutting this conical section

elsewhere than at P, if it were possible, for example at

b. Therefore if the lines pq, pr, ps, pt & bk, bn, bf, bd

may be drawn from these points p & b at given angles

to the sides of in the right trapezium ; so that

will be to bk bn bf bd as (by Lem. XVII.)

to pq pr ps pt , and thus (by hypothesis)

to PQ PR PS PT . And on account of the similitude

of the trapeziums bkAf, PQAS, so that bk is to bf thus

as PQ to PS. Whereby, on applying the terms of the

first proportions to the corresponding terms of this,

there will be bn to bd as PR to PT. Therefore the equal

angled trapeziums Dnbd and DRPT are similar, and

the diagonals of these, Db and DP are similar on that account. And thus b lies at the

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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Book I Section V.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 158

intersection of the lines AP,DP and thus it coincides with the point P. Whereby the point

P, where ever it is taken, to be inscribed on the designated conic section.

Q E.D.

Corol. Hence if the three right lines PQ, PR, PS are drawn at given angles from a

common point P to just as many given right lines in position AB, CD, AC, each to each in

turn, and let the rectangle under the two drawn PQ PR to the square of the third PS be

in a given ratio: the point P, from which the right lines are drawn, will be located in the

section of a cone which touches the lines AB, CD in A and C; and vice versa. For the line

BD may fit together with the line AC, with the position of the three lines AB, CD, AC

remaining in place; then also the line PT fits with the line PS: and the rectangle

PS PT becomes PS squared and the right lines AB, CD, which cut the curve in the

points A and B, C and D, now are no longer able to cut the curve in these points taken

together, but only touch.

[Thus, the lines AB and CD are now tangents to the conic. Apollonius derived the

classical three-line locus as a special case of the four-line locus for generating a conic :

See Conics III, Prop. 54-56.]

Scholium.

The name of the conic section in this lemma is taken generally, thus so that both a

section passing through a vertex of the cone as well as a circle parallel to the base may be

included . For if the point p falls on the line, by which the points A and D or C and B are

joined together, the conic section is changed into two right lines, of which one is that

right line on which the point p falls, and the other is a right line from which the two

others from the four points are joined together. If the two opposite angles of the

trapezium likewise may be taken as two right angles, and the four lines PQ, PR, PS, PT

may be drawn to the sides of this either perpendicularly or at some equal angles, and let

the rectangle drawn under the two PQ PR be equal to the rectangle under the other two

PS PT , so that the rectangle under the sines of the angles S, T, in which the two final

PS, PT are drawn, to the rectangle under the sines of the angles Q, R, in which the first

two PQ, PR are drawn. In the rest of the cases the position of the point P will be from

the other three figures, which commonly are called conic sections. But in place of the

trapezium ABCD it is possible to substitute a quadrilateral, the two opposite sides of

which cross each other mutually like diagonals. But from the four points A, B, C, D one

or two are able to go off to infinity, and in that case the sides of the figure, which

converge to these points, emerge parallel: in which case the section of the cone will be

crossed by the other points, and will go off to infinity as parallel lines.

[A full solution of this problem can be found as a note in Whiteside, Vol. VI, p. 275. ]

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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Book I Section V.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 159

LEMMA XIX.

To find a point P, from which if four right lines PQ, PR, PS, PT may be drawn to

just as many other right lines AB, CD, AC, BD, given in position, from one to the other

in turn, at given angles, the rectangle drawn under the two, PQ PR , will be in a

given ratio to the rectangle under the other two, PS PT .

The lines AB, CD, to which the two right lines PQ, PR are drawn containing one of

rectangles, come together with the other two lines given at

the points A, B, C, D. From any of these points A some right

line AH may be drawn, in which the point you wish P may

be found. That line cuts the opposite lines BD, CD, without

doubt BD in H and CD in I, and on account of all the given

angles of the figure, the ratios PQ to PA and PA to PS are

given, and thus the ratio PQ to PS is given. By taking [i.e. by

dividing] this ratio from the given ratio PQ PR to

PS PT , the ratio PR to PT will be given, and by adding

[i.e. multiplying by] the given ratios PI to PR, and PT to PH the ratio PI to PH will be

given, and thus the point P.

Q.E.1.

Corol. I. Hence also it is possible to draw the tangent at some point D of the infinite

numbers of locations of the points P. For the chord PD, when the points P and D meet,

that is, where AH is drawn through the point D, becomes the tangent. In which case, the

final vanishing ratio of the lines IP and PH may be found as above. Therefore draw CF

parallel to AD itself, crossing BD in F, and cut at E in the same final ratio, and DE will

be the tangent, because therefore CF and the vanishing IH are parallel, and similarly cut

in E and P.

Corol. 2. Hence it is apparent also that the position of all the points P can be defined.

Through any of the points A, B, C, D, e.g. A, draw the

tangent AE of the locus and through some other point B

draw the parallel of the tangent BF meeting the curve [or

locus] at the position F. But the point F may be found by

Lem. XIX. With BF bisected in G, and AG produced

indefinitely, this will be the position of the diameter to

which the ordinates BG and FG may be applied. This line

AG may meet the curve in H, and AH will be a diameter

or a transverse width to which the latus rectum will be as

BG

2

to AG GH . If AG never meets the curve, the AH

proves to be infinite, the locus will be a parabola, and the

latus rectum of this pertaining to the diameter AG will be

2

BG

AG

. But if that meets

somewhere, the locus will be a hyperbola, where the points A and H are placed on the

same side of G: and an ellipse, when G lies between, unless perhaps the angle AGB shall

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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Ed.

Book I Section V.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 160

be right, and the above BG

2

is equal to the rectangle AGH, in which case a circle will be

had.

And thus [a solution] of the problem of the ancients concerning the four lines, started

by Euclid and continued by Apollonius and such as the ancients sought, not from a

calculation but composed geometrically, is shown in this corollary.

[There is next presented an important Lemma that is fundamental to the applications that

follow.]

LEMMA XX.

If in some parallelogram ASPQ, the two opposite angles A and P touch the section of

a cone at the points A and P ; and with the sides of one of the angles AQ and AS

produced indefinitely, meeting the same section of the cone at B and C ; moreover from

the meeting points B and C to some fifth point D of the conic section, the two right lines

BD and CD are drawn meeting the other two sides of the parallelogram PS and PQ

produced indefinitely at T & R: the parts PR and PT of the sides [ of the parallelogram]

will always be cut in turn in a given ratio. And conversely, if these cut parts are in turn in

a given ratio, the point D touches the section of the cone passing through the four points

A, B, C, P.

Case I. BP and CP are joined together and from the point D the two right lines DG and

DE are acting , the first of which DG shall be parallel to AB itself and meets PB and PQ

and CA in H, I and G; the other shall be DE parallel to AC itself and meeting PC and PS

and AB in F, K and E: and the rectangle DE DF will be (by Lem. XVII.) in a given

ratio to the rectangle DG DH . But PQ to DE (or IQ) shall be as PB to HB, and thus as

PT to DH; and in turn PQ to PT as DE to DH. And there is PR to DF as RC to DC, thus

as (IG or) PS to DG, and in turn PR to PS as VF to DG; and with the ratios joined the

rectangle PQ PR shall be to the rectanglePS PT as the rectangle DE DF to the

rectangle DG DH , and thus in a given ratio. But PQ and PS are given, and therefore

the ratio PR to PT is given. Q E.D.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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Book I Section V.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 161

Case 2. Because if PR and PT may be put in place in a given ratio in turn, then by

retracing the reasoning, it follows that the rectangle DE DF to be in a given ratio to the

rectangle DG DH , and thus the point D (by Lem. XVIII.) touches the conic section

passing through the points A, B, C and P.

Q. E. D.

Corol. I. Hence if BC acts cutting PQ in r, & on PT there may be taken Pt in the ratio to

Pr that PT has to PR, Bt will be a tangent of the conic section at the point B. For consider

the point D to coalesce with the point B, thus so that, as with the chord BD vanishing, BT

may become a tangent; and CD and BT coincide with CB and Bt.

Corol. 2. And in turn if Bt shall be a tangent, and at some point D of the conic section BD

and CD may come together; R will be to PT as Pr to Pt. And counter wise, if there shall

be PR to PT as Pr to Pt: BD and CD may come together at some point D of the conic

section.

Corol. 3. A conic section does not cut a conic section in more than four points. For, it

were possible to happen, the two conic sections may pass through each other in the five

points A, B, C, P, O; and these may cut the right line BD in the points D, d, and PQ itself

may cut the right line Cd in q. Hence PR is to PT as Pq to PT; from which PR and Pq in

turn themselves may be equal, contrary to the hypothesis.

[The following lemma, related to the above, shows how to describe a branch of a

hyperbola without making use of the focus, using points on the curve only, as well as a

reference line on which related points and angles may be defined. Note the positions of

the points A, B, C, D and P in the diagrams relating to these lemmas, where the hyperbola

in the latter can be viewed as an inverted form of the ellipse in the former. Newton has

not followed with a like proof, but has introduced a new way of drawing a conic section.]

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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LEMMA XXI.

If two moveable and indefinite right lines BM and CM drawn through the given points

or poles B and C, a given line MN may be described from their meeting position M;

and two other indefinite right lines BD and CD may be drawn making given angles

MBD and MCD with the first two lines at these given points B and C : I say that these

two lines BD and CD, by their meeting at D, describe the section of a cone passing

through the points B and C. And vice versa, if the right lines BD and CD by their

meeting at D describe the section of a cone passing through B, C, and A, and the angle

DBM shall always be equal to the given angle ABC, and the angle DCM always shall

be equal to the given angle ACB: then the point M remains in place on the given line.

For a [fixed] point N may be given on the line MN, and when the mobile point M falls

on the motionless point N, the mobile point D may fall on the motionless [i.e. fixed] point

P. J oin CN, BN, CP, BP, and from the point P direct the lines PT and PR crossing with

BD and CD themselves in T and R, and making the angle BPT equal to the given angle

BNM, and the angle CPR equal to the given angle CNM. Therefore since (from the

hypothesis) the angles MBD and NBP shall be equal, and also the angles MCD and NCP;

take away the common angles NBD and NCD, and the equal angles NBM and PBT , NCM

and PCR remain: and thus the triangles NBM and PBT are similar, and also the triangles

NCM, PCR. Whereby PT is to NM as PB to NB, and PR to NM as PC to NC. But the

points B, C, N, P are fixed. Therefore PT and PR have a given ratio to NM, and therefore

a given ratio between themselves; and thus (by Lem. XX.) the point D, always the

meeting point of the mobile right lines BT and CR , lies on a conic section passing

through the points B, C, P.

[The triangles NBM , PBT , and NCM, PCR are similar ;

and

NM NB NM NC MC MB

PT PB TB PR PC CR

= = = = ; hence a definite ratio is formed for the lines PT

and PR , as in the above lemma.]

Q E.D.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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Book I Section V.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 163

And conversely, if the moveable point D may lie on a conic section passing through

the given points B, C, A, and the angle DBM always shall be equal to the given angle

ABC, and the angle DCM always equal to the given angle ACB, and when the point V

falls successively on some two immoveable points of the section p, P, the moveable

point M falls successively on two immoveable points n, N: through the same n and N the

right line nN acts, and this will be the perpetual locus of that mobile point M. For, if it

should happen that the point M can move along some curved line. Therefore, the point D

will touch the conic section passing through the five points B, C, A, p, P, where the point

M always lies on a curved line. But also, from the demonstration now made, the point D

also lies on the conic section passing through the five points B, C, A, p, P, where the

point M always lies on a right line. Therefore the two conic sections will pass through the

same five points, contrary to Corol. 3, Lemma. XX. Therefore is absurd for the point M

to be moving on some curved line. Q. E. D.

PROPOSITION XXII. PROBLEM XIV.

To describe a trajectory through five given points.

Five points A, B, C, P and D may be

given. From any one of these points A to

some other two, which may be called the

poles B and C, draw the right lines AB and

AC, and from these draw the parallel lines

TPS, PRQ through the fourth point P.

Then from the two poles B and C, draw

the two indefinite lines BDT, CRD

through the fifth point D, crossing the

most recently drawn lines TPS and PRQ at T and R (the first to the first and the second to

the second). And then from the right lines PT and PR, with the right line drawn tr

parallel to TR itself, cut some proportion Pt and Pr of PT and PR; and if through the ends

t and r of these and the poles B and C, Bt and Cr are drawn concurrent in d, that point d

will be located in the trajectory sought. For that point d (by Lem. XX) may be placed in a

conic section crossed over by the four points A, B, C, P ; and with the lines Rr and Tt

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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vanishing, the point d coincides with the point D. Therefore the five points A, B, C, P, D

will pass through the conic section.

Q.E.D.

The same otherwise.

From the given points join any three A, B, C; and around two of these B, C, or the

poles, by rotating the given angles with magnitude ABC and ACB, the sides BA and CA

may be applied first to the point D, then to the point

P, and the points M and N may be noted with which

the other sides BL and CL, themselves cross over in

each case. The indefinite line MN may be drawn and

these mobile angles may be rotated around their poles

B, C, from that rule so that the intersection of the legs

BL, CL or BM, CM, which now shall be m, always

lies on that infinite line MN; and the intersection of

the legs BA, CA, or BD, CD, which now shall be d,

will delineate the trajectory sought PADdB. For the

point d (by Lem. XXI.) contains the section of the

cone passing through the points B and C; and when the point m approaches towards the

points L, M, N, the point d (by construction) will approach towards the points A, D, P.

And therefore the conical section passes through the five points A, B, C, P, D.

Q.E.F.

Corol. 1. Hence the right line can be drawn readily, which touches the trajectory at some

given point B. The point d may approach the point B, and the line Bd emerges as the

tangent sought.

Corol.2. From which also the centres of the trajectories, the diameters and the latera recta

can be found, as in the second corollary of Lemma XIX.

Scholium.

The first construction arose a little simpler by joining BP, and in that, if there was a

need, produced by requiring that Bp to BP is as PR ad PT; and by drawing an infinite

right line pe through p parallel to SPT itself, and on that always by taking pe equal to Pr;

and with the right lines Be , Cr drawn concurrent in d. For since there shall be Pr to Pt,

PR to PT, pB to PB, pe to Pt in the same ratio ; pe and Pr always will be in the same

ratio. By this method the points of a trajectory can be found most expeditiously, unless

you prefer a curve, as in the following construction, to be described mechanically.

[More information on this and related topics can be found in the book by J .L. Coolidge :

A History of Conic and Quartic Sections, originally published by OUP (1945), and later

as a paperback by Dover Books. The connection to Newton's ongoing research activities

can be found in Vol. IV of Whiteside's Mathematical Papers......, p.299, and in Vol. VI,

p.258 of the same. The entire writings of Greek geometry and many other things can be

found at the wilbourhall.org website, in Greek and Latin; these are corrected versions of

the ham-fisted efforts of Google in scanning old texts. Of particular interest is the

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section V.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 165

monumental translation of the works of Apollonius by Edward Halley in 1712 from

Greek and Arabic sources into Latin; this was published about the same time as the

second edition of the Principia.]

PROPOSITION XXIII. PROBLEM XV.

To describe the trajectory, which will pass through four given points,

and which will touch a given right line in place.

Case 1. The tangent HB may be given, the point of

contact B, and three other points C, D, P. J oin BC, and

with PS acting parallel to the right line BH, and PQ

parallel to the right line BC, complete the parallelogram

BSPQ. Draw BD cutting SP in T; and CD cutting PQ in

R. And then, with some line tr parallel to TR , from PQ,

PS cut Pr, Pt proportional to PR, PT themselves

respectively; and the meeting point d of the lines drawn

Cr, Bt (by Lem. XX.) always lies on the described trajectory.

[Thus, the two methods of defining the conic section are shown, the first above using the

parallelogram method, while the second below uses the idea of poles with an angle

rotating about one pole and chords passing through the other pole from a variable point

on a line.]

The same otherwise.

While the angle with given magnitude CBH may rotate

about the pole B, then also some rectilinear radius DC has

been produced at both ends about the pole C. The points M,

N may be noted, in which the leg BC of the angle may cut

that radius, when the other leg BH meets the same radius at

the points P and D. Then for MN drawn indefinitely always

meeting that radius CP or CD, and the leg BC of the angle,

the join of the other leg BH with the radius will delineate

the trajectory sought.

For if in the constructions of the above problems the

point A may fall on the point B, the lines CA and CB

coincide, and the line AB in its ultimate position becomes

the tangent BH; and thus the constructions put in place there

become the same as the constructions described here.

Therefore the meeting of the leg BH with the radius passing through the points C, D, P

will delineate the section of the cone, and the right line BH tangent at the point B.

Q E.F.

Case 2. Four points may be given B, C, D, P , thetangent HI placed outside. With the

two lines BD, CP joined meeting in G, and with these lines crossing the tangent line in H

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section V.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 166

and I. The tangent may be cut at A, thus so that HA shall be to IA, as the rectangle under

the mean proportion between CG and GP and the mean

proportion between BH and HD, to the rectangle under the

mean proportion between DG and GB and the mean

proportion between PI and IC; and A will be the point of

contact.

[Thus,

2

2

CG PG HA BH DH

DG BG PI CI

AI

= , which is a constant ratio.

This can be viewed expediently as an application in analytic

geometry relating to the Rectangle Theorem mentioned

earlier; Whiteside has related this and the following lemmas to invariant cross ratios in

projective geometry, which of course did not exist as a theory at the time; we have to take

the Proposition of Apollonius (Book III, Prop.17) mentioned above as the basis of this

lemma and the following.]

For if HX parallel to the right line PI may cut the trajectory at some points X and T: the

point A thus will be located (from the theory of conics [Apollonius Conics III, 17&18. ]),

so that HA

2

will be to AI

2

in the ratio composed from the ratio of the rectangle XHT to the

rectangle BHD, or of the rectangle CGP to the rectangle DGB, and from the ratio of the

rectangle BHD to the rectangle PIC. Moreover with the point of contact found A, the

trajectory may be described as in the first case.

Q.E.F.

But the point A can be taken either between the points H & I, or beyond ; and likewise a

twofold trajectory can be described.

PROPOSITION XXIV PROBLEM XVI.

To described a trajectory, which will pass through three given points and which may

touch two given right lines in place.

The tangents HI, KL and the points B, C, D may be given. Through any two points B,

D draw the indefinite right line BD meeting the

tangents in the points H, K. Then also through any

two of the other points C, D draw the indefinite line

CD crossing the tangent lines at the points I, L. Thus

with the drawn lines cut these in R and S, so that HR

shall be to KR as the mean proportional between BH

and HD is to the mean proportional between BK and

KD; and IS to LS as the mean proportional is between

CI and ID to the mean proportional between CL and

LD. Moreover cut as it pleases either between the

points K and H, I and L, or beyond the same ; then

draw RS cutting the tangents at A and P, and A and P

will be the points of contact. For if A and P may be

supposed to be the points of contact situated somewhere on the tangents ; and through

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section V.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 167

some of the points H, I, K, L some I, placed in either tangent HI, the right line IT is

drawn parallel to the other tangent KL, which meet the curve at X and Y, and on that IZ

may be taken the mean proportional between IX and IY: there will be, from the theory of

conics, the rectangle XIY or IZ

2

to LP

2

as the rectangle CID to the rectangle CTD, that is

(by the construction) as SI

2

. ad SL

2

and thus IZ to LP as SI to SL. Therefore the points S,

P, Z lie on one right line. Again with the tangents meeting at G, there will be (from the

theory of conics), the rectangle XIY or IZ

2

to IA

2

as GP

2

to GA

2

and thus IZ to IA as GP

to GA. Therefore the points P, Z and A lie on a right line, and thus the points S, P and A

are on one right line. And by the same argument it will be approved that the points R, P

and A are on one right line. Therefore the points of contact A and P lie on the right line

RS. But with these found, the trajectory may be described as in the first case of the above

problem.

Q.E.F.

In this proposition, and in the following case of the above proposition the

constructions are the same, whither or not the right line XY may cut the trajectory at X

and Y ; and these may not depend on that section. But from the demonstrated

constructions where that right line may cut the trajectory, the constructions may be

known, where it is not cut ; I shall not linger with further demonstrations for the sake of

brevity.

[According to Whiteside, Pemberton, the editor of the 3

rd

and final edition, tried to induce

Newton to make some corrections to indicate the existence of two real solutions : see

note 60 p.243, Vol.6 Math. Papers......]

LEMMA XXII.

To change figures into others of the same kind.

Some figure HGI shall be required to be changed. Two parallel lines may be drawn in

some manner AO, BL cutting some third given line AB in place at A and B, and from

some point G of the figure, some line GD may be drawn to the line AB, parallel to OA

itself. [The initial skew axis can be taken as BDI

of the abscissa or ordinate x with origin A, and AO

as the applied line or coordinate y; this general

one to one degree preserving transformation, the

product of a simple affine transformation and a

plane perspectivity, or a simple translation and

rotation, and rescaling, had been published

originally by de la Hire in his Conic Sections,

(Note 67 Whiteside); subsequently used here to

convert converging lines into parallel lines.].Then

from some point O, given on the line OA, the right

line OD is drawn to the point D, crossing BL itself in d, and from the crossing point there

is raised the given line dg containing some angle with the right line BL, and having that

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section V.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 168

ratio to Od which DG has to OD; and g will be the point in the new figure hgi

corresponding to the point G. [Thus the first axis are translated and rotated and rescaled

to become th new axis; the new abscissa of the original point G is ad.] By the same

method the individual points of the first figure will give just as many points in the new

figure. Therefore consider the point G by moving continually to run through all the points

of the first figure, and likewise the point g by moving continually will run through all the

points of the new figure and describe the same. For the sake of distinction we may call

the DG the first order, and dg the new order; AD the first abscissa, ad the new abscissa; O

the pole, OD the cutting radius, OA the first order radius, and Oa (from which the

parallelogram OABa is completed) the new order radius.

Now I say that, if the point G touches the right line in the given position, the point g

will also touch the same right line in the position given. If the point G touches a conic

section, the point g will also touch a conic section. Here I count the circle with the conic

sections. Again if the point G touches a line of the third analytical order, the point g

touches a line of the third analytical order ; and thus with curved lines of higher order.

The two lines which the points G, g touch will always be of the same analytical order.

And indeed as ad is to OA thus are Od to OD, dg to DG, and AB to AD; and thus AD is

equal to

OA AB

ad

, and DG is equal to

OA dg

ad

and thus in some equation, in which a relation may be had between the abscissa AD and

the ordinate DG, these indeterminate lines AD and DG rise to a single dimension only, by

writing

OA AB

ad

OA dg

ad

produced, in which the new abscissa ad and the new ordinate dg rise to single dimension

only, and thus which designate a right line. But if AD and DG, or either of these, will rise

to two dimensions in the first equation, likewise ad and dg will rise to two in the second

equation. And thus with three or more dimensions. The indeterminates ad, dg in the

second equation, and AD, DG in the first always rise to the same number of the

dimensions, and therefore the lines, which touch the points G, g, are of the same

analytical order.

I say besides, that if some right line may touch a curved line in the first figure ; this

right line in the same manner with the transposed curve in the new figure will touch that

curved line in the new figure ; and conversely. For if some points of the curve approach

to two and join in the first figure, the same transposed points will approach in turn and

unite in the new figure; and thus the right lines, by which these points are joined, at the

same time emerge as tangents in tangents of the curves in each figure.

The demonstrations of these assertions may be put together in a more customary

manner by geometry. But I counsel brevity.

Therefore if a rectilinear figure is to be transformed into another, if it is constructed

from right lines, it will suffice to transfer intersections, and through the same to draw

right lines in the new figures. But if it may be required to transform curvilinear figures,

points, tangents and other right lines are to be transferred, with the aid of which a curved

line may be defined. But this lemma is of assistance in the solution of more difficult

problems, by transforming the proposed figures into simpler ones. For any converging

right lines are transformed into parallel lines, by requiring to take some right line for the

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section V.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 169

first order radius, which passes through the meeting point of convergent lines; and thus

because that meeting point with this agreed upon will go to infinity ; since they are

parallel lines, which never meet. But after the problem is solved in the new figure; if by

inverse operations this figure may be changed into the first figure, the solution sought

will be had.

Also this lemma is useful in the solution of solid problems. For as often as two

sections of cones are come upon, of which a problem is required to be solved by the

intersection, it is possible to change either of these, if it shall be either a hyperbola or a

parabola into an ellipse: then it may be easily changed into a circle. Likewise a right line

and a conic section, in the construction of plane problems, may be turned into a right line

and a circle.

[The interested reader may like to know that Edmond Halley the first editor, according to

Note 71 on p. 272 of Vol. VI of the Math. Works....., wished further explanation from

Newton on this Lemma; this he was given in a letter from Newton, but which never made

it translated into Latin into the Principia. Coolidge, using coordinates, derives a

transformation of the kind indicated on p. 46 of his history of sections.]

PROPOSITION XXV. PROBLEM XVII.

To describe a trajectory, which will pass through two given points, and touch three

given lines in place.

Through the meeting of any two tangents with

each other in turn, and the meeting of the third

tangent with that line, which passes through the two

given points, draw an indefinite line; and with that

taken for the first order radius, the figure may be

changed by the above lemma, into a new figure. In

that new figure these two tangents themselves

emerge parallel in turn to each other, and the third

tangent becomes parallel to the right line passing

through the two given points. Let hi, kl be these two

parallel tangents, ik the third tangent, and hl a right

line parallel to this passing through these points a, b,

through which the conic section in this new figure must pass through, and completing the

parallelogram hikl. The right lines hi, ik, kl may be cut in c, d, e, thus so that the side hc is

to the square root of the rectangle ah.hb, [i.e. hc squared shall be to the rectangle ah.hb],

as ic to id, and ke to kd as the sum of the rectangles hi and kl is to the sum of the three

lines, the first of which is the right line ik, and theother two are as the squared sides of

the rectangles ah.hb and al.lb: and c, d, e will be the points of contact. For indeed; from

the conics, hc

2

is to the rectangle ah.hb, as ic

2

to id

2

, and ke

2

to kd

2

, and in the same ratio

el

2

to the rectangle al.lb; and therefore hc is to the square root of ahb, ic to id, ke to kd,

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section V.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 170

and el to the square root of al.lb are in that square root ratio, and on adding, in the given

ratio of all the preceding hi and kt to all the following, which are to the square root of the

rectangle ah.hb, and to the rectangle ik, and the square root of the rectangle al.lb.

Thereforethe points of contact c, d, e may be had from that given ratio in the new figure.

By the inverse operations of the newest lemmas these points may be transferred to the

first figure, and there (by Prob. XIV.) the trajectory may be described. Q. E. F.

[From the Rectangle Theorem :

2 2 2 2 2 2

2 2 2

and hence

hc ic ke ic le hc

ha hb lb la ha hb

id kd id

= = = = ; or

hc ic ke le

id kd

ha hb lb la

= = = . Hence given ratio.

hc ci ke el hi kl

id dk ha hb lb la ik ha hb lb la

+ + + +

+ + + + +

= = ]

Moreover thence so that the points a,b lie either between the points h, l, or beyond, the

points c, d, e must lie between the points taken h, i, k, l , or beyond. If either of the points

a, b fall between the points h, l, and the other beyond, the problem is impossible.

PROPOSITION XXVI. PROBLEM XVIII.

To describe a trajectory, which will pass through a given point, and will touch four

given lines in place.

From the common intersection of any two tangents to the

common intersection of the remaining two an indefinite right line

is drawn, and the same taken for the first order radius, the figure

may be transformed (by Lem. XXII.) into a new figure, and the

two tangents, which met at the first order radius now emerge

parallel. Let these be hi and kl ; ik and hl containing the

parallelogram hikl. And let p be the point in this new figure

corresponding to a given point in the first figure. Through the centre of the figure Opq is

drawn, and putting Oq to equal Op, q will be another point through which the conic

section in this new figure must pass. By the operation of the inverse of Lemma XXII this

point may be transferred into the first figure, and here two points will be had through

which the trajectory is to be described. Truly that same trajectory can be described by

Problem XVII.

Q.E.F.

[On p. 272 of Vol. VI of the Math. Papers...., Whiteside has drawn a hyperbola for the

external case, where the curve and the points p and q lie outside the parallelogram.]

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section V.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 171

LEMMA XXIII.

If two given right lines in place AC, BD may be terminated in two given points A, B,

and they may have a given ratio in turn, and the line CD, by which the indeterminate

points C, D are joined together, may be cut in the given ratio at K : I say that the point

K will be located on a given fixed right line.

For the right lines AC and BD meet in E, and on BE

there may be taken BG to AE as BD is to AC, and FD

always shall be equal to the given EG ; and from the

construction there will be EC to GD, that is, to EF as

AC to BD, and thus in the given ratio, and therefore a

kind of triangle EFC is given. CF may be cut in L so

that CL to CF shall be in the ratio CK to CD; and on account of that given ratio, a kind of

triangle EFL will also be given ; and thence the point L will be place in a given position

on the line EL. J oin LK, and CLK, CFD will be similar triangles; and on account of FD

given and the given ratio LK to FD, LK will be given. This may be taken equal to EH,

and ELKH always will be a parallelogram. Therefore the point K is located on the side

HK of this parallelogram in place.

Q.E.D.

Corol. On account of the given kind of figure EFLC, the three right lines EF, EL and EC,

that is, GD, HK and EC, in turn have given ratios.

LEMMA XXIV.

If three right lines may touch some conic section, two of which shall be parallel and

may be given in position; I say that the semi-diameter of the section parallel to these

two lines, shall be the mean proportional between the segments of these, from the

points of contact and to the third interposed tangent.

Let AF and GB be the two parallel tangents of the conic

section ADB touching at A and B; EF the third tangent of

the conic section touching at I, and crossing with the first

tangents at F and G; and let CD be the semi-diameter of

the figure parallel to the tangents : I say that AF, CD, BG

are continued proportionals.

For if the conjugate diameters AB and DM cross the

tangent FG at E and H, and mutually cut each other at C

and the parallelogram IKCL may be completed; from the nature of the conic section as

EC is to CA thus CA is to CL, [by Apoll. Book III, Prop. 42] and thus by division ECCA

to CACL, or EA to AL, and from adding EA to + EA AL or EL as EC to EC CA + or EB;

and thus, on account of the similar triangles EAF, ELI, ECH, EBG, AF to LI as CH to

BG. Likewise, from the nature of conic sections, LI or CK is to CD as CD is to CH; and

thus from the rearranged equation, AF to CH as CD to BG.

Q.E.D.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section V.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 172

Corol. I. Hence if the two tangents FG, PQ with the parallel tangents AF, BG cross at F

and G, P and Q and mutually cut each other at O; from the rearranged equation there will

be AF to BQ as AP to BG, and on dividing as FP to GQ, and thus as FO to OG.

Corol. 2. From which also the two right lines PG, FQ, drawn through the points P and

G, F and Q, concur at the right line ACB through the centre of the figure and passing

through the points of contact A, B .

LEMMA XXV.

If the four sides of a parallelogram produced indefinitely may touch some conic

section, and are cut by some fifth tangent; moreover the ends of any two neighbouring

sides [sections] cut off opposite the angles of the parallelogram may be taken : I say

that each section shall be to its side, as the part

of the other neighbouring side between the

point of contact and the third side, is to the

section of this other side.

The four sides ML, IK, KL, MI of the

parallelogram MLIK may touch the conic section

at A, B, C, D, and the fifth tangent FQ cuts these

sides at F, Q, H and E; moreover the sections of

the sides MI, KI may be taken ME and KQ, or of

the sides KL, ML the sections KH, MF : I say that

ME to MI shall be as BK to KQ; and KH to KL as AM to MF. For by the first corollary

of the above lemma ME is to EI as AM or BK to BQ, and by taking ME to MI as BK to

KQ. Q. E. D.

Likewise KH to HL as BK or M to AF, and on dividing KH to KL as AM to MF. Q E.D.

Corol. I. Hence if the parallelogram IKLM is given, described about some given conic

section, the rectangle KQ ME will be given, and also as equally to that the rectangle

KH MF . For the rectangles are equal on account of the similarity of the triangles KQH

and MFE.

Corol. 2. And if a sixth tangent eq is drawn crossing with the tangents KI, MI at q and e;

the rectangle KQ ME will be equal to the rectangle Kq Me ; and there will be KQ to

Me as Kq to ME, and by division as Qq to Ee.

Corol. 3. From which also if Eq, eQ may be joined and bisected, and a right line is

drawn through the point of bisection, this will pass through the centre of the conic

section. For since there shall be Qq to Ee as KQ to Me, the same right line will pass

through the midpoints of every EQ, eQ, M K (by Lem. XXIII.), and the midpoint of the

line MK is the centre of the section.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section V.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 173

[See Whiteside note 80, Vol. VI p.280 Math. Papers... for some of the interesting history

on this Lemma]

PROPOSITION XXVII. PROBLEM XIX.

To describe a trajectory, which touches five given lines in position.

The tangents ABG, BCF, GCD, FDE, EA may be given in position. For the

quadrilateral figure ABFE contained by any four, bisect the diagonals AF, BE in M and N,

and (by Corol.3. Lem. XXV.) the right line MN drawn through the point of bisection

will pass through the centre of the trajectory . Again for the figure of the quadrilateral

BGDF, contained by any other four tangents, the diagonals (as thus I may say) BD, GF

bisected in P and Q: and the right line PQ drawn through the point of bisection will pass

through the centre of the trajectory. Therefore the centre will be given at the meeting

point of the bisectors. Let that be O. Draw KL parallel to any tangent BC of this

[trajectory], to that distance so that the centre O may be located at the mid-point between

the parallel lines ; and the line KL drawn will touch the trajectory to be described [note :

the diagram is misleading: K does not lie on the ellipse] . It will cut these other two

tangents in GCD and FDE in L and K. Through the meeting points of the non-parallel

tangents CL, FK with the parallel tangents CF, KL, C and K, F and L draw CK, FL

meeting in R, and the right line OR drawn and produced will cut the parallel tangents

CF, KL in the points of contact. This is apparent by Corol.2, Lem. XXIV. By the same

method it will be possible to find the other points of contact, and then finally by the

construction of Prob. XIV. to describe the trajectory. Q. E .F.

Scholium.

The problems, where either the centres or asymptotes of the trajectory are given, are

included in the proceeding. For with the points and tangents given together with the

centre, just as many other points and tangents are given from the other parts of this

trajectory equally distant from the centre. But an asymptote may be taken as a tangent,

and the end of this will be considered for the point of contact at an infinite distance (if

thus it shall be spoken of). Consider the contact point of any tangent to go off to infinity,

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section V.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 174

and the tangent will change into an asymptote, and the constructions of the preceding

problems [XIV and Case 1 of XV] will be changed into constructions where the

asymptote is given.

After the trajectory has been described, we are free to find the axes and the foci of this

curve by this following method. In the construction and in the figure of Lemma XXI,

made so that the legs BP, CP of the moveable angles PBN, PCN, by the meeting of which

the trajectory was described, in turn themselves shall become parallel, and then

maintaining that position [the angles] may be rotated about their poles B and C in that

figure. Meanwhile truly the other legs CN, BN of these angles may describe the circle

BGKC, by their meeting at K or k,. Let O be the centre of this circle. From this centre to

the ruler MN, to which these other legs CN and BN meanwhile will concur, while the

trajectory may be described, send the normal OH from the centre crossing at K and L.

And where these other legs CK and BK meet at that point K which is closer to the ruler,

the first legs CP and BP will be parallel to the major axis, and perpendicular to the

minor; and the opposite comes about, if the same legs meet at the more distant point L.

From which if the centre of the trajectory may be given, the axes are given. But from

these given, the foci are evident.

[A detailed explanation of these results is given by Whiteside in the notes 92 95 Vol. VI

of the Math. Papers....p.285 ; Whiteside also considers the hyperbolic case with a

splendid diagram.]

Truly the squares of the axes are one to the other as KH to LH, and from this the kind

of the trajectory given by the given four points is easily described. For if from the two

points given [on the curve], the poles C and B may be put in place, the third will give the

mobile angles PCK and PBK; moreover with these given the circle BGKC can be

described. Then on account of the given kind of trajectory, the ratio OH to OK will be

given, and thus OH itself, With centre O and with the interval OH describe a circle, and

the right line, which touches this circle, and passes through the meeting point of the legs

CK and BK, where the first legs CP and BP concur at the fourth given point, will be that

ruler MN with the aid of which the trajectory may be described. From which also in turn

the kind of trapezium [i.e. quadrilateral] given (if indeed certain impossible cases are

excepted) in which some given conic section can be described.

Also there are other lemmas with the aid of which given kinds of trajectories, with

given points and tangents, are able to be described. That is of this kind, if a right line may

be drawn through some given point in place, which may intersect the given conic section

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section V.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 175

in two points, and the interval of the intersection may be bisected, the point of bisection

may touch another conic section of the same kind as the first, and having the axes parallel

with those of the former. But I will hurry on to more useful matters. [This question is

examined by Whiteside in note 98 of the above.]

LEMMA XXVI.

The three angles of a triangle given in kind and magnitude are put in place one to one to

as many given right lines in place, which are not all parallel.

Three right lines AB, AC, BC are given in place and it is required thus to locate the

triangle DEF, so that the angle of this D may touch the line AB, likewise the angle E the

line AC, and the angle F the line BC. Upon the

sides DE, DF & EF describe three segments

of circles DRE, DGF, EMF, which take angles

equal to the angles BAC, ABC, ACB

respectively. But these segments may be

described to these parts of the lines DE, DF,

EF, so that the letters DRED may be returned

in the same cyclic order with the letters BACB,

the letters DGFD with the same letters ABCA,

and the letters EMFE with the letters ACBA;

then these segments may be completed in whole circles. The first two circles cut each

other mutually in G, and let P and Q be the centres of these. With GP and PQ joined,

take Ga to AB as GP is to PQ , and with the

centre G, with the interval Ga describe the

circle, which will cut the first circle DGE in a.

Then aD is joined cutting the second circle DFG

in b, then aE cutting the third circle EMF in c.

And now the figure ABCdef can be set up

similar and equal to the figure abcDEF. With

which done the problem is completed.

For Fc itself may be drawn crossing aD in n,

and aG, bG, QG, QD, PD may be joined. From

the construction the angle EaD is equal to the

angle CAB, and the angle acF is equal to the

angle ACB, and thus the triangle anc is

equiangular to the triangle ABC . Hence the

angle anc or FnD is equal to the angle ABC, and thus is equal to the angle FbD ; and

therefore the point n falls on the point b. Again the angle GPQ, which is half of the angle

at the centre GPD, is equal to the angle at the circumference GaD; and the angle GQP,

which is half the angle at the centre GQD, is equal to the complement of two right angles

at the circumference GbD, and thus equal to the angle Gba; and thus the two triangles

GPQ and Gab are similar; and Ga is to ab as GP to PQ ; that is (from the construction) as

Ga to AB. And thus ab and A B are equal; and therefore the triangles abc and ABC,

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section V.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 176

which we have approved in a similar manner, are also equal. From which, since the sides

ab, ac, bc respectively may touch the above angles D, E, F of the triangle DEF , the

angles of the triangleabc, the figure ABCdef can be completed similar to the similar and

equal figure abcDEF, and that on completion solves the problem. Q E F.

Corol. Hence a right line can be drawn the parts of which given in length will lie between

three given right lines in place. Consider the triangle DEF, with the point D approaching

the side EF, and with the sides DE, DF placed along a line, to be changed into a right

line, the given part of which DE must be placed between the right lines given in place

AB, AC, and the preceding part DF between the given right lines AB, BC in place ; and

by applying the preceding construction to this case the problem may be solved.

PROPOSITION XXVIII. PROBLEM XX.

To describe a trajectory given in kind and magnitude, the given parts of which will lie

in position between three given lines.

The trajectory shall be required to be described, which shall be similar and equal to the

curved line DEF, and which with the three right lines AB, AC, BC given in position, will

be cut into the given parts of this by the similar and equal parts of this DE and EF.

Draw the right lines DE, EF, DF, and to the triangle of this DEF place the angles D, E,

F to these given right lines in place (by Lem. XXVI), then describe a similar and equal

trajectory of the curve DEF about the triangle. Q.E.F.

LEMMA XXVII.

To describe a given kind of trapezium [i.e. quadrilateral ], the angles of which are

given to four right lines in position, one to one in position, and which are not all

parallel, nor converge to a common point,.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section V.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 177

The four right lines may be given in position ABC, AD, BD, CE; the first of which

may cut the second at A, the third at B, and the fourth at C: and the trapezium fghi shall

be required to be described, which shall be similar to the trapezium FGHI ; and the angle

f of which shall be equal to the given angle F, may touch the right line ABC; and the

other angles g, h, i, shall be equal to the other given angles G, H, I , may touch the lines

AD, BD, CE respectively. FH and the aboveFG may be joined, FH and F1 may describe

as many sections of the circle FSG, FTH, FVI; of which the first FSG may take an angle

equal to the angle BAD, the second FTH may take an angle equal to the angle CBD, and

the third FVI may take an angle equal to the angle ACB. But the segments must be

described according to these parts of the lines FG, FH, F1, so that the letters FSGF shall

be in the same cyclic order as the letters BADB, and so that the letters FTHF shall be

returned in the same circle with the letters CBDC, and the letters FVIF with the letters

ACEA. The segments may be completed into whole circles, and let P be the centre of the

first circleFSG, and Q the centre of the second FTH. Also PQ may be joined and

produced in each direction and in that QR may be taken in the same ratio to PQ as BC has

to AB. But QR may be taken on the side of the point Q so that the order P, Q, R of the

letters shall be the same as of the letters A, B, C: and with centreR and with the interval

RP the fourth circle may be described FNc cutting the third circle FVI in c. Fc may be

joined cutting the first circle a, and the second in b. aG, bH, and cI are constructed and

the figure abcFGHI can be put in place similar to the figure ABCfghi. With which done

the trapeziumfghi will be that itself, which it was required to construct.

For the two first circles FSG and FTH mutually cut each other in K. PK, QK, RK, aK,

bK, and cK may be joined and QP may be produced to L. The angles to the

circumferences FaK, FbK, FcK are half of the angles FPK, FQK, FRK at the centres, and

thus equal to the halves of these angles LPK, LQK, LRK. Therefore the figure PQRK is

equiangular and similar to the figureabcK, and thereforeab is to bc as PQ to QR, that is,

as AB to BC. By construction, to the above FaG, FbH, FcI the angles fAg, fBh, fCi are

equal. Therefore to the figure abcFGHI the similar figureABCfghi is able to be

completed. With which done the trapeziumfghi may be constructed similar to the

trapeziumFGHI, and with its angles f, g, h, i touching the right lines ABC, AD, BD, CE.

Q. E. F.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section V.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 178

Corol. Hence a right line can be drawn whose parts, with four given lines in position

intercepted in a given order, will have

a given proportion to each other. The

angles FGH and GH1 may be

augmented as far as that, so that the

right lines FG, GH, HI may be placed

in a direction, and these in this case

by constructing the problem will lead

to the right line fghi, the parts of

which fg, gh, hi, intersected by the

four right lines given in position AB

and AD, AD and BD, BD and CE, are

to one another as the lines FG, GH,

HI, and they will maintain the same

order among themselves. Truly the same shall be expedited thus more readily.

AB may be produced to K, and BD to L, so that B K shall be to AB as HI to GH; and

DL to BD as GI to FG; and KL may be joined crossing the right line CE in i. There may

be produced iL to M, so that there shall beLM to iL as GH to HI, and then there may be

drawn MQ parallel to LB itself, and crossing the right line AD in g, then gi cuts AB, BD

in f, h. I say that it has been done. [See note 110 of Whiteside for an explanation.]

For Mg may cut the right lineAB in Q, and AD the right lineKL in S, and AP is drawn

which shall be parallel to BD itself and may cross iL in P, and there will be gM to Lh (gi

to bi, Mi to Li, GI to HI, AX to BK) and AP to BL in the same ratio. DL may be cut in R so

that DL shall be to RL in that same ratio, and on account of the proportionals gS to gM,

AS to AP, and DS to DL; there will be, from the equation, as gS to Lh thus AS to BL

and DS to RL; and on mixing [the ratios], BLRL to LhBL as ASDS to gSAS. That is,

as BR to Bh so AD to Ag, and thus as BD to gQ. And in turn BR to BD as Bh to gQ, or fh

to fg. But by construction the line BL will be cut in the same ratio in D and R and the line

FI in G and H: and thus BR is to BD as FH to FG. Hence fh is to fg as FH to FG.

Therefore since also there shall be gi to hi as Mi to Li, that is, as GI to HI, it is apparent

the lines FI, fi similarly are cut in g and h, G and H.

Q. E.F.

In the construction of this corollary after LK is drawn cutting CE in i, it is allowed to

produce iE to V, so that there shall be EV to Ei as FH to HI, and to draw Vf parallel to

BD itself. The same is returned if from the centre i, with the radius IH, a circle may be

described cutting BD in X, and iX may be produced to r, so that iT shall be equal to IF,

and Tf may be drawn parallel to BD.

Other solutions of this problem were devised formerly by Wren and Wallis.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section V.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 179

PROPOSITION XXIX PROBLEM XXI.

To describe a trajectory of a given kind, which from four given right lines will be cut

into parts, in order, in given kind and proportion.

A trajectory shall be required to be described, which shall be similar to the curved line

FGHI, and the parts of which, similar and proporional to the parts of this FG, GH, HI,

with the right lines given in position AB and AD, AD and BD, BD and CE, the first may

lie between the first, the second with the second, and the third with the third. With the

right lines drawn FG, GH, HI, FI, the trapezium [read as quadrilateral] fghi may be

described (by Lem. XXVII.) which shall be similar to the trapezium FGHI, and the

angles of which f, g, h, i may touch these right lines given in position AB, AD, BD, CE,

one to one in the said order. Then about this trapezium the trajectory of the like curved

line FGHI may be described.

Scholium.

It is possible for this problem to be constructed as follows. With FG, GH, HI, FI

joined produceGF to P, and join FH, 1G, and with the angles FGH, PFH make the

angles CAK, DAL equal. A K and AL are concurrent with the right line BD in K and L,

and thence KM and LN are drawn, of which KM may make the angle AKM equal to the

angle GHI, and it shall be to AK as HI is to GH ; and LN may make the angle ALN equal

to the angle FHI, and it shall be to AL as HI to FH. Moreover AK, KM, KM, AL, LN may

be drawn to these parts of the lines AD, AK, AL, so that the letters CAKMC, ALKA,

DALND may be returned in the same order with the letters FGHIF in the orbit; and with

MN drawn it may cross the right line CE in i. Make the angle iEP equal to the angle1GF,

and PE shall be to Ei as FG to G1; and through P there is drawn PQf, which with the

right line ADE may contain the angle PQE equal to the angleFIG, and crosses the right

line AB in h and fi may be joined. But PE and PQ may be drawn to these sections of the

lines CE and PE, so that the cyclic order of the lines PEiP and PEQp shall be the same as

of the letters FGHIF, and if above on the line fi also the same order of the letters may be

put in place, the trapeziumfghi will be similar to the trapeziumFGHI, and the given kind

of trajectory may be circumscribed, the problem may be solved.

Up to this point concerned with the finding of orbits. It remains that we may determine

the motion of bodies in the orbits found.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 201

SECTION VI.

Concerning the finding of motions in given orbits.

(s)

(t)

Thus, according to the annotated edition of the Principia by Fathers Le Seur and

J acquier, the last edition of which was pub. in 1833 in Glasgow, the so-called 'J esuit

Edition' , we have this summary :-

Note 338 (s), p. 202:

Newton in this whole section supposes the body thus to be moving in a given conic

trajectory, so that with the radii drawn to the focus of the trajectory, areas or sectors will

be described proportional to the times; for by that law in Book 3, all the planets have

been shown by the phenomena to revolve in conic section orbits. In addition the time is

required to be noted, in which the body will arrive at some given point of the trajectory of

the orbit from some given point of the trajectory, e.g. from the principal vertex point of

that to some other point on the same given trajectory ; and for the area to be given or the

sector of the trajectory corresponding to this given time ; and from these given, the

moving position on the trajectory may be sought at some other given time; or on the other

hand the time may be sought in which the moving point will reach some given point in

the trajectory; for since the areas shall be proportional to the times, in some given time,

the area described in this time may be found, and in turn with the area described given,

the time may be found in which the motion was described.

PROPOSITION XXX. PROBLEM XXII.

To find the position of a body in a given parabolic trajectory at a designated time.

Let S be the focus and A the principle vertex of the

parabola, and let4AS M be equal to the area of the

parabola APS cut off, by which the radius SP, either after

the height of the body had been described from the

vertex, or before the approach of this to the vertex has

been described. The magnitude of this area cut off is

known to be proportional to the time itself. Bisect AS in

G, and raise a perpendicular GH equal to 3M, and the

circle described with centre H, radius HS will cut the

parabola at the position sought P. For, with the

perpendicular PO sent to the axis and with PH drawn,

there is

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 202

2 2 2 2 2

2 2 2 2

( )

2 2

AG GH HP AO AG PO GH

AO PO AG AO GH PO AG GH .

+ = = +

= + + +

From which

2 2 2 2

3

4

2 ( 2 ) GH PO AO PO AG AO AO PO . = + = + [Since

2

4

OP

AS AO = , ]

For

2

AO write

2

4

PO

AS

AO [i.e.

2

2

3

4 4

2

PO

AS

GH PO AO PO = + ] ; and with all the applied

terms divided by 3PO and multiplied by 2AS, there becomes

4 1 1

3 6 2

3 4 3

6 6

(

area ) area

AO AS AO SO

GH AS AO PO AS PO

PO PO APO SPO APS.

+

= +

= = = =

[For the area under the parabola is

2

3

AO OP (either by integration, or from Archimedes

Prop. 17, quadr. Parab. sup. Theor. IV, de Parabola).]

But GH was equal to 3M, and thence

4

3

GH AS is 4AS M . Therefore the area cut APS

is equal to the area 4AS M , that was required to be cut.

Q. E. D.

Corol.1. Hence GH is to AS, as the time in which the body has described the arc AP to the

time in which the body has described the arc between the vertex A and the perpendicular

to the axis erected from the focus S. [Let P'S be the semi-latus rectum, for which

2 P' O AS = , then the area APS : area AP'S =

4 2

3 3

: 2 : GH AS AS AS GH AS = .]

Corol. 2. And with the circle ASP always passing through the moving body at P , the

velocity of the point H is to the velocity which the body had at the vertex A as 3 to 8; and

thus also in that ratio is the line GH to the right line that the body in the time of its motion

from A to P, that it may describe with the velocity it had at the vertex A. [See Note 339

(b) ]

338 (t) : Let S be the focus, and A, the principal vertex of the parabola, and the time shall

be given in which the body in moving on the parabola, as we have established (358.),

from the vertex A to the point P, or arrives at the vertex A from the point P , or the time

shall be given in which the sector APS is described.

Note 339 (b):

J oin AP, and at the mid-point q of this,

raise the perpendicular L, and since (from

the demonstration) always HP HA = , and

thus AP is the chord of this circle whose

centre is H. And thus (by Book I, Sect. I

Euclid's Elements) that perpendicular qL

cuts the right line GH in H ; and on account

of the similar triangles LGH, LqA there is

1

2

: or : GH qA AP LG Lq = . There may be

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 203

taken 2 AC AS = clearly half of the latus rectum of the parabola, and with centre C, and

with the radius CA, the circle AN may be described, this is a tangent to the parabola at A

(note 241); truly with the points P and A, H and G coincident, and thus also the points L

and C coincide. Let 2 4 Lq LA CA AS GS = = = = and 3 LG CG GS = = , and with the arc

AP equal to the chord AP, (Lem. VII) ; from which since in the above proportion there

shall be

1

2

: : GH AP LG Lq = , in this case there shall be

1

2

: 3 : 4 GH AP GS GS = ; that is,

: 3:8 GH AP = . Truly on account of the uniformity of the motion and equally by

continuing in its state over the time through the points A, P, G, H, the velocity of the

point H at G, is to the velocity of the body P at A as GH to AP, and because (from the

Dem.)

4

3

AS GH is always equal to the area APS, and

4

3

AS is a constant quantity, GH

will always be as the area APS, that is as the time in which the point H, has run through

GH, and is hence whose motion is uniform and the same everywhere. Whereby the

velocity of the point H is everywhere to the velocity that the body P has at A, as arising at

GH , to that arising at AP, that is, as 3 to 8. Q.e.d.

Corol. 3. Hence also in turn it is possible to find the time in which the body has described

some designated arc AP. J oin AP and to the mid-point of this erect the perpendicular GH

to the line crossing in H. [i.e. the same argument for the time can be applied to any point.]

LEMMA XXVIII.

No figure is extant, cut by right lines as you please, of which the oval area may be able

to be found generally by equations with a finite number of terms and dimensions.

Within an oval some point may be given, about which or pole a right line may rotate

perpetually, with a uniform motion, and meanwhile on that right line a point may emerge

moveable from the pole, and it may always go forwards with that velocity, which shall be

as the square of that right line within the oval. [See note 359.] By this motion the point

will describe a spiral with infinite rotations. Now if a part of the oval area can be found

cut from that right line by a finite equation, also the distance may be found by the same

equation of the point from the pole, which is proportional to this area, [See note 360

below.] and thus all the points of the spiral can be found by a finite equation: and

therefore from any position of this right line the intersection with a given position with

the spiral also can be found by a finite equation. And every right line produced infinitely

cuts the spiral in an infinite number of points, and the equation, [See note 361 below.] by

which some intersection of the two lines may be found, shows all the intersections of

these with just as many roots, and thus it rises to just as many dimensions as there are

intersections. Because two circles cut each other mutually in two points, a single

intersection may not be found except by an equation of two dimensions, from which the

other intersection also may be found. Because there can be four intersections of the two

conic sections [See note 362 below.], it is not possible to find any of these generally

except by an equation of four dimensions, from which all may be found at the same time.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 204

For if these intersections themselves may be sought, since the law and the condition of

all is the same, the calculation will be the same in each case, and therefore always the

same conclusion, which therefore must include all like intersections and shown

indifferently. From which also the intersections of conic sections and of curves of the

third order, because from that there can be six, likewise they may be produced by

equations of six dimensions, and six intersections of the two curves of the third power,

because nine can be possible, likewise they may arise from equations of nine dimensions.

Unless that by necessity may come about, all solid [i.e. volume or 3 dimensional]

problems may be allowed to be reduced to the plane, and greater than solid [three

dimensions] to three dimensions. I am concerned here with curves that are irreducible in

power. For if the equation, by which a curve is defined, can be reduced to a lower power

: the curve will not be single, but composed from two or more equations, whose

intersections can be found separately by different calculations. In the same manner the

intersections of two right lines and the sections of cones will always be produced by

equations of two dimensions, of three right lines and of irreducible curves of the third

power by equations of the third dimension, of four right lines and of irreducible curves of

the fourth power by equations of the fourth dimension, and thus indefinitely. Therefore

the intersections of right lines and spirals will require equations with an infinite number

of dimensions, since this curve shall be simple and irreducible into many curves, and an

infinitude of roots, by which all the intersections can be likewise shown. For this is the

same law and the same calculation of everything. For if from the pole a perpendicular

may be sent through that intersecting right line, and that perpendicular may be rotated

together with the intersecting line about the pole, the intersections of the spiral will cross

mutually from one into another, whatever shall be first or nearest, after one revolution

will be the second, after two the third, and thus henceforth: nor meanwhile will the

equation be changed except for the change in the magnitude of the quantities by which

the position of the cuts may be determined. From which since these quantities after

individual rotations may return to the first magnitudes, the equation will be returned to

the first form, and thus one and the same will show all the intersections and therefore an

infinite number of roots will be had, from which everything is able to be shown.

Therefore the intersection of a right line and a spiral will be unable to be shown generally

by a finite equation, and therefore nothing may be shown by such an equation generally

with the area of which oval, cut by designated right lines.

By the same argument, if the distance between the pole and the point, by which the

spiral may be described, should be taken proportional to the perimeter of the oval cut, it

cannot be proved because the length of the perimeter cannot be shown generally by a

finite equation. But here I talk about ovals which are not touched by conjugate figures

going off to infinity.

Further notes from the Le Seur and J acquier edition:

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 205

Note 359: Within the oval ACBA some point P may be given, or about which pole the

right line PS may rotate perpetually, with a uniform motion, thus so that the given point A

of this line may describe equal arcs of circles AamX in equal intervals of time, and

meanwhile on that right line PS, the moving point p may emerge from the pole P, and

will always go on the same right line PS with the velocity which shall [note the error

here!] be as the square of that right line within the oval, that is, when the line PS arrives

at the place Ps, and the mobile point P at p, the velocity of the point p shall be as the

square of the right line PQ contained between the pole P and the oval AQCP, in this

motion that point p, describes the spiral PpnZ, with infinite rotations.

Note 360. With these in place the right line Pp will always be as the area PAQP; for the

circle AamX may be understood to be divided into innumerable equal arcs as am, and

with the radii of the spiral PQ, Pq drawn, the perpendiculars Qr, pL sent from the circle

to the oval crossing at p and n, a and m, Q and q, to Pq, and in the same time in which the

point a, will traverse the arc am, the point p may run through the arc am, the point p may

run through the line Ln ; on which account with the arc am arising, Ln will be as the

velocity of the point p on the right line Ps, that is, (by hyp.) as the square of the line PQ;

again on account of the similar triangles Pam, PQr : :

PQ am

Pa

Pa PQ am Qr

= = , and

hence the area of the sector arising PQq,

2

1

2 2

PQ am

Pa

Qr PQ

= . Therefore since am and

2Pa shall be constant quantities (by hyp.), the area PQq arising or the flux of the area

PAQ will be as PQ

2

, and thus as the emerging Ln, or as the flux of the right line Pp, and

hence the total area of the fluent PAQ, will be as the total right line of the flux Pp , (Cor.

Lem. IV) Q.e.d.

Note 361. The points p and Q may be referred to the right line AB, in the given position

with the perpendiculars Q, H, pF sent to AB and the area PAQ shall be equal to a finite

quantity E from the variable lines PH, QH and composed from other constants as desired,

and since the line Pp is proportional to the area PAQ or to the finite quantity E (360), that

line will be able to be expressed by a factor from the quantity E into a constant quantity

B, and Pp E B = will be a finite equation. Truly from the similar triangles PFp, PHQ

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 206

and the right angle to H, : Pp pF PQ = , or

2 2

: PH QH QH + , and : Pp PF PQ = , or

2 2

: PH QH PH + , and besides from the nature of the oval AQCB, another equation

may be given between PH and QH, four finite equations therefore may be found, which

likewise contain five variables, to wit Pp, PF, pF, PH, QH, and which hence will be able

to be reduced to a single finite equation in which only two variables PF, pF may be

found, and thus by this finite equation all the points of the spiral will be able to be found,

and therefore with the position given of any right line Sp, the intersection p of any given

right line Sp with the spiral also can be found from a finite equation; for since two right

lines Sp, SB shall be given in position, the magnitude of the line SP and the nature of the

triangle SpF may be given, and hence the ratio of the lines SF or SP PF to Fp, and a

new equation may be found between PF and Fp; therefore by this equation and by the

other which is to the spiral, PF may be determined, and Fp, and the point of intersection

p may be found by a finite equation.

Note 362. The two lines AMS, Sms may be referred to the same right line AQ given in

place, mutually intersecting in the points S, s , and let AQ, AP be the common abscissae,

and QS, PM, Pm the ordinates accorded to these; because with the common intersections

of the lines SMs, Sms, the ordinates PM, Pm are equal, if in the two equations for the

lines SMs, Sms, with the abscissae remaining common, in place of the ordinates PM, Pm,

the same letters may be written, such as y, and then from these equations the letter which

expressed the common abscissa may be eliminated, an equation will be obtained

composed from y and constants only. Again this final equation no more will determine

the first common ordinate SQ, or the first intersection S, than the third of the fourth, etc,

since there shall be the same law for everything and likewise the same condition in the

calculation; therefore this equation must show completed and indifferently all the

common coordinates QS, and likewise all the intersections S, and thus just as many roots

or the values of y to be returned as there are common ordinates or intersections, but the

equation has just as many dimensions as the number of roots; and thus if the intersections

S, s of the lines SMs, Sms, shall be finite in number, also the equation which may

determine those is finite ; but if the intersections were infinite in number, the equation

will be of infinite dimensions and with an infinitude of roots.

See also Chandrasekbar, p. 133. Here the point is made that 'smooth' curves are

geometrically rational or algebraic, and thus their area can be found; curves with points

of discontinuity, called 'geometrically irrational' by Newton, such as a sector of the

ellipse, are not smooth, and do not satisfy an algebraic equation of a finite number of

dimensions, and therefore cannot be integrated exactly. However, we find in what

follows that such sectors can be related to the area of the corresponding circular circle,

and approximate solutions can be found for the angle, if we know the area : which is of

course the aim of this section the area is known and the angle or position in the orbit is

required. Open curves such as the parabola and hyperbola do not suffer from this

condition.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 207

Corollary.

Hence the area of [the sector] of an ellipse, which will be described by a radius drawn

from the focus to a moving body, will not be produced by a finite equation for the time

given; and therefore cannot be determined geometrically from the drawing of rational

curves . I call curves geometrically rational [i.e. algebraic], all of the points of which are

defined by lengths, that is, they are able to be determined by complicated ratios of lengths

; and the others (as spirals, quadratrixes, trochoides) I call geometrically irrational. For

the lengths which are or are not as number to number (just as in the tenth Book of the

Elements) are arithmetically rationals or irrationals. [Whiteside notes that it was Barrow

who made this connection on innumerability, and not Euclid, which Newton corrected.]

Therefore I cut off an area of an ellipse proportional to the time as follows, by a

geometrically irrational curve [i.e. a cycloid].

PROPOSITION XXXI. PROBLEM XXIII.

To find the position of a body in a given elliptical trajectory at a given designated time.

Let A be the principle vertex of an ellipse APB; S the focus, and O the centre, and let P

be the position of the body required to be found. Produce OA to G, so that OG shall be to

OA as OA to OS [In modern terms, if we let the eccentricity be e, than OS ae = and

OG a / e = , whereOA a = .] Erect the perpendicular GH, and with centre O and radius

OG describe the circle GEF, and upon the ruler or established right line GH, the wheel

GEF may progress by rotating about its axis, meanwhile with its own point A tracing out

the trochoid ALI. With which done, take GK in the ratio to the perimeter of the wheel

GEG, so that the time, in which the body by progressing from A will describe the arc AP,

is to the time of one revolution of the ellipse. The perpendicular KL can be erected

crossing the trochoid [or prolate cycloid] at L, and with LP itself drawn parallel to KG

will meet the ellipse in the position of the body sought P.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 208

[Note that the ellipse does not itself rotate, just the point P on its curve, along with the

imaginary wheel , and the diagram is counter intuitive, as the circle must rotate clockwise

while it moves to the left to produce the curve shown so that P falls on L at the position

shown; this appears to be rather strange; the diagram by Wren who originally constructed

this solution, had the cycloid going to the right ; thus we may consider the point P to

coincide with A when 0 = , which is also a point on the cycloid, and the wheel to be

rolling to the left, so that P later actually coincides with L in the position shown. In this

case, in rotating through the positive angle , the point P moves to the left a distance GK

or

a

e

, while in the same time shortening this distance by the amount a sin ; hence

relative to the origin O fixed in space in the position shown, we have the point L situated

at ( );

a

e

x esin = the position of the y coordinate is given by (1 )

a

e

y ecos = . Thus,

this point is assumed given, from which we may deduce the area swept out by P in the

orbit.]

For with centre O, with the radius OA the semicircle AQB may be described, and for

LP to meet the arc AQ if there is a need by producing Q, and SQ, OQ may be joined. For

the arc EFG may cross OQ in F, and to the same OQ there may be sent the perpendicular

SR. Thearea APS is as the area AQS, that is as the difference between the sector area

OQA and the triangle area OQS, or, as the difference of the products

1 1

2 2

and OQ arcAQ OQ SR , [recall that for different ellipses or for an ellipse and a

circle, on the same diameter and with the ordinates in a given ratio, then the

corresponding areas of elliptic (and circular) sectors are in the same ratio b/a.] that is, on

account of the given

1

2

OQ, as the difference between the arc AQ and the right line SR,

[i.e. the circular sector AQS = ( )

1

2

OQ arcAQ SR , and the elliptic sector

b

a

APS AQS = ],

and thus (since the equal ratios shall be given, SR to the sine of the arc AQ, OS to OA, OA

to OG, and the arc AQ to the arc GF, and on separating, to arcAQ SR GF sin arcAQ),

as GK to the difference between the arc GF and the sine of arc AQ.

[i.e. ( )

2

a

APS arcAQ SR = giving SR OS sinarcAQ aesin = = , and hence the area of

the elliptic sector APS = ( )

2

ab

e sin , which relates to the known x coordinate, which

is moving along the x axis at a constant speed. There is still the problem of finding the

angle from the coordinate x analytically, if we are not content with simply measuring it

from a mechanical model.]

Q.E.D.

[Whiteside, in VI note134, points put that this mechanical solution of the problem of

determining the time to travel along the arc of the ellipse from the apse A is essentially

the same as that found by Wren in 1658, and published by Wallis in his tract De Cycloide

the following year. Note that this mechanical solution uses arcs rather than areas. Further

information can be found in the notes provided by Whiteside, especially note 138. Part of

the confusion about the following method was due to a page being mislaid by Humphrey

Newton, Newton's amanuensis, which resulted in several pages being deleted, as Newton

was unable in the short time availabe due to the printing in process, to reproduce that

page. The ellipse is now put upright, and a numerical method is used to solve Kepler's

equation.]

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 209

Scholium.

The remaining description of this curve shall be had with difficulty, it is better to give

an approximate solution. Then a certain angle B may be found, which shall be to the

angle of the degrees 57.29578, that an arc subtends equal to the radius, as it is the

distance SH of the focus to the diameter of the ellipse AB; then also a certain length L,

which shall be to the radius [r] in the same ratio inverted. [Thus, in modern terms, we set

the eccentricity equal to the size of the angle B in radians or

HS SO r

AB AO L

B e = = = = , the

eccentricity.] With which once found, the problem then may be put together by the

following analysis. By some construction, or in some manner by making a guess, the

position of the body P may be known near to the true position p. And with the applied

ordinate PR sent to the axis of the ellipse, from the proportion of the diameters of the

ellipse, the ordinate RQ of the circumscribed circle AQB is given, which is the sine of the

angle AOQ with the radius being AO [by def.], and which cuts the ellipse at P. That will

suffice in a rough calculation to find the angle in approximate numbers. [That is,

SH PR

QR AB

e = = .] Also the angle may be known to be proportional to the time, that is, which

may be to four right angles, as the time is in which the body will describe the arc AP, to

the time of one revolution in the ellipse. Let this angle be N. [Thus,

2 2

arcAp

t N

T r

= = .]

[Clearly, the solution is required to the problem: area of sector of ellipse ApS : area of

sector of circle AqS =b/a. This may be developed as above, and we come upon an

equation similar to that above : the elliptic sector ( )

2

ab

ApS e sin = ; or

N e sin = , and the value of is required to satisfy this equaton. Following

Whiteside, an approximate solution is set up

2 1 1

= + , where

i

is small; from which

successive approximations follow. The initial value

1

it taken as the angle AOQ, while

the values for

1 2

etc , , ., are successively E, G... We may, for clarification, invoke

Newton's Method for finding a better approximation to the root of an equation : if x

0

is an

approximate root of the equation ( ) 0 f x = , then a better approximation is

1

1

( )

2 1

( )

f x

f ' x

x x = , and so on; here ( ) f N esin = + , in which case

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 210

( ) 1 f ' ecos = + , and

( )

2

N AOQ L r sin AOQ

N AOQ Bsin AOQ

Bcos AOQ Lcos AOQ

AOQ AOQ

+

+

= = ;

thus, the correction is the angle

( ) ( ) N AOQ L r sin AOQ N AOQ L

r sin AOQ

Lcos AOQ Lcos AOQ Lcos AOQ

+

= + ; Newton sets

the correction into two parts,

r sin AOQ

Lcos AOQ

D = ; and applies the correction D to the other part,

giving :

( ) L N AOQ D

Lcos AOQ

E

+

= .] Then an angle D may be taken to the angle B, as the sine of

the angle AOQ to the radius itself, and an angle E to the angle N AOQ D + , as the

length L to the same length L diminished by the cosine of the angle AOQ [this statement

applies to both parts above], where that angle is less than a right angle, but increased

when it becomes greater. Afterwards then the angle F may be taken to the angle B, so that

the sine of the angleAOQ E + is to the radius, and the angle G to the angle

N AOQ E F + as the length L to the same length diminished by the cosine of the

angle AOQ + E , when that is less than a right angle, increased when greater. In the third

place in turn, the angle H may be taken to the angle B, as the sine of the angle

AOQ E G + + is to the radius; and the angle I to the angle N AOQ E G H + , and the

length L to the same length diminished by the cosine of the angle AOQ E G + + , when

this is less than a right angle, increased when greater. And thus it is permitted to go on

indefinitely. Finally the angle AOQ may be taken equal to the angle

AOQ E G I &c + + + + . And from the cosine of this Or and with the ordinate pr, which is

to the sine of this qr as the minor axis of the ellipse to the major axis, the correct position

p of the body is obtained. If when the angle N AOQ D + is negative, the + sign of E

everywhere is changed into , and the sign into +. Likewise it is to be understood

concerning the signs of G and I, where the angles

and N AOQ E F, N AOQ E G H + + may be produced negative.

But as the infinite series etc AOQ E G I + + + + . converges rapidly, thus so that scarcely

will there be any need to progress further than

to the second term E. And the calculation may

be based on this theorem, that the area APS

shall be as the difference between the arc AQ

and the right line from the focus S sent

perpendicularly to the radius OQ.

A similar calculation is put in place with the

hyperbola problem. Let O be the centre of this,

the vertex A, the focus S and the asymptote OK.

The magnitude of the area cut off is requiring to

be proportional to the time. Let that be A, and a

guess is made concerning the position of the

right line SP, which shall be cut approximate to the true area APS. OP may be joined, and

from A and P to the asymptote draw AI and PK parallel to the other asymptote, and the

area AIKP will be given by a table of logarithms, and from the area equal to OPA, which

taken from the triangle OPS, the area cut APS will be left. From the difference of the area

requiring to be cut off A and of the area cut off APS the double 2 2 APS A or

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 211

2 2 A APS to the line SN, which is perpendicular from the focus S into the tangent TP,

the length of the chord PQ may arise. But that chord PQ may be inscribed between A and

P, if thearea cut APS shall be greater than the area required to be cut A, otherwise cut at

the opposite side of the point P: and the point Q will be a more accurate position of the

body. And with the computation repeated the same may be found more accurately

indefinitely.

And from these calculations the problem generally can be put together analytically.

Truly the calculation which follows is more fitted to astronomical uses. With the semi-

axis of the ellipse AO, OB, OD present, and L its latus rectum, and D the difference

between the semi-minor axis OD and the semi-latus rectum

1

2

L ; whereby then the angle

Y, the sine of which shall be to the radius as the rectangle formed from that difference D,

and the half sum of the axes AO OD + to the square of the major axis AB; then the angle

Z, the sine of which shall be to the radius as twice the rectangle formed by the distance

between the foci SH and that difference D to the triple of the square of the major semi-

axis AD. With these angles thus found ; the position of the body thus can be determined.

Take the angle T proportional to the time in which the arc BP has been described, or

equal to the mean motion (as they say) ; and the angle V, as it is the first equation of the

mean motion, to the angle Y, the first maximum equation, as the sine of double the angle

T to the radius ; and the angle X, the second equation, to the angle Z, the second

maximum equation, as the cube of the sine of the angle T is to the cube of the radius. [See

Whiteside note 159 Vol. VI etc.] Take the sum of the angles T, V, X or the sum

T X V + + , if the angle T is less than a right

angle , or the difference T X V + , if this

greater than a right angle and less than two

right angles, equal to the angle BHP, the mean

motion equation ; and if HP should cut the

ellipse at P, with SP drawn it will cut the area

BSP approximately in proportion to the time.

This practice may be seen to be work well

enough, because of the very small angles V and

X therefore arising, in seconds of arc, if it

pleases to be sufficient to find two or three

figures of the places. And also this is accurate

enough for the theory of the planets. For in the orbit of Mars itself, the equation of the

centre of which is ten degrees, the error scarcely will exceed a second of arc. But when

the equated mean motion has been found (the angleBHP), then the true motion (the angle

BSP) and the distance (SP)are had readily by the well-known method [of Seth-Ward; this

useful reference is missing in the 3

rd

edition, in place in the 1

st

and 2

nd

edition].

Up to the present we have been concerned with the motion of bodies on curved lines.

But it may also happen that the body ascends or descend by a right line, and I now go on

to to set out matters relating to motions of this kind.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 217

SECTION VII.

Concerning the rectilinear ascent and descent of bodies.

[Newton treats this problem as a limiting case of orbital motion, and there are three cases

to consider: elliptic, parabolic, and hyperbolic orbits. It is easily shown in modern terms

that in the elliptic case, the total energy of the body is given by

2

1

2

0

r

v

< , while in the

second and third cases the total energy is zero, and >0 respectively, where relates to

the gravitational constant. Newton of course does not follow this approach. The task is to

find the time to fall a given distance in a straight line towards the focus, or to be projected

away likewise, with some given initial velocity and position. The method depends on

finding the equivalent circular motion relating the areas, which are in proportion to the

times as previously. The problem is then essentially a special case of Kepler's problem;

arcs are related to areas.]

PROPOSITION XXXII. PROBLEM XXIV.

Because the centripetal force shall be inversely proportional to the square of the distance

with the position from the centre, to define the intervals which a body by falling in a

straight line will describe in given times.

Case. I. If the body does not fall perpendicularly, it will describe

some conic section (by Corol. I, Prop. XIII.) the focus of which

agrees with the centre of forces. Let that conic section be ARPB, and

S the focus of this . And initially, if the figure is an ellipse, upon the

major axis AB of this the semicircle ADB may be described, and by

falling the body may cross the right line DPC perpendicular to the

axes; and with DS and PS drawn, the area ASD will be [proportional]

to the area ASP, and thus also proportional to the time. With the axes

AB remaining, the width of the ellipse may be continually become

less, and always the area ASD will remain proportional to the time.

That width may be decreased indefinitely : and with the orbit APB now coincident with

the axes AB and the focus S with the end of the axis B, the body will descend on the right

line AC, and the area ABD becomes proportional to the time. And thus there will be given

the interval AC, which the body will describe by falling perpendicularly from the position

A in the given time, but only if the area ABD may be taken proportional to the time, and

the perpendicular DC may be sent from the point D to the right line AB

Q.E.I.

[See Chandrasekhar p.143 and beyond for a modern treatment, Routh & Brougham, p. 77

; Whiteside Vol. VI, p. 325 onwards. In this case, the length of the latus rectum, given by

2

2 1 a e , can approach zero as the eccentricity e approaches 1, making the ellipse more

narrow and keeping the transverse length fixed, while the focus tends towards B, and the

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 218

time is proportional to the area intercepted by a radius SP on the circle with diameter DB,

where S coincides with B in the limiting case.]

Case 2. If that figure RPB is a hyperbola [second diagram], the rectangular hyperbola

BED may be described according to the same principal diameter AB : and because the

areas CSP, CBfP, SPfB are in proportion to the areas CSD, CBED, SDEB, one to one, in

the given ratio of the heights CP, CD; and the area SPfB is proportional to the time in

which the body P will be moved through the arc PfB; the area SDEB will also be

proportional to the same time. [Note that the here the rectangular hyperbola is the regular

figure equivalent to the auxiliary circle for the ellipse, used in finding the area

corresponding to the time.]The latus rectum of the

hyperbola RPB may be diminished indefinitely with the

transverse width remaining fixed, and the arc PB will

coincide with the right line CB and the focus S with the

vertex B and the right line SD with the right line BD.

Therefore the area BDEB will be proportional to the

time in which the body C by falling in a straight line will

describe the line CB.

Q.E.I.

[In this case, the latus rectum or the focal chord, is given

by

2

2 1 a e , and as e approaches 1, the orbit becomes

narrower, maintaining the same separation of the foci

and centre.]

Case 3. And by a similar argument if the figure RPB is a parabola, and with the same

principal vertex B another parabola BED may be

described, which always may be given, then meanwhile

the first parabola, on the perimeter of which the body P

may be moving, and with the latus rectum of this

reduced to zero, it may agree with the right line CB;

the segment of the parabola BDEB will be proportional

to the time in which both P or C will descend to the

centre.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 219

PROPOSITION XXXIII. THEOREM IX.

With the positions now found, I say that the velocity of the falling body at some place C is

to the velocity of a body describing a circle with the centre B and radius BC, in the

square root ratio that AC, the distance of the body from the circle or from the more

distant vertex of the rectangular hyperbola A, has to the principal semi-diameter of the

figure

1

2

AB.

AB may be bisected in O, the diameter of each common figure RPB, DEB; and the

right line PT may be drawn, which may touch the figure RPB in P, and also cuts that

common diameter AB (if there is a need for extending) in T; and let SY be perpendicular

to that right line, and let BQ be perpendicular to this diameter, and L may be put as the

latus rectum of the figure RPB . It may be agreed by Corol. IX, Prop. XVI, that the

velocity at some place P of the body moving on the line RPB about the centre S, shall be

to the velocity of the body being described about the circle with the same centre and

radius SP as the square root of the ratio of the rectangle

1

2

L SP to SY

2

.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 220

[Recall that by Corol. IX, Prop. XVI, the velocity at P for the conic is as

1

2

L

SY

, and for

the circle with radius SP, for which the velocity is as

1

SP

[i.e., in modern terms, from

the force equation for motion in a circle, we have

2

2

1 1

or

v

r

r r

v ], we have

2 1

2

2 2 2

conicAPB

cir .rad . SP

L SP v

L

v SY SY

SP

=

major and minor axes, and the latus rectum is the diameter, while SY becomes SP.]

But from the theory of conics there is AC.CB to CP

2

as 2AO to L, and thus

2

2CP AO

ACB

equals L.

[To show this analytically for an ellipse, note initially from

2

2

2 2

1

y

x

a b

+ =

that

( )

( )( )

2 2

2 2

2 2

1

x b

a a

y b a x a x = = + ; hence

2

2 2

2 2 AC.CB a a AO

L L

CP b

= = = , hence

2

2 CP AO

AC.CB

L

= , as

2

2b

a

L = .]

Therefore these velocities in turn are in the square root ratio

2

CP AO SP

AC.CB

to SY

2

[ or

2

2

2 2

conic

circle

v

CP AO SP

v AC.CB SY

= ].

Again from the theory of conics CO is to BO as BO to TO, and by adding or taking from

each other as CB to BT. From which either by taking or adding there shall be BO or +

CO to BO as CT to BT, that is, AC to AO as CP to BQ

[i.e. =

CO BO BO CO BC

BO TO TO BO BT

+

+

= = ; then 1

BC TC

BT BT

= , while 1 1

OC OC AC

OB OA OA

= = because of

the similar triangles CPT and BQT,

BQ.AC

OA

CP = ];

and thence

2

CP AO SP

AC.CB

is equal to

2

BQ AC SP

AO BC

RPB diminished indefinitely, thus so that the point P coincides with the point C; and the

point S with the point B, and the line SP with the line BC, and the line ST with the line

BQ ; and the velocity of the body now descending on the right line CB becomes to the

velocity of the body describing the circle BC with the radius B, in the square root ratio of

2

BQ AC SP

AO BC

to SY

2

, that is (with the equal ratios SP to BC and BQ

2

to SY

2

ignored), in the

square root ratio AC to AO or

1

2

AB , [i.e.

C conic

circle

v

AC

v AO

= .]

Q. E.D.

Corol. I. With the points B and S coinciding, TC shall be to TS as AC to AO.

Corol. 2. With the body rotating in some circle at a given distance from the centre of the

circle, it may rise up by its own motion to twice is distance from the centre.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 221

PROPOSITION XXXIV. THEOREM X.

If the figure BED is a parabola, I say that the velocity of the falling body at some place C

is equal to the velocity by which the body can describe

a circle uniformly with centre B and with radius half of

its interval BC.

For the velocity of the body describing a parabola

RPB about a centre S at some place P (by Corol. Prop.

XVI.) is equal to the velocity of the body describing a

circle uniformly about the same centre S, with a radius

half of the interval SP. There the width of the parabola

CP may be diminished indefinitely, so that the arc of

the parabola PfB may coincide with the right line CB,

the centre S with the interval B, and the radius SP with the interval BC, and the

proposition will be agreed upon.

[Recall

2

2

2 2

conic

circle

v

CP AO SP

v AC.CB SY

= ; in this case

2

2 2

2 1

2

AC.CB a a

L

CP b

= = = , and hence

2

2 2

2

1

conic

circle

v

AO SP

v SY

= = when

1

2

AO BC = and SP SY BC = = .]

PROPOSITION XXXV. THEOREM XI.

With the same in place, I say that the area of the figure, described by the indefinite radius

SD, shall be equal to the area that the body can describe in the same time, with a radius

equal to half of the latus rectum of the rectilinear figure DES, by rotating uniformly

about the centre S.

For consider the body C as falling in the shortest interval of time to describe the

element of length Cc, and meanwhile another body K, by rotating uniformly in a circle

OKk about the centre S, to describe the arc Kk. The perpendiculars CD and cd may be

erected meeting the figure DES in D and d. SD, Sd, SK, Sk may be joined and Dd may be

drawn meeting the axis AS in T, and to that the perpendicular SY may be sent.

Case. 1. Now if the figure DES is a circle or a rectangular hyperbola, the diameter AS

may be the transverse bisector of this at O, and SO will be half of the latus rectum. And

because TC is to TD as Cc to Dd, and TD to TS as CD to SY, so that from the equation

there will be TC to TS as CD Cc to SY Dd .

[i.e. = and =

TC Cc CD TD

TD Dd TS ST

, ;

TC CD Cc

TS SY Dd

= ]

But (by Coroll. Prop. XXXIII.) TC is to TS as AC to AO, for example if the final ratios of

the lines may be taken on placing the points D and d together. Therefore AC is to AO or

SK as CD Cc to SY Dd . Again the velocity of the descending body at C is to the

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 222

velocity of the body described around the circle with radius SC and centre S in the square

root AC to AD or SK (by Prop. XXXIII.) And this velocity to the velocity of the body

describing the circle OKk is in the square root ratio SK to SC (by Corol. VI. Prop. IV.)

and from that equation the first velocity to the final, that is the line element Cc to the arc

Kk is in the square root ratio AC ad SC, that is in the ratio AC to CD. Whereby

CD Cc is equal to AC Kk , and therefore AC to SK asAC Kk to SY Dd , and

thusSK Kk equals SY Dd , and

1

2

SK Kk equals

1

2

SY Dd , that is the area KSk is

equal to the area SDd. Therefore in the individual small increments of time

the small increments of the two areas KSk and SDd may be generated, which, if the

magnitude of these may be diminished and the number increased indefinitely, maintain a

ratio of equality, and therefore (by the Corollaries of Lemma IV.) the whole areas

generated likewise are always equal. Q.E.D.

Case. 2. But if the figure DES shall be a parabola,

there may be found to be as above CD Cc is to

SY Dd as TC to TS, that is as 2 to 1, and thus

1

4

CD Cc is equal as above

1

2

SY Dd . But the

velocity of the falling body at C is equal to the

velocity by which the circle with radius

1

2

SC may be

able to be described uniformly (by Prop. XXXIV.)

And this velocity to the velocity by which the circle

with radius SK may be able to be described, that is,

the element Cc to the arc Kk (by Corol. VI., Prop.

IV.) is in the square root ratio SK to

1

2

SC , that is, in

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 223

the ratio SK to

1

2

CD. Whereby

1

2

SK Kk is equal to

1

4

CD Cc and thus equal to

1

2

SY Dd , that is, the area KSk is equal to the area SDd as above. Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION XXXVI. PROBLEM XXV.

With the place of the falling body A given to determine the descent

times.

Upon the diameter AS, describe the semi-circle ADS, the distance

of the body at the start, and so that the semicircle OKH about the

centre S is equal to this. From some position of the body C erect the

applied ordinate CD. J oin SD, and put in place the sector OSK equal

to the area ASD. It is apparent by Prop. XXXV that the body on

falling describes the distance AC in the same time that the other

body, by rotating uniformly about the centre S, can describe the arc

OK in the same time. Q. E. F.

PROPOSITION XXXVII. PROBLEM XXVI.

To find the times of ascent or descent of a body projected from some given place.

[There is as need to classify the motion of a body, projected either up or down, into one

of the three types, corresponding to degenerate motion on and ellipse, hyperbola, or a

parabola. ]

The body may emerge from a given place G along the line GS with some velocity. In

the square ratio of this velocity to the uniform velocity in a circle, by which a body may

be able to rotate about the centre S for a given radius SG,

take GA to

1

2

AS . If that ratio is of the number two to one, the point A infinitely far away,

in which case a parabola is being described with vertex S, axes SG, with some latus

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 224

rectum. This is apparent from Prop. XXXIV. But if that ratio were greater or smaller than

2 to 1, in the first case a circle, in the latter a rectangular hyperbola, must be described on

the diameter SA. It is apparent by Prop. XXXIII. Then with centre S, with a radius equal

to half the latus rectum, the circle HkK may be described, and at the position of the body

G either descending or ascending, and at some other place C, the perpendiculars GI and

CD meeting the conic section or the circle in I and D. Then with SI and SD joined, the

sectors HSK and HSk are made equal to the segments SEIS, SEDS, and by Prop. XXXV

the body G describes the interval GC in the same time in which the body K can describe

the arc Kk. Q.E.F.

PROPOSITION XXXVIII. THEOREM XII.

Because the centripetal force may be put proportional to

the height or distance of the places from the centre, I say,

that the times of falling, the velocities and the distances

described, are proportional to the arcs, to the sines of the

arcs and to the versed sines respectively.

[Recall that an inverse square law of force acting on a body

in orbit from the focus of the ellipse may be replaced by

one of proportionality acting from the centre (Prop. IV) ;

thus there is proportional motion between uniform rotation

on the auxiliary circle, on any ellipse with the same semi-major axis, and the S.H.M. on

the vertical line AS in the limiting case. Here the forces are in proportion to the distances

SC, the speeds to the chords CD, and the distances fallen to the versed sines AC.]

A body may fall from some position A along the right line AS; and from the centre of

forces S, with a radius AS, the quadrant of a circlemay be described AE, and let CD be

the [right] sine of any arc AD; and the body A, in the time AD, by falling will describe the

interval AC, and at the place C it will acquire the velocity CD.

In the same manner it may be shown from Proposition X, as by which Proposition

XXXII was demonstrated from Proposition XI.

Corol. I. Hence the times are equal, in which a single body by falling from the place A

arrives at the centre S, and another body by rotating will describe the fourth part of the

arc ADE.

Corol. 2. Hence all the times are equal in which bodies fall from any places as far as the

centre. For all the periodic times of revolution may be equal (by Corol. III. Prop. IV.).

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 225

PROPOSITION XXXIX. PROBLEM XXVII.

With centripetal forces of any kind put in place, and with the quadratures of the

curvilinear figures agreed upon, the straight rise or fall of a body is required, as well as

the velocity at individual places , and the time in which the body may arrive at some

place: And conversely.

The body E may fall from some place A on the right line ADEC, and from its place E a

perpendicular line EG may always be put in place, proportional to the centripetal force at

that place tending towards the centre C: And let BFG be the curved line that point G

always touches [i.e. the curve traced out by the centripetal force or acceleration].

Moreover, at the start the line EG may coincide with the perpendicular AB itself, and the

velocity of the body at some place E will be as the right line, [the square of which] can be

as the curvilinear area ABGE. Q.E.I.

[This is essentially an exercise in integration; the first curve BFG is integrated w.r.t. z

from 0 z = at A to some general point, giving the area under the force vs. distance, or the

acceleration vs. distance curve, which we can interpret as the kinetic energy acquired, or

as the work done by the force; we can show this readily starting from ( )

2

ddz

dt

F z = ,

which can be written in the form ( )

dv dz dv

dz dt dz

. v F z = = , or as the indefinite integral

( )

2

1

2

v F z dz =

with, and indeed was the originator of this

wonderful new approach to solving problems, but

chose not to divulge his method.]

On EG, EM may be taken for the right line,

which can be inversely proportional to [the square

root of] the area ABGE, and VLM shall be the

curved line, that the point N always touches, and

the asymptote of this is the right line AB produced;

and the time will be, in which the body by falling

describes the line AE, as the area under the curve

ABTVME.

Q. E. I.

[Following on from the last note, we now have

( )

1

2

2 1:

dt

dz

z E

F z dz area ABGE

EM.

=

=

=

If we call EM the function ( ) T z , then

( ) t T z dz =

fit the circumstances, from A to E. There now

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 226

follows the verification of these integrations by the inverse process of differentiation.]

And indeed on the right line AE there may be taken that line of the shortest length DE,

and DLF shall be the locus of the line EMG, when the body will be moving through D;

and if this shall be the centripetal force, as the right line, which can be the area ABGE, it

shall be as the velocity of the descent: that area will be in the square ratio of the speed,

that is, if for the velocities at D and E, there may be written V and V I + , the area ABFD

will be as VV, and the area ABGE as 2 VV .VI II + + , and separately the area DFGE as

2.VI II + , and thus

DFGE

DE

as

2VI II

DE

+

, that is, if the ratios are taken of the first vanishing

quantities, the length DF shall be as the quantity

2VI

DE

, and thus also as the quantity of half

of this

I V

DE

. But the time, in which the body falling will describe the element of line DE,

is as that element directly and as the velocity V inversely, and the force is as the velocity

increment I directly and the time inversely, and thus if the first vanishing ratios are taken,

as

I V

DE

, that is, as the length DF. Therefore DF or EG becomes proportional to the force

itself so that the body may descend with that velocity, which shall be as the right line

which can be as the [square root] of the area ABGE.

Q.E.D.

Again since the time, in which, in which any line element DE of a given length may be

described, shall be inversely as the velocity, and thus inversely as the right line which can

become the area ABFV; and let it be DL, and thus the area arising DLME, as the same

right line inversely: the time will be as the area DLME, and the sum of all the times as the

sum of all the areas, that is (by Corol. Lem. IV.) the total time in which the line AE is

described will be as the total area ATVME.

Q.E.D.

Corol. 1. If P shall be the place, from which the body must fall, as urged by some

uniform known centripetal force (such as gravity generally is supposed) it may acquire a

velocity at the place D equal to the velocity, that another body falling by some other

force has acquired at the same place D, and on the perpendicular DF, DR may be taken,

which shall be to DF as that uniform force [PQ] to the other force at the place D; and the

rectangle PDRQ may be completed, and an area ABFD equal to this may be cut off;

[Thus, ( ) PQ PD F z dz =

A will be the place from which the other body has fallen. For with the rectangle DRSE

completed, since there shall be the areaABFD to the area DFGE as VV to 2.VI, and thus

as

1

2

V to I, that is, as of half of the whole velocity to the increment of the velocity of the

body falling by the unequal force; and likewise the area PQRD to the area DRSE as of

half of the whole velocity to the increment of the velocity of the body falling under the

uniform force; and these increments shall be (on account of the equality of the increments

of time arising) as the generating forces, that is, as the applied lines DF, DR in order, and

thus as the areas arising DFGE and DRSE; from the equality of the total area, ABFD

and PQRD are as the half of the total speeds, and therefore, on account of the equal

speeds, equal in turn.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 227

Corol. 2. From which if some body may be projected from some place D with some

given velocity either up or down, and the law of the centripetal force may be given, the

velocity of this will be found at any other place e, on erecting the ordinate e.g., and by

taking that velocity at e to the velocity at the place D as the right line, which can become

[on squaring] the rectangular area PQRD either increase by the curved area DFge, if the

place e is below the place D, or decreased by it, if this is above, to the right line which

can become [on squaring] the area PQRD only.

[

2 2

1 2

Thus ( ) ,vel vel F z dz =

.]

Corol. 3. The time too will become known by erecting the ordinate em inversely

proportional to the square root of the side from PQRD + or DFge, and by taking the

time in which the body has described the line De to the time in which the other body fell

with a uniform force from P and on falling arrives at D, as the curvilinear area DLme to

the rectangle 2.PD DL . For the time in which the body falling under the uniform force

has described the line PD, is to the time in which likewise the body has described the line

PE in the square root ratio PD to PE, that is (with the element of the line now arising) in

the ratio PD to

1

2

PD DE + or 2.PD to 2PD DE + , and separately, to the time in which

the same body has described the line element DE as 2PD to DE, and thus as the

rectangle 2PD DL to the area DLME; and the time in which the one body has described

the line element DE to the time in which the other body in the non uniform motion has

described the line De, as the area DLME to the area DLme, and from the equality the first

time to the final time as the rectangle 2PD DL to the area DLme.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VIII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 236

SECTION VIII.

Concerning the finding of orbits in which rotating bodies are acted on by any

centripetal forces.

PROPOSITION XL. THEOREM. XIII.

If a body may be moving in some manner, under the action of some centripetal force, and

another body may ascend or descend, and the velocities of these in some case are equal

at some altitude, then the velocities of these shall be equal at all equal altitudes.

[Although Newton of course does not use these exact words, this Proposition embodies

the genesis of the idea of equipotential surfaces surrounding the source of a force field of

some kind; in the diagram DE and EK are parts of such surfaces in the case of gravity,

and a body falling or orbiting in some manner acquires an acceleration in moving from

one surface to another, separated normally from it by an infinitesimal distance, and thus a

change in velocity is produced; thus, the distances considered which Newton calls

minimal are our infinitesimals, and likewise with the times involved. On the other hand,

an orbiting body as well as a dropped body have to conserve the equal areas in equal

times law, which amounts to the conservation of angular momentum, zero in the second

case; all of these matters are attended to here. The same arguments are true of course for

bodies projected upwards.]

Some body may descend from A through D and E to the centre C, and another body

may be moving from V on a curve VIKk. With the centre C, for some radii the concentric

circles DI and EK may be described meeting with the right line AC

in D and E, and with the curve VIK in I and K. IC may be joined

crossing KE at N itself; and onto IK there may be send the

perpendicular NT; and the separation DE or IN of the

circumferences of the circles shall be as a minimum, and the

bodies at D and I may have equal velocities. Because the distances

CD and CI are equal, the centripetal forces at D and I are equal.

These forces may be expressed by the equal line elements DE and

IN; and if the one force IN may be resolved into the two forces NT

and IT (by Corol. 2 of the Laws.); the force NT, by acting along the

line NT perpendicular to the course ITK of the body, will not

change the velocity of the body in that course, but will only draw

the body away from moving in straight line, and it will always act

to deflect the body from the tangent of the orbit itself, and the body

to be progressing along the way of the curved line ITKk. That force

will be completely used up in producing this effect: but the other

force IT, by acting along the course of the body, the whole force

will accelerate that body, and in the given time taken as the

minimum possible will generate an acceleration proportional to

that time itself. Hence the accelerations of the bodies at D and I

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VIII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 237

made in equal times (if the first ratios of the line elements arising are taken DE, IN, IK,

IT, NT ) become as the lines DE and IT: but with unequal times as these lengths and times

jointly. But the times in which DE & IK are described, on account of the equality of the

velocities are as the paths described DE and IK, and thus the accelerations, in the

described paths along the lines DE & IK, are as DE and IT, DE and IK jointly, that is as

DE

2

and the rectangle IT IK .

[If we let v be the common velocity at D and I initially, the first straight down, and the

second along the curve, then after an increment in time

DE

DE

v

t = , the first body has

acquired an extra velocity

2

DE

DE

v

g t g DE = ; as the acceleration g (or force per unit

mass) is expressed by the line DE :

(A lingering source of confusion in force diagrams at this time was that a line segment

could represent a displacement, a velocity, a force, etc; only vector notation eventually

removed some of this confusion.);

hence in this case, what we may call now the impulse or the change in velocity, F t , is

proportional to DE

2

.

For the other body on the curve, it has to travel a longer increment IK, but with the same

initial velocity v as D (from the hypothesis) ; hence in this case

IK

IK

v

t = ; in addition,

the actual component of the force along the curve is diminished by the cosine factor

IT

IN

;

or the impulse above, to which this must be equal, becomes

IT IK IT

IK

IN v IN

g t IN IK IT = .

Chandrasekhar shows this on p. 167 ; he also talks about energy conservation, and it is

quite wrong to do so, as there is no hint of conservation laws in the Principia, at least up

to this point, apart from Kepler's 2

nd

Law, which Newton uses implicitly without naming

it as such.]

But the rectangle IT IK is equal to IN

2

, that is, equal to DE

2

[from the similar triangles

ITN and IKN] and therefore the accelerations in the transition of the bodies from D and I

to E and K are produced equal. Therefore the velocities of the bodies are equal at E and K

: and will always be found equal by the same argument in the subsequent equal distances.

Q.E.D.

In addition by the same argument bodies both equidistant from the centre and with the

same velocity, in ascending to equal distances, are equally retarded. Q.E.D.

Cor. 1. Hence if a body may be oscillating hanging from a thread, or restrained to be

moving on some impediment perfectly lubricated and without friction, and another body

may ascend or descent directly, the velocities of these at the same height shall be equal :

the velocities of these will be equal to any others at all heights. For that same transverse

force NT shall be presented either by the thread or the impediment of the completely

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VIII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 238

slippery vessel. The body may not be retarded nor accelerated by that, but only

constrained by the curve to cease being linear.

Cor. 2. Hence also if the quantity P shall be the maxima distance from the centre to

which the body either oscillating or rotating in some trajectory may ascend, from some

lower point of the trajectory, as here it may be able to rise projected upwards with a

velocity ; and let the quantity A be the distance of the body from the centre at some other

point of the orbit, and the centripetal force always shall be as some power

1 n

A

of A, the

index 1 n of which is any number n diminished by one ; the velocity of the body at any

height A will be as

n n

P A , and therefore is given. For the velocity of the body

ascending and descending on a straight line (by Prop. XXXIX) is in this ratio itself.

PROPOSITION XLI. PROBLEM XXVIII.

With any kind of centripetal force in place, and the quadratures of the figures granted,

then both the trajectories in which bodies are moving are required, as well as the times of

the motions found in the trajectories.

Any force may be drawing [a body] towards the centre C and the trajectory VIKk shall

be required to be found. The circle VR with centre C may be given described with some

radius CV, and from the same centre some other circle [arcs] ID and KE are described

cutting the trajectory in I and K and the right line CV in D and E. Then draw the right line

CNIX cutting the circles KE and VR in N and X, and also the right line CKY meeting with

the circle VR in Y. Moreover let the points I and K themselves in turn be the closest

possible together, and the body may go from V by I and K to k; and the point A shall be

that place from which the other body must fall, so that at the place D it will acquire a

velocity equal to the velocity of the first body at I. And with the matters in place from

Proposition XXXIX, the line element IK, as given described in the shortest time, will be

as the velocity

[In modern terms we may write this velocity using polar coordinates ( ) r, corresponding

to CN and the angle NCK, as ( )

( )

1

2

2 2 2

ds r, dr r d = + and ( )

( )

1

2

2 2 2

v r, r r = +

],

and thus as the right line which can become [on integration] the area ABFD,

[Thus, the area ABFD vds =

to the area is :

2

2

2

1

2

2

( )

h

r

r F r dr + =

equation arises from the force equation :

2

3

2 2

( ) since

h

r

r r F r , r h = + = , the

angular momentum equation, which Newton understood to be the 'equal area in equal

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VIII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 239

times' law (of Kepler.) Thus, the radial velocity below becomes

( )

1

2 2

2

2 ( )

h

r

r F r dr ABFD ZZ

= =

.]

and the triangle ICK will be given proportional to the time, and thus KN will be inversely

as the altitude IC, that is, if some [constant] quantity Q may be given, and the altitude IC

may be called A, [not to be confused with the vertex A, then the length KN varies ] as

Q

A

.

Hence we may use the name Z for the quantity

Q

A

[i.e. a length proportional to KN, normal to the radius at that point, so that Z IC is

proportional to the rate of change of area ; this quantity Z, which is just

h

r

, was

introduced by Halley in editing the work, to ease the typesetting, according to Whiteside

p.347 of Vol. VI],

and we may put the magnitude of Q to be that such that in some case there shall

be ABFD to Z, as IK is to KN, and in every case there will be ABFD to Z as IK

to

KN, and ABFD to ZZ as IK

2

to KN

2

, and separately ABFD ZZ to ZZ as IN

2

to KN

2

[i.e.

2 2 2

2 2

IK KN IN ABFDZZ

ZZ

KN KN

= = . ]

[In modern notation this becomes

( ) ( )

( )

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

h

r r

h

r

ABFD

v

dr IN

rd v KN

.

= = = ]

and thus ABFD ZZ is to Z (or

Q

A

) is as IN to KN, and therefore A KN equals

Q IN

ABFD ZZ

2

to AA, XY XC

the rectangle will equal

2

Q IN CX

AA ABFD ZZ

[i.e.

2

2 2

2 2

2

dr

dt

Q IN CX

h dr CX h dt CX

r r AA ABFD ZZ

r d hdt.

= = = = ],

Therefore if Db and Dc may be taken on the perpendicular DF always equal respectively

to

2

Q

ABFD ZZ

and

2

2

Q CX

AA ABFD ZZ

,

[These are in turn

2 2

2

Q

h hdt

r dr

ABFD ZZ

= =

and

2 2 2

2 2

2 2

2

2 2 2

r

Q CX r CX d

h CX CX

dr

r v r r AA ABFD ZZ

.

= = =

The first quadrature gives an area proportional to the time of descent, while the second

gives an area proportional to the sector angle, and thus locates the position of the body on

the curve.]

and the curved lines may be described ab and ac which always touch the points b and c;

and from the point V to the line AC the perpendicular Va may be drawn cutting the

curved areas VDba and VDca, and also the ordinates may be erected Ez, Ex: because the

rectangle Db IN or DbzE is equal to half of the rectangle A KN , or to the triangle

ICK; and the rectangle Dc IN or DcxE is equal to half of the rectangle TX XC or to

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VIII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 240

the triangle XCT; that is, since the small parts DbzE and ICK always equal the small parts

arising of the areas VDba and VIC, and DcxE and XCY are always equal to the small parts

arising of the areas Dca and VCX, the area generated VDba will always be an area equal

to the area VIC, and thus proportional to the time, and the area produced VDca equal to

the area generated VCX. Therefore with some time given from which the body has

departed from the place V, the area will be given itself proportional to VDba, and thence

the height of the body will be given CD or CI; and the area BDca, and for that the equal

VCX together with the angle of this VCI. But with the angle VCI and theheight CI given,

the place I may be given, in which the body will be found in that time completed. Q. E. I.

[This would have been a very difficult proposition for those of Newton's contemporaries

to follow, who were not conversant with Newton's calculus, and even now it is a little

difficult in the Latin until one knows what is going on; Chandrasekhar sets this out in

more detail on p. 170, where it becomes quite straight forwards as the double integration

derived from the original differential equation, while Whiteside provides a similar

historical enlightenment on p.347 of Vol. VI . Chandrasekhar admits to solving the

problems himself, those he tackles, and then relating his solution to that of Newton,

which has raised questions of anachronism, but these can be taken in one's stride; while

Whiteside digs deep into Newton's methods from a historical standpoint; clearly the latter

is more satisfactory, though the former has a lot to recommend it from the immediate

nature of the solutions provided for the common reader; in note (209) Whiteside sets out

the integrals for the angle and time of the orbiting body under a general force law;

unfortunately for Newton, his solution was poorly received or even understood by his

contemporaries, who went to great lengths subsequently to prove the same results using

Leibniz's notation, which later caused Newton much unhappiness : see Whiteside's notes

for further details on this. ]

Corol. I. Hence the maximum and minimum heights of bodies, that is, the apses of

trajectories may be found conveniently. For the apses are the points in that trajectory in

which the right line IC drawn through the centre falls perpendicularly on the trajectory

VIK : because that will be where the right lines 1K and NK are equal [i.e. 0 r = ], and

thus the area ABFD is equal to ZZ.

Corol. 2. But also the angle KIN, in which the trajectory cuts that line IC somewhere,

may be found conveniently from the height IC of the body; without doubt by taking the

sine of this to the radius as KN to IK, that is, as Z to the square root of the area ABFD.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VIII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 241

Corol. 3. If from the centre C and from the principal vertex V some conic section VRS

may be described, and from some point R of this the tangent RT may be drawn meeting

the axis CV produced indefinitely at the point T; then with CR joined there may be drawn

the right line CP, which shall be equal to the abscissa CT, and the angle VCP is put in

place proportional to the sector VCR may be put in place ; moreover a centripetal force

may draw towards the centre C inversely proportional to the cube of the distance of the

place [of the body], and the body will emerge from the place V with thejust velocity

along the perpendicular right line CV :

that body may be progressing in the

trajectory VPQ which the point P

always touches ; and thus if the conic

section VRS shall be a hyperbola, the

same may fall to the centre. If that

conic were an ellipse, that body will

always ascend and depart to infinity.

And conversely, if some body may

emerge from the place V with a

velocity, and likewise so that it has

began either to descend obliquely to

the centre, or to ascend obliquely from

that, the figure VRS shall be either a

hyperbola or an ellipse, the trajectory

can be found either by increasing or

diminishing the angle VCP in some given ratio. But also, with the centripetal force

changed into a centrifugal force, the body will ascend obliquely in the trajectory VRC

which is found by taking the angle VCP proportional to the elliptic sector VRC, and the

length CP equal to the length CT as above. All these follow from the preceding

proposition, by the quadrature of some curve, the discovery of which, as that may be

done readily enough, I omit for the sake of brevity.

[Chandrasekhar, circa p.180, is not satisfied with this corollary , as it appears to contain

uncorrected misprints, which do not entirely agree with his own derivations, and the

diagrams have been altered in the third edition from the first two editions. Whiteside goes

to some length to try to remove the confusion. Clearly this is a point in Principia still in

need of complete final elucidation.]

PROPOSITION XLLI. PROBLEM XXIX.

With the law of the centripetal force given, the motion of the body from a given place is

required with a given velocity, arising along a given right line.

With the matters remaining in the three preceding propositions : the body may arise

from the place I along the line element IK, with that velocity which another body may

acquire at D by falling from the place P, acted on by some uniform centripetal force : and

this uniform force shall be to the first force by which the first body is acted on at I, as DR

to DF. But the body may go towards k ; and with centre C and with the radius Ck it may

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section VIII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 242

describe the circle ke, meeting the right line PD in e, and there may be erected the

ordinates eg, ev, ew of the curves BFg, abv, acw. From the given rectangle PDRQ, and

with the given law of the centripetal force by which the first body is disturbed, the curved

line BFg is given, by the construction of problem XXVII, and Corol. I of this. Then from

the given angle CIK there is given

the arising proportion IK, KN is given, and thence, by the given construction of Prob.

XXVIII. the quantity Q is given, together with the curved lines abv and acw: and thus, in

some completed time Dbve, both the height of the body Ce or Ck is given, together with

the the area Dcwe, and the sector XCy is equal to that, and the angle ICk, and the place k

at which the body now will be moving. Q. E.I.

Moreover we may suppose the centripetal force in these propositions in receding from

the centre to be varied in some manner according to some law, as with which able to be

imagined at equal distances from the centre to be the same on all sides [i.e. symmetrical].

And up to this stage we have considered the motion of bodies in immoveable orbits. So

that there remains a few things we may add concerning the motion of bodies in orbits,

which are rotating around a centre of force.

[This is the complete problem, given with the starting conditions of the body. The above

integrations, which were indefinite, are now made definite.]

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section IX.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 248

SECTION IX.

Concerning the motion of bodies in moving orbits, and from that the motion of the apses.

PROPOSITION XLIII. PROBLEM XXX.

It is required to bring about, that a body shall be able to move in a trajectory that

likewise rotates about the centre of forces, and another body to remain [moving] in the

same stationary orbit.

In the orbit VPK given stationary, the body

P may be revolving by going from V towards

K. From the centre C there may always be

drawn Cp, which shall be equal to CP itself,

and the angle VCp may be put in place

proportional to the angle VCP; and the area,

that the line Cp will describe, will be to the

area PCP, that the line CP will describe

likewise, as the velocity of the line describing

Cp to the velocity of the line describing CP;

that is, thus so that the angle VCp [will be] in a

given ratio to the angle VCP, and therefore

proportional to the time. Since the area that the

line Cp will describe in the motionless plane

shall be proportional to the time, it is evident

that the body, urged by a centripetal force of

the right size, together with the point p may be able to revolve in that curved line as the

same point p now may be described in the fixed plane in the account established. The

angle VCu is made equal to the angle PCp, and the Cu equal to the line CV, and the figure

uCp equal to the figure VCP, and the body always present at p will be moving on the

perimeter of the revolving figure uCp, and in the same time describes an arc of this up by

which the body P can describe another arc similar and equal to VP in the stationary figure

VPK. Therefore the centripetal force may be sought, by Corollary V of Proposition VI, by

which a body may be able to revolve on that curved line that the point p will describe in

the fixed plane, and the problem will be solved. Q. E.F.

[A number of ideas are to be presented here in succession, that perhaps need to be

examined in more detail; Newton's understanding of a physical system is set out in the

continued evolution of the positions, velocities, etc., of the bodies involved in time;

indeed time is the customary free variable in Newton's differential calculus. Here he

considers initially a stationary orbit, the curve traced out by a point attracted towards the

focus by some force; any point on which line can be described using polar coordinates

( ) r, , with the focus C as origin; such a body sweeps out equal areas in equal times.

Another version of the same orbit is desired, that rotates about the first stationary orbit;

since it is similar to the first orbit at any instant, the only difference is a rotation in the

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section IX.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 249

coordinates, and hence the corresponding point may be given by the coordinates ( ) r, ,

for some value of ; in this way points in the stationary orbit are imaged onto points in

the other rotating orbit : thus, the vertex V becomes u, a general point P becomes p, while

the polar angle is increased in the ratio , all at the same instant of time ; the identities

involving the areas of the elliptic sectors correspond to the 'equal areas in equal times'

rule for Keplerian orbits (assumed to apply in this case, which we now know to be so

from the conservation of angular momentum), are related by a constant >1 for an anti-

clockwise motion as defined in the diagrams, and clockwise for < 1; clearly in the

moving case the body in the moving orbit sweeps out a larger area in the same time than

the body in the stationary orbit.]

PROPOSITION XLIV. THEOREM XIV.

The difference of the forces, by which a body in a stationary orbit, and another body in a

revolving orbit are able to be moving equally, is in the triplicate ratio [i.e. cube] of the

common inverse altitude.

Take similar and equal parts vp, pk of the revolving orbit with the parts VP and PK of

the stationary orbit; and the separation of the points P and K may be understood to be the

smallest [i.e. increments].

[At this point we note in the diagram, that ; CV Cv CP Cp; = = while the angle between a

stationary orbit line and its rotating image line are rotated through the same angle, so that

VCv PCp = , etc. ]

Send the perpendicular kr from the

point k to the right line pC, and

produce the same to m, so that mr

shall be to kr as the angle VCp to

the angle VCP.

[Note that the infinitesimal rk is the

perpendicular from k to pC, and

hence also is the perpendicular

distance of K from PC, and by hyp.

kC KC = , so that K and k lie on a

circle with centre C; however, in

the time t in which P has

advanced to K, and p would have

advanced to k in the other orbit if

stationary, the rotating orbit has

moved forwards to a new position

m, following the angle

magnification , according to

whichrm rk = . This becomes

clear if we understand that at any

instant, a point p on the moving orbit also at that instant is rotating in a circle with radius

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section IX.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 250

Cp and centre C; thus, if we could 'freeze' the position of the body in the rotating orbit,

we would be left with the pure circular motion of the body at p, which would present

itself after the time increment at n ; thus the length mn corresponds to the incremental

extra distance due to the effect of the motion of the body in the rotating ellipse, which

Newton explains in detail.

Another point that emerges, concerning the angle amplification factor , is the area

increase or decrease ratio per unit time : for if h is the rate of change of the area in the

stationary orbit, so that the increment in the area swept out by the body in the time

increment t is h t , then likewise in the rotating orbit, the area swept out per unit time

is h', then the ratio of the areas swept out in the two orbits is

h' t

h t

of the areas of the elliptic sectors in the case of elliptic orbits.]

Because the altitudes of the bodies PC and pC, KC and kC always shall be equal, it is

evident that the increments or decrements of the lines PC and pC always shall be equal,

and thus if at the present places of the bodies P and p, the individual motions may be

separated (by Corol. 2 of the Laws.) into two [motions] : these towards the centre, or

along the lines PC and pC may be determined, and the others which shall be transverse to

the former, and may have a direction perpendicular to the lines PC and pC themselves

may also be determined. The motions towards the centres will be equal [as CP Cp = ],

and the transverse motions of the body p will be to the transverse motion of the body P,

as the angular motion of the line pC to the angular motion of the line PC, that is, as the

angle VCp to the angle VCP. Therefore, in the same time in which the body P arrives at

the point K by its own motion in both directions, the body p will be moved by an equal

amount towards the centre from p towards C equally, and thus in that completed time it

will be found somewhere on the line mkr, which is perpendicular to the line pC through

the point k . From the transverse motion, it will acquire a distance from the line pC,

which shall be to the distance that the other body P acquires from the line PC, as the

transverse motion of the body p is to the transverse motion of the other body P. Whereby

since kr shall be equal to the distance that the body P acquires from the line PC, and mr

shall be to kr as the angle VCp to the angle VCP, that is, as the transverse motion of the

body p to the transverse motion of the body P, it is evident that the body p will be found

in that completed time at the place m.

Thus these [motions] themselves will be in place when the bodies p and P are moving

equably along the lines pC and PC, and thus the bodies are acted on by equal forces

along these lines, [i.e. if the force on the body p in the mobile ellipse is equal to the force

on the other body P in the stationary ellipse, due to the equal distances.] But if the angle

pCn may be taken to the angle pCk as the angle VCp is to the angle VCP, and thus nC

equals kC, and the body p in that time completed may actually be found at n . Thus [since

this is not the case] it [ i.e. p] shall be acted on by a greater force than the body P, but

only if the angle pCn is greater than the angle pCk, that is if the orbit upk either is

advancing, or is moving with a greater speed that shall be double of that by which the line

CP is carried in regression ; and with a smaller force if it is moving slower in the orbit.

And the difference of the forces, so that the interval of the places mn, through which that

body p from the action of this [extra force], in that given interval of time, must be

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section IX.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 251

transferred. With the centre C and radius Cn or Ck, a circle may be described cutting the

lines mr and ms product to s and t, and the rectangle mn mt will be described equal to

the rectangle mk ms , and thus mn equals

mk ms

mt

may be given in magnitude at a given time, kr and mr and so their sum and difference mk

and ms are inversely as the altitude pC

[these triangles correspond to the areas swept out by the body in the mobile trajectory

relative to that frame, and the corresponding area swept out by the body in the mobile

trajectory relative to the stationary frame, corresponding to the their respective lengths by

the common altitude Cp],

and thus the rectangle mk ms is inversely as the square of the altitude pC. And mt is

directly as

1

2

mt , that is, as the altitude pC. These are the first ratios of the nascent

lengths

[Note that Newton calls differentials arising in pending integrations nascent, or the

smallest of magnitudes coming into being; while the differentials associated with

differentiation are called evanescent, or vanishing ones.];

and hence

mk ms

mt

shall be, that is, the total increment arising mn, proportional to the

inverse difference of the forces, as the cube of the altitude pC. Q. E. D.

[Thus, an extra force in addition to the central force responsible for the stationary

trajectory, and varying as the inverse cube of the distance from the focus, is introduced in

these circumstances, to produce the rotating orbit. For an analytical solution see, e.g.

Whittaker's Analytical Dynamics, on the solvable problems of particle dynamics, p.83 ;

and also of course Chandrasekhar, circa p.187; Brougham & Routh also treat this

problem, p. 88, known as Newton's theorem of revolving orbits.

In the following Corollaries we find the ratio of the difference of the forces to a

circular force derived from the versed sine is given by

mk ms

mt

to

2

2

rk

kC

. Note that

( ) or 1 ms mk rm rs rm rk rk = = = ; Again, rk is the altitude of the elemental sector

pkC, and the area of this can be related to h' t by being equal to

1

2

pC rk ; hence

( )

( ) 1

1

h

PC

ms rm rs rk t

+

= + = + = and ( )

( ) 1

1

h

PC

mk rm rs rk t

= = = ;

and therefore

( )

( )

2 2

2

3

1

2 2

2

1

h

mk ms rk

mt mt

PC

t

( )

2 2

3

1

2

2

h

PC

mn t

= follows

on taking mt as almost a diameter equal to 2kC. These results imply that the orbits are

almost circular, for the centre of curvature is taken as C.

This is the total difference in the centripetal forces acting on the bodies in the two orbits,

at the same distance from C, and is established in this manner by Chandrasekhar.]

Corol. I. Hence the difference of the forces at the places P and p, or K and k, to the force

by which the body shall be able to revolve in a circular motion from R to K in the same

time in which the body P will describe the arc PK in the stationary arc, is as the line

element arising mn, to the versed sine of the arc RK arising, that is as

mk ms

mt

to

2

2

rk

kC

, or

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section IX.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 252

as mk ms to rk squared [as the latter trajectory is circular.]; this is, if the given

quantities may be taken F, G in that ratio in turn as the angle VCP may have to the angle

VCp, as GGFF to FF.

[These results follow as a simplification above, on taking the ratio G to F as h' to h and in

turn equal to . Again, Chandrasekhar elaborates, and comes to the same conclusion.]

And therefore, if from the centre C with some radius CP or Cp a sector of the circle may

be described equal to the total area VPC, that the body P has described revolving at some

time in the stationary orbit with the radius drawn to the centre of the circle: the difference

of the forces, by which the body P in the stationary orbit and the body p in the mobile

orbit are revolving, will be to the centripetal force, by which some body, with the radius

drawn to the centre, may be able to describe that sector, by which the area VPC will be

described uniformly, as GGFF to FF. And if that sector and area pCk are in turn as the

times in which they are described.

[If we start from Kepler's first and second laws, then we can assume a stationary ellipse

of the form : 1

l

r

ecos = + . Now for an ellipse, the semi-latus rectum is given by

2

b

a

l = the radial acceleration is given by

2

r r , while the angular momentum or area is

changing at a constant rate :

2

1

2

dA

dt

r h = = . The radial acceleration is readily shown to

be

2

2

h

lr

r = ; this result is needed for the next Corollary.]

Corol.2. If the orbit VPK shall be an ellipse having the focus C and the higher apse V; and

similar and equal to that there may be put the ellipse upk, thus so that pC equals PC

always, and the angle VCp shall be in the given ratio G to F to the angle VCP ; but for the

height PC or pC there may be written A, and for the ellipse 2R may be put in place for

the latus rectum: the force will be, by which the body can revolve in the rotating ellipse,

as

3

RGG RFF FF

AA

A

+ and conversely.

[Note that R has been absorbed into the proportionality, as the force should be :

2 2 2

2 3

1 RG RF F

R

A A

+

.]

For the force by which the body may revolve in the stationary ellipse may be set out

by the amount

FF

AA

[from Prop. XI, Section III], and the force at V will be

2

FF

CA

. But the

force by which the body may be able to revolve in a circle at the distance CV with that

velocity that the body may have in the ellipse at V, is to the force by which the body

revolving in the ellipse may be acted on from the apse V, as half of the latus rectum of the

ellipse to the semi diameter of the circle CV, and thus there arises

3

RFF

CV

: and the force

which shall be to that as GGFF as FF, becomes

3

RGG RFF

CV

of this section) is the difference of the forces at V by which the body P in the stationary

ellipse VPK, and the body p in the moving ellipse upk are revolving. From which since

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section IX.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 253

(by this proposition) that difference at some other height A shall be to the that written

height CV as

3

1

A

to

3

1

CV

, the same difference

3

RGG RFF

CV

Therefore to the force

FF

AA

, by which the body can revolve in the stationary ellipse VPK,

the extra force must be added

3

RGG RFF

A

3

RGG RFF FF

AA

A

+ , by which the body shall be able to rotate in the moving ellipse upk.

[It appears that someone misread the diagram at some stage, for Whiteside refers to the

vertex of the mobile ellipse as v from Newton's original notes, and it appears as such in

the first 1687 edition, but is taken as u in the two later editions of the Principia.]

Corol.3. It may be deduced in the same manner, if the stationary orbit VPK shall be an

ellipse having the centre of forces at C; and to this there may be put in place the similar,

equal, and concentric mobile ellipse upk; and let 2R be the principle latus rectum of this

ellipse, and 2T transverse side or the major, and the angle VCp always shall be to the

angle VCP as G to F; the forces, by which the bodies in the stationary ellipse and in the

mobile ellipse are able to revolve in equal times, will be as

3 3 3

and

RGG RFF FFA FFA

T T A

+

respectively.

Corol. 4. And generally, if the maximum height CV of some body may be called T, and

the radius of curvature that the orbit VPK has at V, that is the radius of the circle equal to

the curvature, may be called R, and the centripetal force, by which the body can revolve

in some stationary trajectory VPK at the place V, may be called

2

2

F

RT

,

[all the editions of the Principia have the nonsensical

2

2

F V

T

here, which both Whiteside

and Chandrasekhar discretely point out as being in error],

and for the other mobile ellipses may be called indefinitely X at the positions P, with the

altitude CP called A, and G to F may be taken in the given ratio of the angle VCp to the

angle VCP: the centripetal force will be as the sum of the forces

2 2

3

VRG VRF

A

X

+ , by

which the body can move circularly in the same motion in the same trajectory upk in the

same times with the same motions.

Corol. 5. Therefore in some given motion of the body in the stationary orbit, the motion

of this about the centre of forces can be increased or decreased in a given ratio, and

thence new stationary orbits can be found in which bodies may be rotated by new

centripetal forces.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section IX.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 254

Corol. 6. Therefore a perpendicular VP of indefinite

length is erected to the given right line in place CV,

and Cp may be drawn equal to CP itself, making the

angle VCp, which shall be in a given ratio to the

angle VCP; the force by which the body can revolve

on that curve Vpk that the point p always touches,

[or traces out] will be reciprocally as the cube of the

altitude Cp. For the body P by the force of inertia,

with no other force acting, can progress uniformly

along the line VP. A force may be added at the

centre C, inversely proportional to the cube of the

altitude CP or Cp, and (by the present

demonstration) that rectilinear motion will be turned

away into the curved line Vpk. But this curve Vpk is that same curve as that curve VPQ

found in Corol. 3. Prop. XLI , in which we have said there bodies attracted by forces of

this kind ascend obliquely.

PROPOSITION XLV. PROBLEM XXXI.

The motions of the apses are required of orbits that are especially close to circles.

The problem is required to be solved by using arithmetic because the orbit, that the

body revolving in the mobile ellipse (as in Corol. 2. or 3. of the above proposition) will

describe in the stationary place, may approach to the form of this orbit of which the apses

are required, and by seeking the apses of the orbit that the body will describe in that

stationary plane. But the orbits may acquire the same form, if the centripetal forces by

which they are described, gathered together, may return proportionals with equal

altitudes. Let the point V be the upper apse, and there may be written, T for the maximum

altitude CV, A for some other altitude CP or Cp, and X for the difference of the altitudes

CV CP; and the force, by which the body is moving in an ellipse about its focus C (as in

Corol. 2.), and which in Corol. 2. was as

2 2 2

2 3

RG RF F

A A

+ , that is as

2 2 2

3

F A RG RF

A

+

, by

substituting T X for A, will be as

2 2 2 2

3

RG RF TF F X

A

+

. Any other centripetal force may

be reduced similarly to a fraction whose denominator shall be

3

A and the numerators,

made from the gathering of the homogeneous terms, may be put in place in an analogous

manner. The matter will be apparent from examples.

Example 1. We may put the centripetal force to be uniform [in the two cases, some

rotating apse u is compared with the upper apse V], and thus the force to be as

3

3

A

A

, or (by

writing T X for the height A in the numerator), as

3 2 2 3

3

3 3 T T X TX X

A

+

;

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section IX.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 255

[The use of T X is just a computational convenience for the distance A, which is to be

expanded out in the numerator of

3

3

A

A

, while the denominator is taken as constant, so that

small differences from the maximum value T can be found easily; here :

T denotes the max. height of the body in the stationary ellipse;

A denotes the altitude CP or Cp at some time; and

X denotes the differenceCP CV A T = , which can be made infinitesimally small.]

and with the corresponding terms of the numerators gathered together [for this particular

arrangement in comparison with the general above], without doubt 'the given' with 'the

given' and the 'not given' with 'not given', the expression becomes

2 2 2

RG RF TF + to

3

T ; as

2

F X to

2 2 3

3 3 T X TX X +

or, as

2

F to

2 2

3 3 T TX X + .

Now since the orbit may be put as especially close to being circular, the orbit may begin

with a circle and on account of R and T made equal, and X diminished indefinitely, the

final ratios become RG

2

to T

3

as

2

F to

2

3T , or G

2

to T

2

as F

2

to 3T

2

, and in turn G

2

to F

2

as T

2

to 3T

2

, that is, as 1 to 3; and thus G to F, that is the angle VCp is to the angle

VCP, as 1 to 3.

[i.e.

2 2

2 2

3

=

G F

T T

or

2 2

2 2

1

3

3

=

G T

F T

= . Also, the rate of change of the respective areas is

CVp

h'

h CVP

= = .]

Therefore since the body in the stationary ellipse, by descending from the highest apse to

the lowest may make the angle VCP (thus as I may say) 180 degrees ; the other body in

the mobile ellipse, and thus in the stationary orbit on which we have acted, from the

upper apse to the lower apse on descending may make an angle VCp of

180

3

that therefore

on account of the similitude of which orbit, that the body will describe with a uniform

centripetal force acting, and will be described performed in the plane at rest by rotating in

the revolving ellipse. Through the above collection of the similar terms these orbits are

returned, not universally but on that occasion since they may approach especially to the

circular form. Therefore a body revolving with a uniform centripetal force in an almost

circular orbit, between the upper and lower apses may always make an angle of

180

3

degrees, or 103 gr. 55 m. 23 sec. to the centre ; arriving from the upper apse to the

lower apse once this angle has been made, and thence returning to the upper apse when

again it has made the same angle ; and thus henceforth indefinitely.

Example 2. We may put the centripetal force

3 n

A

to be as some power of the altitude A

or as

3

n

A

A

where 3 n and n indicate some whole numbers or fractional indices of the

powers, either rational or irrational, positive or negative. That number

n

A or

n

T X may be reduced into a converging infinite series, and the series

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section IX.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 256

1 2

2

etc

n n n

nn n

T nXT XXT .

with the terms of the other numerator RGG RFF TFF FFX + , there shall be

RGG RFF TFF + to

n

T as FF to

1 2

2

etc

n n

nn n

nXT XXT .

ratios taken when the orbits approach to a circular form, there shall be RGG to

n

T as FF

to

1 n

nXT

, or GG to

1 n

T

as FF to

1 n

nT

, and in turn GG to FF as

1 n

T

to

1 n

nT

; that

is as I to n; and thus G to F, that is the angle VCp to the angle VCP, as 1 to n . Whereby

the angle VCP, in the falling of the body performed in the ellipse from the upper apse to

the lower apse, shall be 180 degrees; the angle VCp will be made, in the descent of the

body from the upper apse to the lower apse, that the body will describe in an almost

circular orbit proportional to some centripetal force of the power

3 n

A

, equal to an angle

of

180

n

; and with this angle repeated the body will return from the lower apse to the

higher apse, and thus henceforth indefinitely. So that if the centripetal force shall be as

the distance of the body from the centre, that is, as A or

4

3

A

A

, n will be equal to 4 and n

equals 2; and thus the angle between the upper apse and the lower apse equals

180

2

or

90 degrees. Therefore with a fourth part of one revolution completed the body will arrive

at the lower apse, and with another quarter part at the upper apse, and thus henceforth in

turn indefinitely. That which also had been shown from proposition X : for the body may

be revolving in the stationary ellipse, acted on by this centripetal force, whose centre is at

the centre of the forces. But if the centripetal force shall be reciprocally as the distance,

that is directly as

1

A

or

2

3

A

A

, n will be equal to 2, and thus between the upper apse and the

lower apse the angle will be

180

2

degrees, or 127 degrees, 16m., 45 sec. and therefore

will be revolving by such a force, always by the repetition of this angle, in turns with the

others, from the upper apse to the lower apse, and eternally may arrive at the lower apse

from. Again if the centripetal force shall be reciprocally as the square root of the square

root of the eleventh power of the altitude, that is inversely as

11

4

A , and thus directly as

11

4

1

A

, or as

1

4

3

A

A

n will be equal to

1

4

and

180

n

degrees equals 360 degrees and therefore the

body descending from the upper apse and thus perpetually descending, it will arrive at the

lower apse when it will have completed a whole revolution, then by completing another

revolution by ascending always, it will return to the upper apse : and thus eternally in

turn.

Example 3. We may take m and n for any indices of the powers of the altitude, and

taking b and c for any given numbers, we may put the centripetal force to be as

3

m n

bA cA

A

+

, that is as

3

m n

b T X c T X

A

+

, or (by the same method of our converging

series) as

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section IX.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 257

1 1 2 2

2 2

3

+ etc.

m n m n m n

mm m nn n

bT cT mbXT ncXT bXXT cXXT

A

+ +

and with the terms of the numerator gathered together, it becomes RGG RFF TFF + to

m n

bT cT + , as FF to

1 1 2 2

2 2

+ etc.

m n m n

mm m nn n

mbT ncT bXT cXT

+

And on

taking the final ratios which arise, here the orbits may approach to a circular form , let G

2

be to

1 1 m n

bT cT

+ , as F

2

to

1 1 m n

mbT ncT

+ , and in turn G

2

to F

2

as

1 1 m n

bT cT

+ to

1 1 m n

mbT ncT

+ . Which proportion, by setting the maximum altitude CP or T

arithmetically to one, shall be G

2

to F

2

as b c + to mb+nc, and thus as 1 to

mb nc

b c

+

+

. From

which G shall be to F, which shall be the angle VCp to the angle VCP, as 1 to

mb nc

b c

+

+

.

And therefore since the angle VCP between the upper apse and the lower apse of the

stationary ellipse shall be 180 degrees, the angle VCp between the same apses, in the

orbit that the body described by a centripetal force proportional to the quantity

m n

bA cA

A cub.

+

,

is equal to an angle of 180

b c

mb nc

+

+

degrees. And by the same argument if the centripetal

force shall be as

3

m n

bA cA

A

, an angle of 180

b c

mb nc

will problems be resolved otherwise in difficult cases. A quantity, to which the

centripetal force is proportional, must always be resolved into a converging series having

the denominator A

3

. Then the given part of the numerator which arises from that

operation to the other part of this which is not given, and the part given of the numerator

of this

2 2 2 2

RG RF TF F X + to the other part of this not given, are to be put in the

same ratio: And by deleting the superfluous quantities, and on writing one for T, the

proportion G to F will be obtained.

Corol. I. Hence if the centripetal force shall be as some power of the altitude, it is

possible to find that power from the motion of the apses; and conversely. Without doubt

if the whole of the angular motion, by which a body returns to the same apse, shall be to

the angular motion of one revolution, or of 360 degrees, as some number m to another

number n, and the altitude may be called A : the force will be as that power of the altitude

2

2

3

n

m

A

, the index of which is

2

2

3

n

m

. That which has been shown by the second

example. From which it is clear that that force, in receding from the centre, cannot

decrease in a ratio greater than the cube of the altitude. A body acted on by such a force

revolving and descending from that apse, if it begins to descent, at no time will arrive at

the lower apse or the minimum altitude, but will descend as far as the centre, describing

that curved line which we have discussed in Corol. 3. Prop. XII. But if that body should

have started from the descending [i.e. lower] apse, or to ascend minimally, it will ascend

indefinitely, nor at any time will it arrive at the upper apse. For it describes that curved

line which have been discussed in the same Corol. and in Corol. VI. of Prop. XLIV. And

thus where the force, in receding from the centre, decreases in a ratio greater than the

cube of the altitude, the body descending from the lower apse, likewise as it may have

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section IX.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 258

started either to descend or ascend, descends to the centre or ascend to infinity. But if the

force, in receding from the centre either may decrease to be less than the cube of the

altitude, or increase in some ratio of the altitude ; the body at no time may descend as far

as the centre, but will arrive at some lower apse: and conversely, if a body is ascending

and descending from one apse to the other in turn, then at no time will it be called to the

centre; the force in receding from the centre either will be greater, or may decrease in a

ratio less than the cube of the altitude: and from which the body will have returned

quicker from one apse to the other, there the further the ratio of the forces recedes from

that cubic ratio. So that if the body may be returned in revolving either 8 , 4 , 2 or

1

2

1 times from the upper apse to the upper apse by ascending and descending ; that is, if m

to n were as 8, 4, 2 or

1

2

1 to 1, and thus 3

nn

mm

may give rise to

1

64

3 ,

1

16

3 ,

1

4

3 , or

4

9

3 : the force will be as

1

64

3

A

,

1

16

3

A

,

1

4

3

A

, or

4

9

3

A

, that is,

reciprocally as

1

64

3

A

,

1

16

3

A

,

1

4

3

A

or

4

9

3

A

. If the body in individual rotations may have

returned to the same stationary apse; there will be m to n as 1 to 1, and thus

3

nn

mm

A

equals

2

A

or

2

1

A

; and therefore the decrease of the forces are in the square ratio of the

altitudes, as has been shown in the preceding. If the body may return to the same apse in

the parts of a revolution, either in three quarters, or two thirds, or one third, or in one

quarter ; m to n will be as

1

4

or

2

3

or

1

3

or

1

4

to 1, and thus

3

nn

mm

A

equals either

16

9

3

A

,

9

4

3

A

,

9 3

A

, or

16 3

A

; and therefore the force varies reciprocally either as

11

9

A ,

3

4

A , or

directly as

6

A ,

13

A . And then if the body on progressing from the upper apse to the

same upper apse has completed a whole number of revolutions, and three degrees

beyond, and therefore that apse by a single revolution of the body will have been

completed as a consequence in three degrees; m to n will be as 363 degrees to 360

degrees or as 121 to I20, and thus the force

3

nn

mm

A

will be equal to

29523

14641

A

; and therefore

the centripetal force varies reciprocally as

29523

14641

A or reciprocally as

4

243

2

A approximately.

Therefore the centripetal force decreases in a ratio a little greater than the square, but

which in turn approaches

3

4

59 closer to the square than to the cube.

Corol. 2. Hence also if the body, by a centripetal force which shall be reciprocally as the

square of the altitude, may be rotating in an ellipse having a focus at the centre of forces,

and to this centripetal force there may be added or taken away some other external force ;

the motion of the apses can be known (by example three) which may arise from that

external force: and conversely. So that if the force by which the body shall be revolving

in an ellipse shall be as

2

1

A

and the external force taken away shall be as cA, and thus the

force remaining shall be as

4

A cA

A cub.

equals 1, and n equals 4, and thus the angle of rotation between the apses equals an angle

of

1

1 4

180

c

c

. We may put that external force to be 357.45 less in parts than the other

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section IX.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 259

force by which the body is rotating in the ellipse, that is c becomes

100

35745

, with A or T

present equaling 1, and

1

1 4

180

c

c

may become

35645

35345

180 , or 180.7623, that is,

180 degrees, 45m. 44sec. Therefore the body descending from the upper apse, by

moving through an angle of 180 degrees, 45m. 44sec , will reach the lower apse, and

with this motion doubled it will return to the upper apse : and thus the upper apse by

progressing will make 1 degree. 31 m. 28 sec. in individual rotations

The apses of the moon progress around twice as fast.

Up until now we have been concerned with the motion of bodies in orbits of which the

planes pass through the centre of forces. It remains that the motion of bodies also may be

determined in eccentric planes. For the writers who treat the motion of weights, are

accustomed to consider the oblique ascent and descent of weights in any planes given, as

well as straight up and down: and equally to judge the motions of bodies with any forces

for whatever centres desired, and of the dependence on eccentric planes this comes to be

considered. Moreover we may suppose the planes to be the most polished and completely

slippery lest they may retard bodies. Certainly, in these demonstrations, on whatever of

these planes on which in turn the bodies touch by pressing on, we may take the planes

parallel to these, in which the centres of the bodies are moving and the orbits they may

describe by moving. And at once we may determine by the same law the motions of

bodies carried out on curves surfaces.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section X.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 267

SECTION X.

Concerning the motion of bodies on given surfaces, and from that the repeating motions

of string pendulums.

PROPOSITION XLVI. PROBLEM XXXII.

With some general kind of centripetal force in place, and with both a given centre of

forces as well as some plane on which the body is revolving, and with the quadratures of

curvilinear figures granted : the motion of a body is required starting out along a right

line in that given plane from some given place, and with some given velocity,.

S shall be the centre of forces, SC the shortest distance of this centre from a given

plane, P the body setting out from some place P along the right line PZ, Q the same body

revolving in its trajectory, and PQR that trajectory described in the given plane, that it is

required to find. CQ and QS are joined, and if on

QS, SV may be taken proportional to the centripetal

force by which the body is drawn towards the

centre S, and VT may be drawn which shall be

parallel to CQ and meeting SC in T. The force SV

may be resolved (by Corol 2. of the laws) into the

forces ST, TV; of which ST by acting on the body

along a line perpendicular to the plane, will not

change the motion of that body in this plane. But

the other force TV, by acting the position of the

plane, draws the body directly towards the point C

in the given plane, and likewise it comes about, so

that the body may be moving in this plane in the same manner, and if the force ST may be

removed, and the body may be revolving about the centre C in free space acted on by the

force TV alone. Moreover with the given centripetal force TV by which the body Q is

revolving in free space about the given centre C, then both the trajectory PQR is given

(by Prop. XLII.) that the body will describe, the place Q, in which the body will be

rotating at some given time, as well as the velocity of the body at that place Q; and

conversely. Q E.1.

[We should bear in mind here, that if the body travels in an elliptic orbit in a gravitational

field, then the length CS cannot remain constant, and when the body is at the maximum

distance Q from C, it has risen to its greatest height, being lowest at the minimum

distance, assuming the length of the string remains unchanged. Thus Kepler's criterion of

the motion of the body always being in the same plane is not satisfied, and hence one

cannot use the Kepler criterion of equal areas in equal times ; or, there is an unbalanced

torque acting which changes the angular momentum during the course of the orbit. Thus,

Newton's Proposition XLVI relates to a zero gravity situation, or, as Newton states, C is

the only centre of force present. Hence we are not looking at a conical pendulum, which

only applies to circular motions.]

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section X.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 268

PROPOSITION XLVII. THEOREM XV.

Because a centripetal force may be put in place proportional to the distance of the

body from the centre; all bodies in any planes revolving in some manner describe

ellipses, and the ellipses are performed in equal times ; and those moving on right lines,

and also running to and fro, may complete the individual coming and going motions in

the same periods of time.

For, with which things in place from the above proposition, the force SV, by

which the body Q rotating in some plane PQR is drawn towards the centre S, is as the

distance SQ; and thus on account of the proportionals SV and SQ , TV and CQ the force

TV, by which the body is drawn towards the point C given in the plane of the orbit, is as

the distance CQ. Therefore the forces, by which bodies turning in the plane PQR are

drawn towards the point C, on account of the distances, are equal to the forces by which

any bodies are drawn in some manner towards the centre S; and therefore bodies are

moving in the same times, in the same figures, in some plane PQR about the point Q and

in the free space about the centre S; and thus (by Corol. 2, Prop. X. and Corol. 2, Prop.

XXXVIII.) in equal times always they describe either ellipses in that plane about the

centre C, or besides they will furnish periods by moving to and fro in right lines through

the centre C drawn in that plane. Q.E.D.

Scholium.

The ascent and descent of bodies on curved surfaces are related to these. Consider

curved lines described in a plane, then to be revolved around some axis given passing

through the centre of the forces, and from that revolution to describe curved surfaces ;

then bodies thus can move so that the centres of these may always be found on these

surfaces. If bodies by ascending and descending these obliquely besides can run to and

fro, the motions of these will be carried out in planes crossing the axis, and thus on

curved lines, by the rotation of which these curves surfaces have arisen. Therefore for

these it will suffice to consider the motion in these curved line cases.

[ The two following propositions are handled by similar reasoning, on separate

diagrams, in what follows. Newton calls all his curves cycloids or epicycloids (the

evolute or epicycloid of any cycloid is a similar equal figure with its cusps translated

through half the arc of the original curve).

According to Proctor, in his interesting book: A Treatise on Cycloids, (1878), which

touches on some of the material in this sections, the best way to define such curves is as

follows :

The epicycloid/hypocycloid is the curve traced out by a point on the circumference of

a circle which rolls without sliding on a fixed circle in the same plane, the rolling circle

touching the outside/inside of the fixed circle. Different values of the two radii give rise

to different curves, some of which are well-known. Full descriptions of such curves can

be found, e.g. in the CRC Handbook of Mathematics, and of course on the web.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section X.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 269

We are interested in particular in the geometric method used by Newton in finding a

geometric relation for such a curve, where he puts in place a finite figure derived from

the geometry available, tangents, diameters, etc., and from this he constructs a similar

figure composed of infinitesimal lengths both from linear and curvilinear increments, the

vanishing ratio of which, for some chosen lengths, is equal to a fixed ratio in the

macroscopic figure. Thus a differentiation has been performed, or fluxion found.

I have added some labels in red to Newton's diagram, to make reading a little easier;

however, if you wish, you can look at the unadulterated diagram in the Latin section.]

PROPOSITION XLVIII. THEOREM XVI.

If a wheel may stand at right angles on the outside of a sphere, and in the manner of

rotation it may progress in a great circle ; the length of the curvilinear path, that some

given point on the perimeter of the wheel made, from where it touched the sphere, (and

which it is usual to call a cycloid or epicycloid) will be to double the versed sine of half

the arc which it made in contact going between in this total time, as the sum of the

diameters of the sphere and the wheel, to the radius of the sphere.

PROPOSITION XLIX. THEOREM XVII.

If a wheel may stand at right angles on the concave inside of a sphere and by

rotating it may progress on a great circle; the length of the curved path that some given

point on the perimeter of the wheel made, from where it touched the sphere during this

total time, will be to twice the versed sine of half the arc which it made in contact going

between in the whole time, as the difference of the diameters of the sphere and the wheel

to the radius of the sphere.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section X.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 270

ABL shall be the sphere, C the centre of this, BPV the wheel resting on this, E the

centre of the sphere, B the point of contact, and P the given point on the perimeter of the

wheel. Consider that the wheel to go on a great circle ABL from A through B towards L,

and thus to rotate going between so that the arcs AB and PB themselves in turn will

always be equal, and that point P given on the perimeter of the wheel meanwhile

describes the curvilinear path AP. Moreover AP shall have described the whole

curvilinear path from where the wheel touched the sphere at A, and the length AP of this

path to twice the versed sine of the arc

1

2

PB , shall be as 2CE to CB. For the right line CE

(produced if there is a need) meets the wheel at V, and CP, BP, EP and VP may be

joined, and the normal VF may be sent to CP produced. PH and VH may touch the circle

at P and V meeting at H, and PH may cut VF in G, and the normals GI and HK may be

sent to VP. Likewise from C and with some radius the circle onm may be drawn cutting

the right line CP in n, the perimeter of the wheel BP in o, and the curved path AP in m;

and with centre V and with the radius Vo a circle may be described cutting VP produced

at q.

Because the wheel, by always moving is rotating about the point of contact B, it is

evident that the right line BP is perpendicular to that curved line AP that the point of

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section X.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 271

rotation P has described, and thus so that the right line VP may touch this curve at the

point P. The radius of the [arc of the] circle nom , gradually increased or diminished is

equal finally to the distance CP; and, because of the similarity of the vanishing figure

Pnomq and the figure PFGVI, the final ratio of the vanishing line elements Pm, Pn, Po,

Pq, that is, the ratio of the momentary changes of the curve AP, of the right line CP, of

the circular arc BP, and of the right line VP, will be the same as of the lines PV, PF, PG,

PI respectively. But since VF shall be perpendicular to CF and likewise VH to CV, and

the angles HVG and VCF therefore equal ; and the angle VHG (on account of the right

angles of the quadrilateral HVEP at V and P ) is equal to the angle CEP, the triangles

VHG and CEP are similar; and thence it comes about that EP to CE thus as HG to HV or

HP and thus as KI to KP, and on adding together or separately, as CB to CE thus PI to

PK, and on doubling in the following as CB to 2CE thus PI to PV, and thus Pq to Pm.

[i.e.

HG HG EP KI

EC HV HP KP

= = = (HV and HP are the common tangents from H) then

1 1or

EP[ EB]

CB KI PI

EC KP EC PK

,

=

+ = + = ; hence

2

Pq

CB PI

EC PV Pm

= = . ]

Therefore the decrement of the line VP, that is, the increment of the line BVVP to the

increment of the curve AP is in the given ratio CB to 2CE, and therefore (by the Corol. of

Lem. IV.) the lengths BVVP and AP, arising from these increments, are in the same

ratio. But, with the interval BV present, PV is the cosine of the angle BVP or

1

2

BEP, and

thus BVVP is the versed sine of the same angle ; and therefore in this wheel, the radius

of which is

1

2

BV , BVVP will be twice the versed sine of the arc

1

2

BP . Therefore AP is

to twice the versed sine of the arc

1

2

BP as 2CE to CB.

[ We may write this proportionality in the form :

( )

( )

( )

( )

2 2

; giving

d PV d BV VP

CB CB

CE CE d AP d AP

BV VP AP

= = = ; hence the arc length of the

rectifiable curve ( ) ( )

( )

2 2 1 2

2 2

1 2 1

CE CE R

CB CB R

AP BV VP BV cos BEP sin

+

= = = ,

starting from A, as required (see Whiteside, note 275 Vol. VI, for the outline of a

comparable, but far more complicated, analytical derivation).]

But we will call the line AP the cycloid outside the sphere in the first proposition and

the cycloid inside the sphere in the following for the sake of distinction.

Corol. I. Hence if the whole cycloid ASL is described and that may be bisected at S, the

length of the part PS to the length VP (which is twice the sine of the angle VBP, with the

radius EB present) is as 2CE to CB, and thus in the given ratio.

Corol. 2. And the length of the semi-perimeter of the cycloid AS will be equal to the right

line which is to the diameter of the wheel BV as 2CE to CB.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section X.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 272

PROPOSITION L. PROBLEM XXXIII.

To arrange it so that the body of the pendulum may swing in a given cycloid.

Within a sphere QVS, described from the C, the cycloid QRS may be given bisected in

R and with its end points Q and S hence meeting the spherical surface there. CR may be

drawn bisecting the arc QS in O, and that may

be produced to A, so that CA shall be to CO as

CO to CR.

[Thus, if we let R CO = , and the radii of the

two generating circles be given by

2 2 r AO & OR = = the above terms

introduced for the radii, this becomes

2

2

R r R

R R

+

= , in turn giving

2

2

2

r

R R

= ,

2

2

; =

R r R Rr

r R r

+

+

= and

2 2

2

r

R r

r R r

+

+

+

= .]

With centre C and radius CA, the external

sphere DAF may be described, and within this

sphere by the rotation of a wheel, the diameter

of which shall be AO, two semi-cycloids AQ and AS may be described, which touch the

interior sphere at Q and S and meet the external sphere at A. From that point A, by a

thread AR equaling the length APT, the body Q may be suspended and thus may swing

between the semi-cycloids AQ and AS, so that as often as the pendulum is moving away

from the perpendicular AR, with the upper part AP applied to that semi-cycloid APS

towards which the motion is directed, and around that it may be wrapped as an obstacle,

and with the remaining part PT to which the semi-cycloid has not yet got in the way, it

may stretch out in a straight line; and the weight T is swinging on the given cycloid QRS.

Q.E.F.

[The cycloid and the lower evolute cycloid obey the normal/tangent to normal relation at

any points T and P on this pair of curves. We have included the generating circles in red,

not present in the original figure.]

For the thread PT first may meet the cycloid QRS at T, and then the circle QOS at V,

and CV may be drawn; and the perpendiculars BP and TW may be erected to the right

line part of the thread PT from the end points P and T, crossing the right line CV in B and

W. It is apparent, from the construction, and from the similar figures AS and SR arising,

that these perpendiculars PB and TW cut off from CV the lengths VB and VW of the

wheels with diameters equal to OA and OR. Therefore TP is to VP (twice the sine of the

angle VBP multiplied by the radius

1

2

BV present [Both Cohen and Whiteside have

misunderstood this point in their translations: you cannot equate a length to the sine of an

angle.]) as BW to BV, or AO OR + to AO, that is (since CA to CO, CO to CR, and AO to

OR separately shall be proportionals) as CA CO + to CA, or, if BV may be bisected in E,

as 2CE to CB.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section X.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 273

[

2 2

2 2 2

2 2

; or,

r

BW BW AO OR CA CO CE TP R r

VP BV BV AO r CA R r CB

+

+ + +

+

= = = = = = , as above.]

Hence (by Corol I. Prop. XLIX.) the length of the part of the right line of the thread PT is

equal always to the arc PS of the cycloid, and the whole length [of the thread] APT is

always equal to the arc APS of half the cycloid, that is (by Corol. 2. Prop. XLIX.), to the

length AR. And therefore in turn if the thread always remains equal to the length AR, the

point T will always be moving on the given cycloid QRS. Q.E.D.

Corol. The thread AR is equal to the semi-cycloid arc AS, and thus has the same ratio

to the radius of the external sphere AC as that similar semi-cycloid SR has to the radius of

the internal radius CO. [

SR AR

AC CO

= ]

.

PROPOSITION LI. THEOREM XVIII.

If a centripetal force acting in any direction towards the centre C of the sphere shall

be as the distance of this place from the centre, and the body T may be oscillating by this

force acting alone (in the manner described just now) on the perimeter of the cycloid

QRS: I say that any whatever of the unequal oscillations are completed in equal intervals

of time.

For the perpendicular CX may fall on the tangent TW of the cycloid produced

indefinitely and CT may be joined. Because the centripetal force by which the body T is

impelled towards C is as the distance CT, and this (by Corol. 2 of the laws) is resolved

into the parts CX and TX, of which CX by

impelling the body directly from P stretches the

thread PT and by the resistance of this it may

cease to act completely, producing no other effect;

but the other part TX, by acting on the body

transversely or towards X, directly accelerates the

motion of this on the cycloid; clearly because the

acceleration of the body, proportional to this

accelerating force, shall be as the length TX at

individual instants, that is, on account of CV and

WV given and TX and TW proportional to these

[for we have the similar triangles VTW and CXW

and

CV TX

TW VW

= ], as the length TW, that is (by

Corol. I, Prop. XLIX.) as the length of the arc of

the cycloid TR. Therefore with the two pendulums

APT and Apt unequally drawn from the

perpendicular AR and sent off at the same time,

the accelerations of these always will be as the arcs to be described TR and tR. But the

parts described from the start are as the accelerations, that is, as the whole [arcs] to be

described at the start, and thereupon the parts which remain to be described and the

subsequent accelerations, from these proportional parts, also are as the total [parts to be

described subsequently] ; and thus henceforth. Therefore both the accelerations and the

velocities arising from the parts and the parts requiring to be described, are as the whole

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section X.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 274

[arc remaining]; and thus the parts requiring to be described obey the given ratio, and to

likewise vanish in turn, that is, the two oscillating bodies arrive at the perpendicular AR at

the same time [i.e. both bodies arrive at R with the same speed and in the same time; a

hall-mark of in-phase simple harmonic motion, where the period is independent of the

amplitude]. Whenever in turn the ascents of the pendulums from the lowest place R,

through the same cycloidal arcs made in a backwards motion, may be retarded separately

by the same forces by which they were accelerated in the descent, it is apparent that the

velocities of ascent and descent made through the same arcs are equal and thus for the

times to become equal ; and therefore, since both parts of the cycloid RS and RQ lying

on either side of the perpendicular shall be equal and similar, the two pendulums always

complete their oscillations at the same times for a whole as well as for a half [oscillation].

Q.E.D.

Corol. The force by which the body T is accelerated or retarded at some place T on the

cycloid, is to the whole weight of the same body in the place with the greatest altitude S

or Q, as the arc TR of the cycloid to the arc of the same SR or QR.

[

Digression.

Note from earlier, we have shown that an arc

length

( )

4

2

1

R

R

AP sin

+

= , where the

angle is subtended by the contact chord at

the centre of the generating circle, this is also

the angle between the tangent and the chord.

We indicate here the common cycloid

inverted with the angle now as customarily

shown twice the above, rolling on the upper

horizontal line, for which, with a generating circle of radius a, the coordinates are

( ) ( ) 2 2 ; 1 2 x a sin y a cos = + = . The gradient at some point on the curve is tan ,

and it is readily shown that the intrinsic equation of this curve is 4 s a sin = , taking

0 s = when 0 = . It is seen that the added complication of rotating the generating circle

on or in another circle of greater radius R to produce an epicycloid changes the constant

4a in the arc length formula to become

4aR

R a

s sin

the formula depends on where the origin has been chosen. Thus the length of a whole

section of a simple cycloid from vertex to trough is 4a, with a similar formula for the

epicycloid. We may consider such formulas in general to be of the form s k sin = .

Note that a body P on a string acting as a pendulum drawn towards the point C,

between the cusps of such a cycloid, of total length k, may have part of the string of

length ( ) 1 s k sin = wrapped round the curve, while the remainder of length

s k sin = is free, with corresponding results for Newton's epicycloids. We are interested

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section X.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 275

in the velocities of points along and perpendicular to both curves : it is clear that the

components of the velocity and acceleration of the point P along the tangent of the

Newton's upper cycloid are equal and opposite to the components of the velocity and

acceleration of the point T along the normal of the lower curve.]

PROPOSITION LII. PROBLEM XXXIV.

To define both the velocities of pendulums at individual places and the times in which

both whole oscillations as well as individual parts of oscillations may be completed.

With some centre G, and with the radius GH equal to the arc of the cycloid RS,

describe the semicircle HKM bisected by the radius GK.

[At this point we have to imagine the sphere HKM, of which we see a portion, to be

endowed with an abstract absolute force field of a special kind, so that a body L has the

same force acting on it as the body T, the abstract force acting along the radius GH (so

performing pure S.H.M. with the simplest possible geometry), while the other acts along

the tangent at T on the cycloid; these centripetal forces are also equal on the periphery

MKH of the circle and on the sphere SOQ. The idea being that both bodies will execute

S.H.M. ; in addition, the lengths GK, LI, and YZ represent the velocities of a body

released from H towards G. Such a situation might arise for a particle that could pass

through a hypothetical uniform earth without hindrance, such as a mass dropped through

a hole passing all the way through a diameter of the earth, affected only by gravity, which

in this case varies directly as the distance from centre.]

And if a centripetal force proportional to the distances of the places from the centre,

may tend towards the centre G, and let that force on the perimeter HIK be equal to the

centripetal force on the perimeter of the sphere QOS tending towards the centre of this;

and in the same time in which the pendulum T may be sent off from the highest place S,

some body L may fall from H to G, because the forces by which the bodies may be acted

on are equal from the beginning and with the intervals described TR and LG always

proportional, and thus, if TR and LG may be equal at the places T and L; it is apparent

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section X.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 276

that the bodies describe the equal intervals ST and HL from the beginning, and thus from

that at once to be urged on to progress equally , and to describe equal intervals. Whereby

(by Prop. XXXVIII.) the time in which the body will describe the arc ST is to the time of

one oscillation, as the arc HI, the time in which the body H may arrive at L, is to the

semi-perimeter HKM, the time in which the body H may arrive at M.

[Thus :

arcST arcHI

SQ HKM

T T

T T

= ;

( )

( )

( )

( )

T L

R G

d HL / dt d ST / dt v v

v v d HG / dt d SR / dt

= = = .]

And the velocity of the body of the pendulum at the place T it to the velocity of this at the

lowest place R, (that is, the velocity of the body H at the place L to the velocity of this at

the place G, or the instantaneous increment of the line HL to the instantaneous increment

of the line HG, with the arcs HI and HK increasing by equal fluxes) as the applied

ordinate LI to the radius GK, or as

2 2

SR TR to SR.

[ We have already considered the accelerations along the tangent PT . The free straight

length PT is equal to the arc PS at any instant, and the arc described by the body P , or

RT can be given by s k sin = , choosing the angle as above, and we may take the

velocity along the curve to be s k cos = , while the acceleration along the orbit is

s k sin ks = = . This can be written in terms of the tangential velocity v as :

( )

2 2

1

2

0

d v ks

dv

ds ds

v ks

+

+ = = , and hence

( )

2 2 2

1 1

2 2

constant v ks kS + = = , since the velocity of

P is zero when the arcs S = ; we now regard first integration as the conservation of

energy equation. Hence,

( )

2 2

ds

dt

v k S s LI . k = = = ; thus, the velocity at the point T

has been found. The time to travel from S to s, is given by the indefinite integral:

( ) ( )

( )

2 2 2

1 1 1

1

ds du s

S

k k k

S s u

t arccos

= = =

, where limits can be applied as needed,

and

s

S

u = ; (see Whiteside's note 286). Note that in the abstract force diagram, the radius

GH S = and we can write s S cos kt = , in which case the angle kt = , and we can

identify k as the angular frequency, from which the period of the oscillation is given

by

2

k

T

= , where we recall that

4rR

R r

k

+

= ; note especially that the period is independent of

the amplitude. Thus we have Newton's results; note also that the part of the string

wrapped round the cycloid arc behaves as a store of gravitational potential energy, for as

the weight falls, more kinetic energy is fed into the system by the weight being allowed

to fall further, and vice versa when it rises, than by the weight moving in a circular arc;

and again, the centre of forces is at a finite distance C, and so we do not have a uniform

gravitational field.]

From which, since in the unequal oscillations, the arcs of the whole oscillations may be

described in equal times proportional to the whole arcs of the oscillations; from the given

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section X.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 277

times, both the velocities and the arcs may be had, to be described in all the oscillations.

Which were to be found first.

Now bodies hanging from strings may be swinging in diverse cycloids described

between different spheres, of which the absolute forces are different also [i.e. those

abstract forces giving rise to an S.H.M. above that do not specify the mechanism of the

force]: and, if the absolute force of some sphere QOS may be called V, the accelerating

force by which the pendulum is urged on the circumference of this sphere, where it

begins to be moving directly towards the centre of this sphere, will be as the distance of

that hanging body from that centre and the absolute force jointly on the sphere, that is, as

CO V [i.e. the original absolute force corresponding to CO is magnified by some factor

V; now we have ( ) dv k. ds HY dt CO Vdt = = = ]. And thus the incremental line HY;

which shall be as this accelerating force CO V , described in the given time ; and if the

normal YZ is erected to the circumference crossing at Z, the nascent arc HZ will denote

that given time . But this nascent arc HZ is as GH HY , [from similar triangles

involving increments, HY:ZH :: ZH:MH , or

2

2 2 ZH Sds GH.YH = = as the arc tends to

zero] and thus the arc varies as GH CO V . [As dt d GH CO V ].

From which the time of a whole oscillation in the cycloid QRS (since it shall be as the

semi-periphery HKM, which [angle] may denote the time for that whole oscillation

directly ; and as the arc HZ directly, which similarly may denote the given time inversely)

shall be as GH directly and as GH CO V inversely, that is, on account of the equal

quantities GH and SR, as

SR

CO V

or (by the Coral. Prop. L.) as

AR

AC V

.

[Thus,

GH GH SR AR

QRS

CO V CO V AC V

GH CO V

T

= = = , since GH SR = ,

and

SR AR

AC CO

= ]

And thus the oscillations on the spheres and with all the cycloids, made with whatever

absolute forces, are in a ratio composed directly from the square root ratio of the lengths

of the string, and inversely in the square root ratio of the distances between the point of

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section X.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 278

suspension and centre of the sphere, and also inversely in the square root ratio of the

force of the sphere. Q.E.D.

Corol. 1. Hence also the times of the oscillations, of the falling and of the revolutions

of the bodies can be compared among themselves. For if for the wheel, by which the

cycloid will be described between the spheres, diameter may be put in place equal to the

radius of the sphere, the cycloid becomes a right line passing through the centre of the

sphere, and the oscillation now will be a descent and accent on this right line. From

which both the descent time from some place to the centre, as well as the time for this

equally by which a body may describe the quadrant of an arc by revolving uniformly

about the centre of the sphere at some distance. For this time (by the second case) is to

the time of a semi-oscillation on some cycloid QRS as I to

AR

AC

.

Corol. 2. Hence also these propositions lead to what Wren and Huygens had found

concerning the common cycloid. For if the diameter of the sphere may be increased

indefinitely: the surface of this will be changed into a plane, and the centripetal force will

act uniformly along lines perpendicular to this plane, and our cycloid will change into a

cycloid of the common kind. But in this case the length of the arc of the cycloid, between

that plane and the describing point, will emerge equal to four times the versed sine of half

the arc between the plane and the point of the wheel describing the same ; as Wren found:

And the pendulum between two cycloids of this kind will be oscillating in a similar and

equal cycloid in equal times, as Huygens demonstrated. And also the time of descent of

the weight, in the time of one oscillation, this will be as Huygens indicated.

But the propositions from our demonstrations are adapted to the true constitution of

the earth , just as wheels describe cycloids outside the sphere by going in great circles by

the motion of nails fixed in the perimeters, and pendulums suspended lower in mines and

caverns, must oscillate in cycloids within spheres, so that all the oscillations become

isochronous. For gravity (as we will be teaching in the third book) decreases in

progressing from the surface of the earth, upwards indeed in the square ratio of the

distances from the centre of the earth, downwards truly in a simple ratio.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section X.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 279

PROPOSITION LIII. PROBLEM XXXV.

With the quadratures of the curvilinear figures granted, to find the forces by which

bodies on the given curves may perform isochronous oscillations.

The body T may be oscillating on some curved line

STRQ, the axis of which shall be AR passing through

the centre of forces C. The line TX may be drawn

which may touch the curve at any place of the body T,

and on this tangent TX there may be taken TY equal to

the arc TR. For the length of that arc will be known

from the quadrature of the figure by common methods.

[Thus, Newton's criterion for isochronous motion is

that the acceleration at T is in proportion to the length

of the arc TR]. From the point Y there may be drawn

the right line YZ perpendicular to the tangent. CT may

be crossing that perpendicular in Z, and the centripetal

force [parallel to AT] shall be proportional to the right

line TZ.

Q E.I.

For if the force, by which the body is drawn from T

towards C, may be represented by the right line TZ

taken proportional to this, this may be resolved into the

forces TY, YZ; of which YZ by drawing the body along the length of the thread PT, no

motion of this changes, but the other force TY directly either accelerates or decelerates

the motion of this body on the curve STRQ. Hence, since this path TR requiring to be

described shall always be as the accelerations or retardations of the body to be described

in the proportional parts of two oscillations, which shall always be as these parts (of the

greater and lesser), and therefore [these accelerations and decelerations] may be made as

these parts likewise may be described, [as in the modern equivalent S.H.M. view, the

acceleration is proportional to the negative

displacement; note that Newton considers an

oscillation or swing to be a single motion clockwise or

anticlockwise.] But bodies which at the same time

always describe the proportional parts of the whole,

likewise describe the whole. Q E.D.

Corol. 1. Hence if the body T, hanging by the

rectilinear thread AT from the centre A, may describe

the circular arc STRQ, [we must assume the angle TAN

is small, so that isochronous motion occurs for this

simple pendulum] and meanwhile it may be urged

downwards along parallel lines in turn by a certain

force, which shall be to the uniform force of gravity,

as the arc TR to the sine of this TN: the times of the

individual oscillations shall be equal. And indeed on account of the parallel lines TZ, AR,

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section X.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 280

the triangles ATN and ZTY are similar ; and therefore TZ will be to AT as TY to TN; that

is, if the uniform force of gravity may be proposed by the given length AT; the force TZ,

by which the isochronous oscillations may be produced, will be to the force of gravity

AT, as the arc TR ,itself equal to TY, to the sine TN of that arc.

[Note that the isochronous accelerating force is proportional to the arc TR, which is

almost equal to the semi-chord TN for small oscillations, while AT and ZY are almost

vertically downwards, with the tension AT as the weight of the pendulum bob; hence

=

weight of bob

TZ AT

TY TN restoring force

]

Corol. 2. And therefore in clocks, if the forces impressed on the pendulum by the

machinery to preserve the motion thus since with the force of gravity may be compared,

so that the total force downwards always shall be as the line arising by dividing the

multiple of the arc TR [ TY = ] and the radius AR[ AT = ] by the sine TN, all the

oscillations will be isochronous.

PROPOSITION LIV. PROBLEM XXXVI.

With the quadrature of the curvilinear figures granted, to find the times, by which

bodies acted on by some centripetal force on some curved lines, described in a plane

passing through the centre of forces, may descend or ascend.

The body may descend from some place S, by a certain curve STtR in the plane

passing through the given centre of forces C. Now CS may be joined and that divided into

an innumerable number of equal parts, and Dd

shall be some of these parts. With centre C and

with the radii CD, Cd circles may be described,

DT, dt, crossing the curved line STtR in T and t.

And then from the given law of the centripetal

force, and from the given height CS by which

the body has fallen, the velocity of the body will

be given at some other height CT (by Prop.

XXXIX.).

[We are to consider a body to slide along the

given curve without friction from rest at S,

under the action of a radial force f(r) acting

along CT, at the point T, so that the velocity at

the distance r is given by along the curve in the

line element Tt shall be

1

2

2 ( )

r

R

v f r dr

=

,

whatever the shape of the curve. Hence, this [energy] integral has to be evaluated to

obtain the velocity at T. Consequently, the time to arrive at T is given by a second

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section X.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 281

integration, and

ds

vcos tTC

dt = , where the component of the radial velocity down the slope

is taken.]

But the time, in which the body will describe the line element Tt, is as the length of that

element, that is, directly as the secant of that angle tTC ; and inversely as the velocity.

The applied ordinate DN perpendicular to the right line CS through the point D shall be

proportional to this time, and on account of Dd given, the rectangle Dd DN , that is the

area DNnd, will be in the same proportion to the time. Therefore if PNn shall be that

curved line that the point N always touches, and the asymptote of which shall be the right

line SQ, standing perpendicularly on the right line CS: the area SQPND will be

proportional to the time in which the body by falling has described the line; and therefore

from that area found the time will given. Q.E.I.

PROPOSITION LV. THEOREM XIX.

If a body may be moving on some curved surface, the axis of which passes through the

centre of the forces, and a perpendicular is sent from the body to the axis, and from some

point a line parallel and equal to this line is drawn: I say that parallel line will describe

an area proportional to the time.

BKL shall be the curved surface, T the body revolving on that, STR the trajectory, that

the body will describe on the same, S the start of the trajectory, OMK theaxis of the

curved surface, TN the right line perpendicular to

the axis from the body, OP drawn equal and

parallel to this from the point O, which is given on

the axis ; AP the track of the trajectory described

by the point P by the winding of OP in the plane

AOP ; A corresponding to the start of the trace

from the point S ; TC a right line drawn from the

body to the centre ; TG the proportional part of the

centripetal forceTC, by which the body is urged

to the centre C; TM a right line perpendicular to the

curved surface; TI the proportional part of this

pressing force, by which the body may be acted on

in turn by the surface towards M; PTF a line

passing through the body parallel to the axis, and

GF and IH parallel right lines sent perpendicularly

from the points G and I on that parallel line PRTF.

Now I say, that the area AOP, described from the start of the motion by the radius OP,

shall be proportional to the time. For if the force TG (by Corol. 2. of the laws) is resolved

into the forces TF and FG; and the force TI into the forces TH and HI: But the forces TF

and TH acting along the line PF perpendicular to the plane AOP in as much as they only

change the motion of the body perpendicular to this plane. And thus in as much as the

motion of this is body is made along the position of this plane; that is, the motion of the

point P, by which the trace of the trajectory AP is described in this plane, is the same as if

the forces TF and TR may be removed, and the body is being acted on by the forces FG

and HI only ; and that is, likewise if the body in the plane AOP may describe the curve

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section X.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 282

AP, by a centripetal force tending towards the centre O and equal to the sum of the forces

FG and HI,. But such a force will describe the area AOP (by Prop. I.) proportional to the

time. Q E.D.

Corol. By the same argument if the body, acted on forces tending towards two or more

centres on the same given right line CO, may describe in free space some curved line ST;

the area AOP always becomes proportional to the time.

PROPOSITION LVI. PROBLEM XXXVII.

With the quadrature of the curvilinear figure given, and with the law of the centripetal

force tending towards the centre given, as well as the curved surface whose axis passes

through that centre ;the trajectory is required to be found that the body describes on that

same surface, advancing from a given place with a given velocity in a given direction on

the surface.

With everything in place which have been constructed in the above proposition, the

body T may emerge from a given place S

following a given right line in place in a

trajectory required to be found STR, the trace

of which in the plane BDO [D is called L in

the previous diagram, and is used here in the

original text] shall be AP. And from the given

velocity of the body at the height SC, the

velocity of this will be given at some other

height TC. Since with that velocity, in the

shortest time given, the body may describe a

small part of its trajectory Tt, and let Pp be

the trace of this described in the plane AOP.

Op may be joined, and with the centre T of a

small circle with the radius Tt of the trace

described on the curved surface, in the plane

AOP the ellipse pQ shall be described. And

on account of the given circle with magnitude

Tt, and the given distance TN or PO of this

from the axis CO, that ellipse pQ will be given in kind and magnitude, and so in place

according to the right line PO. And since the area POp shall be proportional to the time,

and thus the angle POp may be given from the given time. And thence the common

intersection p of the ellipse and of the right line OP will be given, together with the angle

OPp in which the trace of the trajectory APp cuts the line OP. Hence truly (on bringing

together Prop. XLI. with its Corol. 2.) an account of determining the curve APp may be

readily apparent. Moreover from the individual points P of the trace, by raising

perpendiculars PT to the plane AOP of the surface of the curve meeting in Q, the

individual points T of the trajectory will be given. Q.E.I.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 295

SECTION XI.

Concerning the motion of bodies with centripetal forces mutually attracting each other.

Up to the present, I have explained the motion of bodies attracted to a fixed centre of

force, yet scarcely such a force is extant in the nature of things. For the attractions are

accustomed to be for bodies ; and the actions of pulling and attracting are always mutual

and equal, by the third law: thus, if there shall be two bodies, so that neither shall it be

possible to be attracting or to be attracted and to be at rest, but both shall be rotating

around the common centre of gravity (by the fourth corollary of the laws), as if by mutual

attraction : and if there shall be several bodies, which either may be attracted by a single

body, and which likewise they may attract, or all may mutually attract each other; thus

these must be moving among themselves, so that the common centre of gravity may be at

rest, or may be moving uniformly in a direction. From which reason I now go on to

explain the motion of bodies mutually attracting each other, by considering the

centripetal forces as attractions, although perhaps more truly they may be called

impulses, if we may speak physically. For now we may turn to mathematics, and

therefore, with the physical arguments dismissed, we use familiar speech, by which we

shall be able to be understood more clearly by mathematical readers.

[The stand adopted by Newton has been explained in detail by Cohen in the introduction

to his translation; essentially the physical world is to be understood from mathematical

laws and considerations, and forces such as gravity, acting at a distance with no visible

means of communicating forces, are to be understood by the mathematical relations they

satisfy, rather than from some physical model involving unseen fluids and vortices, as in

Descartes' model.]

PROPOSITION LVII. THEOREM XX.

Two bodies attracting each other in turn describe similar figures, both around the

common centre of gravity and mutually around each other.

For the distances of the bodies from the common centre of gravity are inversely

proportional to the bodies [Newton means masses of bodies when he refers to bodies];

and thus in a given ratio one to the other, and on being put together in a given ratio to the

total distance between the bodies. But these distances are carried around their common

end [i.e. the centre of mass or gravity] by an equal angular motion, so that they do not

therefore change their mutual inclination, always lying on a line. But right lines, which

are reciprocally in a given ratio, and which are carried around their ends by an equal

angular motion, describe completely similar figures about these same ends in planes,

which together with these ends either are at rest, or may be moving in some non angular

motion [i.e. the linear motion of the centre of mass.] Hence these figures which are

described from the distances being turned through are similar.

Q.E.D.

[The analytical solutions of the two body problem now presented in this section are

solved to some extent in modern texts on dynamics, and Chandrasekhar gives proofs in

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 296

his work on Newton, from p. 207, onwards. Chandrasekhar thus solves the dynamical

problem in the reference frame of a body P, and finds that the original force is

augmented, for what Newton states depends on the bodies being in an inertial reference

frame in which the forces and accelerations remain the same (thus, a kinematic change of

viewpoint can be adopted) ; what we find in non-inertial frames, of course, is not

surprising, as the rotating body P below is itself accelerating, and so 'fictitious' forces

must be added to P to accommodate the correct motion, if we are to consider S as an

inertial frame : for S's frame likewise is an accelerating reference; Chandrasekhar goes on

to state that, ' Newton's proof, again couched in words, it is essentially the same....' .

Thus, it seems appropriate to add some variables in red to Newton's diagrams that

follow, and to indicate briefly the mathematical origins of the statements made and not

demonstrated fully by Newton. We may note in modern terms that the left-hand diagram

(a) refers either to an inertial frame in which the centre of mass of the system is at rest or

moving uniformly in a straight line (note that Newton refrains from talking about straight

lines, and discusses only directions, because otherwise it begs the question of the first law

of motion, as discussed in the definitions and axioms of this work), while the right-hand

diagram (b) considers s as a reference frame at rest. So we begin....]

PROPOSITION LVIII. THEOREM XXI.

If two bodies attract each other by forces of some kind, and meanwhile they rotate about

their common centre of gravity: I say of the figure, which the bodies describe around

each other mutually by moving thus, that it shall be similar and equal to the figure,

around either body at rest, to be described by the same forces.

The bodies S and P are revolving around the common centre of gravity C, by going

from S to T; and from P to Q . From a given point s, sp and sq may always be drawn

equal and parallel to SP and TQ themselves ; and the curve pqv, that the point p will

describe by revolving around the fixed point s, will be similar and equal to the curves,

which the bodies S and P describe around each other mutually: and hence (by Theorem

XX) similar to the curves ST and PQV,

which the same bodies will describe around the common centre of gravity C: and that

because the proportions of the lines SC, CP, and SP or sp may be given in turn.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 297

[Note from (a) that the orbits of the conic sections S and P generally are of differing sizes

(here we will concentrate on ellipses), and the mass m

1

in the case shown is greater than

the mass m

2

: if the force is proportional to the distance from the centre, then the two

orbits will be concentric ellipses with the centre at the centre of gravity. In the inverse

square case, the centre of mass is a common focus, the ellipses may intersect, but the

bodies themselves must always be at opposite ends of a line such as TQ, intersecting both

orbits. In both cases, the areas swept out by a radius are proportional to the times. In (b),

according to C, the orbit of p is similar to that of P, but viewed from the stationary

reference frame S, and a similar remark can be made about the orbit of s relative to p.

If O is an arbitrary origin in (a), then the positions of S and P are given by

1 2

and R r R r + +

, where we consider

1 2

and OC R, CS r , CP r = = =

as the vectors

shown; and the centre of gravity or mass is given by

11 2 2

1 2

m r m r

m m

R

+

+

=

. If the centre of

gravity is at rest, then 0 R =

and

11 2 2

0 m r m r = + , dispensing with vector notation, as the

bodies lie on a straight line. We also have

11 2 2

0 m r m r = + , on differentiating again, so that

the forces acting on S and P are equal and opposite, as required by the third law. If we

choose C to be the origin, then we can write

11 2 2

m r m r = , dispensing with signs : a useful

relation. The force between the masses meanwhile may be represented by F, and this is a

symmetric function of the masses, and depends on the distance between them. Hence we

may write

11 2 2

and F m r F m r = = , acting along the line joining SP in an attractive

manner, positive going from left to right, so that S is urged forwards by a positive force,

whileP is urged backwards by an equal and opposite negative force at the instant shown.

We also observe that though the forces are equal and opposite, the acceleration of the

body varies inversely with its mass, and thus the larger mass accelerates less and

produces the smaller orbit than the smaller mass.

Now if we wish to consider the motion of P relative to S, then the relative

displacement can be written as

2 1

r r

, and once more dispensing with vectors, we have

the acceleration of P relative to S given by

2 1

r r , and this can be written as

1 2

2 1 1 2

2 1

= =

m m

F F

SP sp

m m mm

a a r r F

+

= = , acting towards S. Hence, the force acting on P

relative to S in (a), or as p relative to s in (b), which is seen to be reduced to the previous

immoveable cases treated, is given by ( )

1 2

1

2 2 1

= =

m m

PS ps

m

F F m r r F

+

= towards s : that

is, the force F for the motion relative to C, has been augmented by the factor

1 2

2

m m

m

+

for

the motion of s relative to p. In a similar manner, we can write

( )

1 2

2

1 1 2

=

m m

SP

m

F m r r F

+

= , which is the augmented force on S due to P, now considered

at rest. Notice that these forces on P and p in diagrams (a) and (b) are no longer equal to

each other, the one is given by

2 2 CP

F m r F = = and the other by

1 2

1

=

m m

ps

m

F F

+

; hence

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 298

the ratio of the accelerations on the same mass P is given by

1

1 2

=

m

PC

m m

ps

a

a

+

; while the

nascent distances are given in the ratio

( )

( )( )

2

1 1

2

1 2 2

=

m t

CP

sp

m m t

RQ

rq

+

= , and the velocities are in

the ratio

( )

( )( )

1 1

1 2 2

=

m t

P

m m t

p

v

v

+

, where we consider the forces to act for different times.

Following Newton's arguments presented in case 1 below, due to the similar figures,

we have :

2

1 2

r RQ

CP

rq sp r r +

= = ; hence if we had the forces in this ratio [corresponding to

forces proportional to distance from the centre of the ellipses], then we would have

:

2

1 2

CP

sp

F r

CP CP

F r r SP sp +

= = = acting for the same small interval of time t , giving rise to the

same centripetal accelerations, either

2

2

or

p

P

CP sp

v

v

, from which =

p

P

sp

v

v

CP

, giving rise to the

similar curves pqv and PQV, and the revolutions would be completed in the same time.

But according to Newton, the forces are considered to be the same in each case, [we

may presume that he means in the centre of mass inertial frame], so that the accelerations

produced on P and p are equal, and the distances through which the body is drawn

inwards is RQ in one case, and rq in the other, where rq RQ > , and hence the same

acceleration must act for a longer interval to produce these nascent or infinitesimal

displacements QR and qr ; thus we have, since ( ) ( )

2 2

1 1

1 2

2 2

and QR a t qr a t = = ,

then

1 1 2

2 1 2

1 2

m QR t r

CP

t r r

qr sp m m

+

+

= = = = . In this case, we have the similar curves pqv and

PQV produced, but not in the same times; as in this case, the time for one body to orbit

the other t is not the same as the time T for both bodies to orbit around the centre of mass

C.

We can continue to apply the dynamic analysis to the situation with modified forces,

and retaining Newton's insightful way of dealing with the nascent distances, to consider

the ratio of the forces acting on P and p, which is the same as the ratio of the

accelerations, augmented as discussed above :

1

2

CP P

p ps

a t v

v a t

= , where

( )

( )

( )

( )( )

2 2

1 1 1 1

2 2

1 2

2 1 2 2

and

CP CP

ps

ps

a t m t a m QR

CP

a m m qr ps

a t m m t

+

+

= = = = and thus giving

( )

1 2

1

2

1

;

m m CP

t

t

m ps

+

= and

( )

( )

2

1 2 1 1 1 1 2

2

2 1 2 1 2 1 2

1

1 2

= = = ;

CP P

p ps

m m QR m a t v m m r

v a t m m m m r r

mqr

m m

+

+ + +

+

= = which Newton deduces below,

and thus it seems that Newton was using this formulation of the problem after all. ]

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 299

Case 1. That common centre of gravity C, by the fourth corollary of the laws, either is at

rest or moving uniformly in a direction. We may put that initially to be at rest, and the

two bodies may be located at s and p, with the immobile body at s, the mobile one at p,

with the bodies S and P similar and equal to the bodies s and p. Then the right lines PR

and pr may touch the curves PQ and pq in P and p, and CQ and sq may be produced to R

and r. And on account of the similitude of the figures CPRQ and sprq, RQ will be to rq as

CP to sp, and thus in a given ratio [indeed,

2

1 2

r RQ

CP

rq sp r r +

= = ]. Hence if the force, by which

the body P is attracted towards the body S, and thus towards the intermediate centre C,

should be in that same given ratio to the force, by which the body p is attracted towards

the centre s [i.e. the above ratio

2

1 2

CP

sp

F r

F r r +

= ] ; these forces in equal times always attract

the bodies from the tangents PR and Pr to the arcs PQ and pq by intervals proportional to

RQ and rq themselves, and thus the latter force effects, that the body p may rotate in the

curve pqv, which shall be similar to the curve PQV, in which the former force effects that

the body P may be revolving; and the revolutions may be completed in the same time.

But since these forces are not inversely in the ratio CP to sp, rather (on account of the

similitude and equality of the bodies S and s, P and p, and the equality of the distances SP

and sp) but mutually equal to each other [as discussed above]; the bodies will be drawn

equally in equal times from the tangents: and therefore, so that the latter body p may be

drawn by the greater interval rq, a greater time is required, and that in the square root

ratio of the intervals; therefore (by the tenth lemma) because the distances have been

described in the squares ratio of the times from the beginning of the motion itself.

Therefore we may put the velocity of the body p to be as the velocity of the body P in the

square root ratio of the distance sp to the distance CP, thus so that in the times, which

shall be in the same square root ratio, the arcs pq and PQ may be described, which are in

a whole [ordinary] ratio : And the bodies P and p always attracted by equal forces

describe the similar figures PQV, pqv, around the centres C and s at rest, of which the

latter pqv is similar and equal to the figure, that the body P will describe about the mobile

centre S. Q.E.D.

Case 2. Now we may consider that the common centre of gravity, together with the

distance in which the bodies may be moving among themselves, is progressing uniformly

along a direction; and (by the law of the sixth corollary) all the motions may advance in

this space as before, and thus the bodies describe the same figures around each other as at

first, and therefore to the similar and equal figure pqv. Q.E.D.

Corol. I. Hence two bodies with the forces proportional to their distances attracting

each other mutually, (by Prop. X.) describe concentric ellipses both around the common

centre of gravity and around each other, and vice versa, if such figures are described, then

the forces are proportional to the distances.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 300

Corol. 2. And two bodies, with forces inversely proportional to the square of the

distance, describe (by Prop. XI. XII. XIII.) both around the common centre of gravity and

about each other, conic sections having the focus at the centre, around which the figures

are described. And conversely, if such figures are described, the centripetal forces are

reciprocally as the squares of the distance.

Corol. 3. Any two bodies rotating about the common centre of gravity, with the radii

drawn both to that centre and between themselves, describe areas proportional to the

times.

PROPOSITION LIX. THEOREM XXII.

The periodic time of two bodies S and P, rotating about their common centre of gravity

C, is to the periodic time of rotation of either of the bodies P, rotating about the other

stationary body S, and with the figures, which the bodies describe mutually around each

other, similar and equal to the figure described, as the square root ratio of [the mass of]

the other body S, to the sum of the [masses of the] bodies S P + .

Indeed, from the demonstration of the above proposition, the times, in which any

similar arcs PQ and pq are described, are in the square root ratio of the distances CP and

SP or sp, that is, in the square root ratio of the body S to the sum of the bodies S P + .

And on adding together, the sum of all the times in which all the similar arcs PQ and pq

are describes, that is, the total time, in which the whole similar figures may be described,

are in the same square root ratio. Q.E.D.

[See notes above. ]

PROPOSITION LX. THEOREM XXIII.

If two bodies S and P, with forces inversely proportional to the square of their distance,

mutually attract each other about the common centre of gravity: I say that ellipse, which

one of the bodies P will describe about the other ellipse in this motion S, the principal

axis is to that principal axis, which the same body P will describe around the other body

S at rest, in the same periodic time, shall be as the sum of the two bodies S P + to the first

of the two mean proportionals between this sum and that other body S.

For if the ellipses were to be described equal to each other, the periodic times (by the

above theorem) would be in the square root ratio of the body S to the sum of the bodies

S P + . The periodic time of the latter ellipse may be diminished in this ratio, and the

periodic times may become; [i.e. and 1

S

P S

S t t

T

P S T

,

+

+

= = ] ; but the principal axis of the

ellipse (by Prop. XV.) will be diminished in a ratio, which is in the three on two ratio of

this, that is in a ratio which is the triplicate of S to S P +

[ For

2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3

: and : : whereby by Kepler III, : = : T t S P : S T t A X , A X S P S = + = + ;

now if two mean proportional B and C are taken between S P + and S, then

S P C B

B C S

+

= =

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 301

hence S P + will be in the triplicate ratio to B, that is ( )

3

3

: : S P S S P B + = + , and hence

( )

3

3 3 3

: : A X S P B = + , and thus ( ) ( ) : : or : : A X S P B X A B S P = + = + ];

and thus the principal axis will be to the principal axis of the other ellipse, as the first of

the two mean proportionals between S P + and S to S P + . And conversely, the principal

axis of the ellipse described about the mobile body will be to the principal axis described

about the stationary ellipse, as S P + to the first of the two mean proportions between

S P + and S. Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION LXI. THEOREM XXIV.

If two bodies may be mutually attracted by any forces, and neither disturbed nor impeded

by any others, in whatever manner they may be moving ; the motions of these thus may be

had, and, as if they may not attract with each other mutually, but each may be attracted

by the same forces by some third body established at the common centre of gravity. And

the law of the attracting forces will be with respect to the distance of the bodies from that

common centre, and with respect to the whole distance between the bodies.

For these forces, by which the bodies mutually pull on each other, stretch towards the

common intermediate centre of gravity ; and thus they are the same, as if they spring

from an intermediate body. Q.E.D.

And since the ratio of the distance of whichever body from that common centre to the

distance between the bodies may be given, the ratio will be given of any power of one

distance to the same power of the other distance; and so that the ratio of whatever

quantity, which may be derived from one distance and with whatever quantities given, to

another quantity, which from the other distance and from just as many given quantities,

and that given ratio of the distances to the former had similarly may be derived. Hence if

the force, by which one body is pulled by the other, shall be directly or inversely as the

distance of the bodies in turn ; either as any power of this distance ; or finally so that

some quantity may be derived in some manner from this given distance and given

quantities: the force will be the same, by which the body likewise is drawn to the

common centre of gravity, likewise directly or inversely as the distance of attraction from

that common centre, either as the same power of this distance, or finally as a quantity

similarly derived from this distance and with similar given quantities. That is, the force of

attraction will be the same law with respect to each distance. Q.E.D.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 302

PROPOSITION LXII. PROBLEM XXXVIII.

To determine the motion of two bodies, which mutually attract each other with forces

inversely proportional to the square of their distances, and which are sent off from given

places.

Bodies (by the latest theorem) may be moved in the same way, as if they may be

attracted by a third body put in place at the common centre of gravity ; and that centre

from its own initial motion by hypothesis remains at rest; and therefore (by Corol. 4 of

the laws) will always remain at rest. Therefore the motions of the bodies are required to

be determined (by Prob. XXV.) in the same manner as if they may be urged by attracting

forces at the centre, and the motions of the bodies mutually attracting each other will be

found. Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION LXIII. PROBLEM XXXIX.

To determine the motion of two bodies which attract each other with forces inversely

proportional to the square of their distance, and with the places given, and the bodies

leave along given straight lines with given velocities.

At the beginning with the given motions of the bodies, the uniform motion of the

common centre of gravity is given, and so that the motion of the space, which together

with this centre is moved uniformly in a direction, without any motion of the bodies with

respect to this space. But the subsequent motions (by the fifth corollary of the laws, and

the latest theorem) happen in this space in the same way, as if the space itself together

with that common centre of gravity were at rest, and the bodies are not attracting each

other mutually, but were attracted by a third body situated at that centre. Therefore the

motion of either body is to be determined (by Problems 9 and 26) in this moving space,

from the place given, along a given right line, with the given departure speed, and acted

on by the centripetal force tending towards that centre: and likewise the motion of the

other body about the same centre will be known. Since to this motion it is required to add

the uniform motion of the space, and in that space the progressive rotational motion of

the bodies found above, and the absolute motions of the bodies will be known in

immobile space.

Q.E.D.

[Recall that Newton believes in the existence of a universal rest frame, that of the fixed

stars, and relative to which all motions are absolute. Newton now proceeds from the

generally soluble two-body problem to the only-soluble n-body problem.]

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 303

PROPOSITION LXIV. PROBLEM XL.

The motions of several bodies among themselves are required, with the forces by which

the bodies mutually attract each other increasing in a simple ratio from the centres.

At first two bodies T and L, having a common centre of gravity D, may be put in

place. These describe ellipses (by the first corollary of Theorem XXI.) having centres at

D, the magnitude of which becomes

known from Problem X.

Now a third body S may attract the first

two T and L with the accelerating forces

ST and SL, and it may be attracted by

these in turn. The force ST (by Corol. 2. of

the laws) is resolved into the forces SD

and DT; and the force SL into the forces

SD and DL. But the forces DT and DL,

which are as their sum TL, and thus as the

accelerating forces by which the bodies T and L are attracted mutually, add to these the

forces of the bodies T and L, each to the other in turn, composing forces proportional to

the distances DT and DL, as at first, but with the forces greater than with the former

forces; and thus (by Prop. X, Corol. I. and Prop. IV, Corol's.1. and 8) have the effect that

these bodies will describe ellipses as before, but with a faster motion. The remaining

accelerating forces SD and SD [contributed from the forces ST and SL], from the motive

actions and SD T SD L ,

[i.e. in an analytical approach, such forces between the bodies 1 and 2 may be given by a

generalised Hooke's law type formula : motive force displacement , provided there

are only two bodies present, where the masse M

1

and M

2

may be incorporated into the

constant of proportionality; or by considering a motive

3

force displacement M for

forces that involve either body 1 or 2 but always body 3, some such scheme Newton has

adopted, as this constant of proportionality must change if a third mass M

3

is present,

unless the masses are equal, etc.]

which are as the bodies, by attracting these bodies equally and along the lines TI, LK,

themselves parallel to DS, and in turn do not change the situation of these, but act so that

they accelerate equally to the line IK; that taken drawn through the middle of the body S,

and perpendicular to the line DS. But that access to the line IK may be impeding by

arranging so that the system of bodies T and L from one side, and the body S from the

other, with the correct velocities, may be rotating around the common centre of gravity C.

From such a motion the body S, because with that the sum of the motive forces

and SD T SD L , of the proportional distance CS, tends towards the centre C, will

describe an ellipse around the same C; and the point D, on account of the proportionals

CS, CD, describes a similar ellipse out of the region. But the bodies T and L attracted by

the motive forces and SD T SD L , the first body by the first force, the second by the

second, equally and along the parallel lines TI and LK, as it has been said, proceed to

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 304

describe their own ellipses around the moving centre D (by the 5

th

and 6

th

corollaries of

the laws), as at first.

Q.E.D.

Now a fourth body V may be added, and by a similar argument it may be concluded

that this body and the point C describe ellipses about the common centre of gravity of all

the bodies B ; with the former motions of the bodies T, L and S about the centres D and C

remaining, but with an acceleration. And by the same method more bodies are allowed to

be added. Q.E.D.

Thus these may be themselves considered, as if the bodies T and L attract each other

with greater or less accelerations than by which the remaining bodies for a [given] ratio

of the distances. Let all the mutual accelerative attractions be in turn as the distances by

the [masses of the] bodies attracted, and from the proceeding it may be readily deduced

that all the bodies describe different ellipses in equal periodic times, around the common

centre of gravity B, in a fixed plane. Q.E.D.

[On page 217, Chandrasekhar produces the analytical solution that Newton must have

worked through, by reducing the motion of each mass to an attraction about the common

centre of mass, without any other accelerations needed, and these motions for each body

are S.H.M.'s of the form :

acceleration of body total mass of all bodies displacement of body .

Thus the basis is set for treating a three or more body problem where the forces follow an

inverse square law, having established the reliability of a method of adding the forces.]

PROPOSITION LXV. THEOREM XXV.

Several bodies, the forces of which decrease in the inverse square ratio of the distance

from their common centre of gravity, can move in ellipses amongst themselves ; and with

the radii drawn to the focus describe areas almost proportional to the times.

In the above proposition the case has been shown where several bodies are moving

forwards precisely in ellipses. From which the more the law of the forces departs from

the law put in place there, from that the more the bodies mutually disturb the motions ;

nor can it happen, following the law put in place here that bodies by mutually attracting

each other, can be moving precisely in ellipses, unless by obeying in turn a certain

proportion of the distances. But in the following cases it will not differ much from

ellipses.

Case: I. Put several smaller bodies to revolve around some large body at various

distances from that body, and the bodies are attracted by the same body according to

proportional individual absolute forces. And because the common centre of gravity of all

is either at rest or may be moving in a direction uniformly (by the fourth Corollary of the

laws), we may set the bodies in place to be rather small, so that the large body at no time

departs sensibly from this centre : and the large body may be at rest, or moving uniformly

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 305

in a direction, without sensible error; but the smaller bodies may be revolving around this

large body in ellipses, and with radii drawn to the same, they describe areas proportional

to the times ; unless in so far as errors are induced, either by the large body receding

from that common centre of gravity, or by the actions of the smaller bodies mutually

between each other. But the smaller bodies can be diminished , until this error and the

mutual interactions themselves, shall be less than in any given amount ; and thus the

orbits can be made to agree with ellipses, and the areas may correspond to the times, with

no tangible errors. Q.E.O.

Case 2. Now we may put in place a system of smaller bodies revolving around some

very large body in the manner now described, or some other system of two bodies

revolving around each other progressing uniformly in direction, and meanwhile to be

acted on laterally by the force of another by far greater body at a great distance. And

because the equal accelerating forces do not act by changing the positions of the bodies in

turn among themselves, with the motions of the parts maintained between themselves, but

affect the system as a whole, by which the small bodies may be acted on along parallel

lines, and may be moved together ; it is clear that, by the attractions from the great body,

no change in the motion of the attraction of the bodies between themselves may arise,

unless either from the inequality of the attracting accelerations or from the inclination of

the lines in turn, along which the attractions happen. Therefore put all the attractive

accelerations due to the great body to be inversely as the square of the distances between

themselves ; and by increasing the distance of the great body, until the differences of the

right lines drawn from that body to the rest of the bodies in respect of the length of these,

and the inclinations in turn, may be made smaller than any given amount; then the

motions of the parts of the system may persevere among themselves with minimal errors

given, which may not be given any smaller. And because, on account of the smallness of

the parts of these in turn with the great distance, the whole system is attracted in the

manner of a single body ; and will be moved likewise by this attraction in the manner of a

single body ; that is, it may describe with its centre of gravity some conic section about

the great body (viz. a hyperbola or a parabola from a weaker attraction, an ellipse from a

stronger attraction) and with a radius drawn to the great body, areas will be described

proportional to the times, without any errors, except those arising from the distances of

the parts, reasonably small, and to be minimized as it pleases. Q.E.O.

It is permitted to proceed indefinitely to more composite cases.

Corol. 1. In the second case, in which the greatest body of all approaches closer to the

system of two or more bodies, the motions of the parts of the system among themselves

are more disturbed by that ; because now the inclination of the lines drawn from the great

body to these in turn is greater, and the greater the inequality of the proportion.

Corol.2. Moreover the small bodies will be disturbed the most, on being put in place,

in such a way that the attractive accelerations of the parts of the system towards the

greatest body of all shall not be inversely in turn as the squares of the distances from that

great body ; especially if the inequality of this proportion shall be greater than the

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 306

inequality of the proportions of the distances from the great body. For if the accelerative

force [of the great body], by acting equally along parallel lines, disturbs nothing in the

motion between themselves, it is necessary that a perturbation may arise from the

inequality of the action, either it shall be a smaller disturbance for a greater body, or one

of greater inequality for a lesser body. The excess of the impulses of the greater body, by

acting on some bodies and by not acting on others, by necessity will change the position

of these amongst themselves. And this perturbation added to the perturbation, which

arises from the inclination and inequality of the lines, may return the whole major

perturbation.

Corol. 3. From which if the parts of this system may be moving in ellipses or in circles

without significant disturbance ; it is evident, that the same bodies on attracting other

bodies by accelerative forces, either may not to be acted on unless they are the lightest,

or to be acted on equally, and approximately along parallel lines.

PROPOSITION LXVI. THEOREM XXVI.

If three bodies, the forces of which decrease in the square ratio of the distances, mutually

attract each other; and the accelerative attractions of any two on the third shall be

reciprocally as the square of the distances; moreover with the smaller ones revolving

around the greatest : I say that the inner of the two bodies revolving about the innermost

and greatest body, by the radii drawn to the innermost itself, describes areas more

proportional to the times, and a figure of an elliptic form, by having more of the radii

meeting at the focus, if the greatest body may be disturbed by these attractions, than it

would if that greatest body either was at rest and not attracted by the smaller bodies, or if

it were attracted much more or much less, or disturbed much more or much less.

It may almost be evident from the demonstration of the second corollary of the

foregoing proposition ; but it may be established thus by a more widely compelling and

distinct argument.

Case 1 The smaller bodies P and S may be revolving in the same plane about the greatest

body T, of which P may be described in the inner orbit PAB, and S in the outer orbit ESE.

[Note that S may be presumed to be the sun, and is small only because of the great

distance, while P is the moon revolving around the earth T in an almost circular orbit;

also, point masses are assumed for these bodies.]

Let SK be the mean distance of the bodies P and S; and the attractive acceleration of the

body P towards S, at that average distance, may be expressed by the same line SK;

[Thus, as in all of Newton's dynamics, some lines are geometrical lengths, others are

forces or attractive accelerations, and some act as both, we will prefix some line sections

by a word or short phrase not present in the original text, containing the word line or

attractive acceleration or simply force if there is confusion ; in this case the line SK

defines the unit of attractive acceleration, or force per unit mass.]

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 307

The ratio of the attractive accelerations SL to SK may be taken in the same square ratio

SK to SP, and SL will be the attractive acceleration of the body P towards S at some

distance SP.

[i.e. the attractive accelerations on the body P due to S are :

2

2

SL

SK

SP SK

=

, so that when P is

at the average distance, the force SL

the force SL

is greater than the average and if P is more distant, i.e. if SP > SK, then the

force SL

J oin PT, and the line LM acts parallel to that line crossing ST in M, [which may need to

be extended as here when SP < SK ]; and the attractive acceleration SL may be resolved

(by Corol. 2 of the laws) into the attractions and SM LM

. And thus the body P will be

urged by three accelerative forces.

[i.e. LS LM MS = +

gives two of the forces, and PT

is the other.]

One force [ PT

bodies T and P. By this force alone the body P must describe equal areas in proportional

times with the radius PT about the body T, either fixed, or disturbed by this attraction,

and in an ellipse the focus for which is at the centre of the body T. This is apparent from

Prop. XI, and the Corollaries 2 and 3 of Theorem XXI.

The second force is by the attraction of the force LM, which because it attracts from P

to T, may be added onto the first force and will coincide with that [in direction], and thus

might bring about that the areas even still may be described in proportional times by

Corol. 3 of Theorem XXI. But because it is not inversely proportional to the square of the

distance PT, this force adding together with the first force differs from that proportion,

and this with a greater variation; by which the proportion of this force is greater than the

first force, with all else being equal.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 308

[Note 495 adapted, L & J . : For from the construction,

2

2

SL

SK SL

SK

SP SK

= =

, and thus

3

3

SK SL SK SL

SK SP SP

SP

.

SL LM

SP PT

= ; hence

3

3

SK LM

PT

SP

= , and therefore the force LM

is as

3

3

SK

SP

PT

, or with SK given, as

3

1

SP

PT

;

from which with the distance PT increased, so the force LM

will increase]

Hence since (by Prop. XI, and by Corol. 2 of Theorem XXI.) the force, by which an

ellipse will be described about a focus T must attract towards that focus, and to be in the

inverse square ratio of the distance PT; but that composite force, erring from that

proportion, so makes the orbit PAB err from the elliptic form having a focus at T; and

with that the more, so that from which the departure is greater from that proportion ; and

thus also by how much greater is the proportion of the second force LM to the first force,

with all else being equal.

Now indeed the third force SM, by attracting the body P along a line parallel to the

line ST itself, together with the previous forces comprises a force, which is no longer

directed from P to T; and which may differ so much more from this determination, when

the proportion of this third force to the former forces is greater, with all else being equal

: and thus which will cause the areas no longer to be described by the body P in

proportional times, with the radius TP ; and as the aberration from this proportionality

may be so much greater, when the proportion of this third force to the other forces is

greater. Truly the third force will increase the aberration of the orbit PAB from the

previous elliptic form in a two fold manner, because that force is not directed from P to

T, and also because it shall not be inversely proportional to the square of the distance PT.

[Note 496, L & J . : For PT is to ST as the force LM is to the force SM, but from the

previous note, the force LM is as

3

3

SK PT

SP

3

3

SK ST

SP

. Whereby

the force SM, with SK and ST given, is as

3

1

SP

.]

With which understood, it is evident, that the areas are made maximally in proportion to

the times when the third force shall be a minimum, with the rest of the forces remaining

constant; and so that the orbit PAB then can approach maximally to the previous elliptic

form, where both the second force as well as the third, but particularly the third force,

shall be a minimum, with the first force remaining.

[Extra diagram and notes for this T based system : Black lines are geometric lines; green

lines are forces exerted by S on T and on P; red lines are components of the excess or

deficient force of S on P, resolved along PT and SN; PT and ST are overlapping lines.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 309

Here we have detached the components of the PS force acting on P in our coloured

diagram, showing the three forces considered acting on P ; we note that T(erra) the

earth, is acted on by the S(un) directly at a great distance, by the force SN

, moving

slowly at a great distance, and so slowly pulling the two-body system slowly through a

complete circle; and by the moon directly at P by the force variable force PT

, while the

force of the sun on the moon at P, (with the average force SK

during its orbit, to the indirect forces acting on the earth, and LM SN

. These are the

three forces per unit mass acting on P, and so really are accelerations, or gravitational

field strengths. Also, the perturbing force on P at the position shown is LT LS TS =

, the

difference of the moon-sun and the earth-sun accelerations ;and note that T is the centre

of gravity of the body, while N is the position of the focus of the elliptical orbit of P.

It is interesting to

observe the

progression of

Newton's figure,

of which he must

have been very

proud, as it

provides so much

information, and it expresses one of these happy moments in physics where a lot of ideas

suddenly tumble out into the light from some obscure place, and at least a qualitative

understanding of a situation can be grasped. Above is the diagram from the first edition

of the Principia, where SL is the

perturbing force.

And here on the left is the diagram

from Brougham and Routh's book,

where the original quadrilateral

PLSM has become the parallelogram

MLNE. However, they have not

shown the resultant perturbing force.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 310

And here is a later diagram from a 19

th

century book, that I have borrowed from the

useful article on Lunar Theory, from

that wonderful resource Wikipedia,

for which we must thank the

anonymous provider. Note that two

opposite positions have now been put

in place, one with the gravitational

acceleration of the sun on the moon

greater, and other less, than the

gravitational acceleration of the earth.

Finally, here is a modern diagram from the same source,

showing essentially the tidal forces on a particle in orbit or

on the earth's surface at various positions.

End of translator's note. Back to Newton]

The attractive acceleration of the body T towards S may be represented by the line SN;

and if the accelerative attractions SM and SN were equal to each other; these, by

attracting the bodies T and P equally along parallel lines, would make no change in the

positions of these relative to each other. Now the motions of these bodies would be the

same between each other (by Corol. VI of the laws) as if these attractions were removed.

And by similar reasoning, if the attraction SN were less than with the attraction SM, that

part of the attractive force SN of SM itself may be removed, and only the part MN may

remain, by which the proportions of the times and of the areas, and by which the elliptic

form may be disturbed. And similarly if the attraction SN should be greater than the

attraction SM, there may arise from the difference only the perturbation force MN of the

proportionality of the orbit.

Thus, by the attraction SN,

the attraction of the third

body always reduces the

third attraction SM above to

the attraction MN, with the

first and second attractions

completely unchanged [thus, the common part of the attraction can be ignored, leaving

only the part corresponding to the force MN] : and therefore the proportionality for the

areas and the times also remain unchanged, and the orbit PAB then approaches as close as

possible to the previous elliptic form, when the attraction MN either is zero, or that shall

be made as small as possible ; or, when the accelerative attractions of the bodies P and T,

made towards the body S approach as close as possible to being equal ; i.e., when the

attraction SN is not zero, nor smaller than the minimum attraction of all SM, but as if it

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 311

were a mean between all of the maximum and minimum attractions of SM, not much

greater nor much less than the attraction SK. Q.E.D.

Case 2. Now the smaller bodies P and S may rotate about the largest body T in

different planes [or, the new plane of the ellipse PAB is inclined to the above plane STP,

which we can imagine as fixed]; and the force LM, by acting along the line PT situated in

the plane of the orbit PAB, will have the same effect as before, nor will the body P be

disturbed from its orbital plane

[by this force]. [That is, the

force SP is now resolved into

components in the new plane

SPT .] But the other force NM,

by acting along a line which

shall be parallel to ST itself, is

(and therefore when the body S

may be situated beyond the line of the nodes, to be inclined to the orbital plane PAB)

besides the perturbation of the motion in longitude that now has explained before, may

lead to a perturbation of the motion in latitude, by drawing the body P from its own

orbital plane. [Thus, the forces and ST MN

no longer lie in the same plane, and an extra

perturbation arises changing the angle of this plane to the fixed plane]. And this

perturbation, in some given situation of the bodies P and T to one another, will be as that

force generating MN, and thus may emerge the minimum when MN is minimal, that is (as

I have just explained) where the attraction SN is not much greater, nor much less than the

attraction SK. Q.E.D.

[The first ten corollaries that follow give qualitative arguments about the kinds of

motions that can arise between the three bodies. People normally agree that the

explanations supplied by Newton are quite inadequate for a proper understanding of the

subject, and that he retained the accompanying analytical derivations that he had worked

out; see Chandrasekhar on this point, at least until Book III. We offer here as part of this

qualitative understanding, some of the notes supplied by Leseur & J anquier in their

edition of the Principia. We will indicate briefly what each corollary sets out to establish

if this is not apparent at once ; the whole theory can be applied to the moon as P, S as the

sun, and T as the earth, but is presented in a more general way. Most of the technical

terms used in the following can be found on line in the 1911 eleventh edition of the

Encyclopaedia Britannica (Cambridge University Press), and from various astronomy

websites. ]

Corol. 1. [This corollary indicates that the inner body is affected less by the disturbing

force; Newton show in Prop. XXVI of Book III that the components of this force acting

along and perpendicular to the radius at a given point, for each body in orbit around T,

are in fact proportional to this radius.]

From these it is easily deduced, that if several smaller bodies P, S, R, &c. may be

revolving around the greatest body T, the motions of the innermost body P will be

disturbed minimally by the attractions of the exterior bodies, where the greatest body T

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 312

with all other things being equal, for a given ratio of the accelerative forces, is attracted

and disturbed by the others, and as are the lesser bodies mutually between themselves.

Corol.2. [This corollary indicates that the 'constant' areas are in fact slightly more at the

syzygies and slightly less by the same amount at the quadratures.]

For in a system of three bodies T, P, S, if the accelerative attractions of any two on the

third shall be to each other inversely as the square of the distances ; the body P, with the

radius PT, describes an area about the body T faster on account of the nearby conjunction

A and the opposition B, than near the quadratures [i.e. the perpendicular positions on the

diagram above] C, D. For all the force by which the body P may be acted on, (and the

body T is not acted on, and which does not act along the line PT), either accelerates or

retards the description of the areas, thus as the bodies come together or are moving apart.

Such is the force NM. This, in the passage of the body P fromC to A, attracts as a

forward motion, and the motion accelerates; then as far as to D in moving apart, the

motion is retarded; then acting together as far as to B, and finally by acting in opposition

in passing from B to C.

[Note 498 from L & J : Such is the force NM.... If we may suppose the orbit CADB to be

almost a circle, and the distance SD a maximum with respect to the radius PT, there will

be almost SC SK ST SN = = = , and hence NM TM = . Again with the body P at the

quadratures C and D, there is SC SP SK = = ; whereby since there shall be

2

2

SL SK

SP SK

=

,

by the construction of

Prop.66, , there will be

SL SK SC = = at the

quadratures and LM

coincides with CT or PT,

and thus TM or NM

vanishes. Therefore there

will be no difference in the forces SM and SN at the quadratures, and thus the body P is

disturbed by the remaining forces, and is attracted towards the centre T, describes there

by the radius drawn, areas proportional to the times : [we can think of both T and P

accelerating equally towards S at these points, and the non-central force corresponding to

LM is taken as negligible.] Moreover, when the body P is in the hemisphere CAD beyond

the quadratures, the force SM is greater than the force SN and the body P is drawn by the

difference of the forces along a direction parallel to TS itself.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 313

Let Pm be equal and parallel to NM itself, and by sending from m a perpendicular to

the radius TP produced, the force Pm, or NM, is resolved into the two forces Pn and nm,

the former of which Pn by drawing along the direction of the radius TP, the motion of the

body P does not change in longitude i.e. the rate at which the angle P rotates through in

its orbit, nor will it disturb the equality of the area described; truly the latter force nm, by

attracting along the direction of the line nm, perpendicular to the radius TP, that is, along

the direction of the tangent at P, accelerates the motion in the longitude in the first

quadrant CA and retards it in the second quadrant AD. [Assuming the northern

hemisphere view as an anticlockwise rotation of P about T.]

In the other hemisphere DBC, the force SM is less than the force SN, because the body

P is at a greater distance from the body S than the body T, from which if the perturbing

forces may be considering only on the body P, the difference of the forces SM and SN

will be negative or taken away, or because it is the same force, acting in the opposite

direction. For both the bodies T and P may be considered to be urged by the force SN

equal and parallel to itself everywhere, and they can move among themselves as if all that

force were absent, by Cor. 6. of the laws of motion; The body P may be drawn by the

force NM along the opposite direction to the force SN, and by that action the motion of

the bodies will be changed between themselves; but also by that action the force SN

which was being considered to draw the body P, has been reduced to the force SM ,

which is the reverse force acting while the force SN acts on T. Therefore if the motion of

the bodies T and P may be judged between themselves, so that the body P may be urged

by the difference of the forces NM, acting in the opposite direction in the hemisphere, the

true changes in the motions of the bodies T and P between themselves will be obtained.

arising from the actions SN and SM. Finally, the body P may be considered in the

hemisphere DBC as if urged by the force NM along the direction Pm parallel to NM itself

by acting from P towards m; and thus, if the force Pm may be resolved into two forces as

has been done in the other hemisphere, it is evident the longitudinal motion will be

accelerated in the quadrant DB, and retarded in the quadrant BC.]

Corol.3. And by the same argument it is apparent that the body P, with all else being

equal, will be moving faster in conjunction and in opposition than at quadrature. [But as

we have seen above, in opposite directions.]

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 314

Corol. 4. For the orbit of the body P, with all else being equal, is more curved at

quadrature than in conjunction and opposition. For swifter bodies are deflected less from

a straight path. And in addition the force KL, or NM, in conjunction and in opposition is

opposite to the force, by which the body T attracts the body P; and thus that force is

decreased; but the body P is deflected less from a right path, where it is less urged

towards the body T.

[Note 499, L & J : And besides the force KL......With everything in place as above, the

right lines SL and SM are almost parallel, and hence TM PL = and

LM PT = approximately; whereby P coincides with A and K with T, there becomes

LM AT PK = = , and NM or TM PL AT KL = + + , and NM LM KL = , that is, the

whole disturbing force by which the body P in conjunction with A is withdrawn from the

body towards S, is as KL approximately ; for the force LM attracting P towards T and by

the force NM is withdrawn from the body T towards S. Likewise it may be shown in the

same manner, with the body P in opposition to the position B. ]

Corol. 5. From which the body P, with all else being equal, departs further from the body

T at the quadratures, than at conjunction and at opposition [i.e. the elliptical shape is

made slightly prolate from perturbation]. These thus are considered with the exclusion of

the eccentricity from the motion. For if the orbit of the body P shall be exocentric, the

eccentricity of that (as will be shown in Corol. 9 of this work soon) emerges the

maximum when the apsides are at the syzygies ; and thus it is possible to happen that the

body P, calling at the greater apside, may be further from the body T at the syzygies than

at the quadratures.

[Note 499q, L & J : From which the body P, ...... For since the orbit of the body P shall be

more curved at the quadratures C or D than at the syzygies A and B (by Corollary 4), it is

necessary, with all else equal, that at the syzygies A and B shall be more squeezed than at

the quadratures C and D to the image of the ellipse, the centre of which shall be T, CD

the major axis, and AB the minor axis. Thus, these may be found if , with the exclusion of

the perturbing forces, the orbit of the body P were a circle of which the centre were T.]

Corol. 6. [In which changes in the Kepler Law III are accounted for in terms of

perturbing factors. This is really a 'second order' effect : see Chandrasekhar p. 245 for a

detailed account.]

Because the centripetal force of the central body T, by which the body P may be held

in its orbit, is increased at the quadratures by the addition of the force LM, and

diminished at the syzygies by taking away the force KL, and on account of the magnitude

of the force KL being greater than LM, it is more diminished more [at A and B ]than

increased [at C and D]; but that centripetal force (by Corol. 1. Prop. IV.) is in a ratio

compounded from the simple ratio of the radius TP directly and from the ratio of the

inverse of the square of the time [i.e.

2

radius

period

PT

C.F. ]: it is apparent that the

compounded ratio be diminished by the action of the force KL; and thus the periodic

time, if the radius of the orbit TP may remain, to be increased, and that in the square root

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 315

ratio, by which that centripetal force is diminished: and thus by diminishing or increasing

this radius, the periodic time becomes greater, or to be diminished less than in the three

on two power of this radius (by Corol. VI. Prop. IV.) If that force of the central body

were to become gradually weaker, the body P attracted always less and less continually

recedes further from the centre T; and on the other hand, if that force were increased it

would draw closer. Therefore if the action of the distant body S, by which that force is

diminished, were increased and diminished in turn: likewise the radius TP will be

increased and diminished in turn; and the periodic time will be increased and diminished

in a ratio composed from the three on two power of the radius, and from the square root

ratio by which that centripetal force of the central body T; by increasing or decreasing the

action of the distant body S, is diminished or increased.

[Note 500, L & J : And because the magnitude of the force KL, ...... If the mean distance

SK or ST were made large with respect to the radius of the orbit TP of the orbit PAB, in

some position of the body P, the force LM will be approximately to the force NM as the

whole sine to the triple sine of the angle of the distance of the body P from the

quadrature. For on account of the increase of the distance of the body S (by hypothesis)

the lines SL and SM are almost parallel and hence

or and LM PT , NM TM PL, SP SK = = = ; and since ST shall be perpendicular to the line

of the quadratures CD, also SK will be normal to the same line, and with the radius PT

present, PK will be the sine of the angle PTC, that is, the sine of the of the angle of the

distance of the body P from the quadrature C approximately. Again (by Prop. 66)

2

2

SL SK

SK

SP

= , and thus

2 2

2

SL SK SK SP

SK

SP

= , that is,

2 2

2 2 2 SP SP KL PK PK

SK SP SK

SP SP

PK SK PK = + = = = , on account of

and 2 SK SP, SK SP SP. = + = Whereby there will be 2 KL PK = , and PL or 3 NM PK = ,

that is, the force LM or PT to the force NM or PL as the whole sine PT to 3PK the triple

sine of the angle of the distance of the body P from the nearby quadrature.

Extra L & J Corollary: The (extra) force KL at the conjunction A, is to the similar force

K'L' at the opposition B K' and L' are not shown, almost as AT to TB; i.e.

KL AT

K' M TB

= ,

[for the extra force F

A

at A is proportional to

( )

2 2 2 2

1 1

AT ST SA

SA ST SA .ST

+

= , while the extra force

F

B

at B is proportional in the same way to

( )

2 2 2 2

1 1

BT ST SB

SB ST SB .ST

+

= in the opposite direction

; hence

( )

( )

( )

( )

2 2

2 2

1

1

AT ST SA

ST

SA SA .ST A

BT ST SB ST

B

SB

SB .ST

F

SB TA TA

F TB SA TB

+

+

+

+

= = , as SA, ST, and ST are almost equal. ] and if

the orbit PAB were circular or almost circular, the force KL at the syzygies will be almost

twice as great as the force LM at the quadratures. For with the body P turning about the

syzygies, there shall be PK AT PT LM = = = , and hence NM or PL becomes

3 and 2 LM, KL LM. = = Yet with the same positions, the force NM is a maximum at the

syzygies, because there PK becomes a maximum or it emerges AT = , and 3 NM AT. =

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 316

From which on account of the magnitude of the forceKL, the centripetal force of the

central body T is more diminished than augmented, and thus is to be thought to be

diminished by the action of the body S.]

Corol. 7. [In which the detailed motion of the apsidal line is discussed.]

Also from what has been

presented it follows, that the

axis of the ellipse described by

the body P, or the line of the

apsides, as far as the angular

motion is concerned, in turn

moves forwards and

backwards, but yet it progresses more forwards than backwards, and by the excess of the

progression in succession it is carried forwards. For the force which acts on the body T at

the quadratures, where the force MN vanishes, is composed from the force LM and the

centripetal force, by which the body T attracts the body P. The former force LM, if the

distance PT may be increased, may be increased in almost the same ratio with this

distance, and the latter force decreases in that square ratio, and thus the sum of the two

forces decreases in less than in the square ratio of the distance PT, and therefore (by

Corol. I. Prop. XLV.) effects that the upper or greater apside, may be regressing. Truly in

conjunction and in opposition the force, by which the body P is urged towards the body

T, is the difference between the forces, by which the body T attracts the body P, and the

force KL ; and that difference, because that force KL may be increased approximately in

the ratio of the distance PT, decreases in more than the inverse square of the distance PT,

and thus (by Corol. I Prop. XLV.) has the effect that the greater apside progresses. In the

places between the syzygies [or conjunctions] and the quadratures the motion may

depend on increases from both causes taken together, and thus so that either from the

excess of one or the other it may progress or regress. From which since the force KL at

the syzygies shall be as if twice as large as the force LM at the quadratures, the excess

will belong to the force KL, and an increase will be carried forwards in succession. But

the truth of this and of the preceding corollary may be understood more easily by

considering the system of the two bodies T and P with several bodies S, S, S, &c. in place

in the orbit ESE, surrounded on every side. In as much as the action of T with the actions

of these may reduce the action of T on both sides, and it may decrease in a ratio more

than the square of the distance.

Corol. 8. [In which the motion of the apsidal line is discussed at the syzygies and at the

quadratures].

But since the progression or regression of the apsides depends on the decrease of the

centripetal force, that is, being made in either a greater or lesser ratio than in the square

ratio of the distanceTP, in the transition of the body from the lower apside [i.e. closer to

the focus of the ellipse] to the higher apside; and thus it shall be a maximum when the

proportion of the force at the higher apside to the force at the lower apside departs in the

inverse square of the distances ; it is evident that the apsides in the conjunctions of this,

by removing the force KL orNM LM , to be progressing faster, and at their quadratures

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 317

to recede slower, by the addition of the force LM. Truly on account of the long period of

time, in which the velocity of the progression or the slow regression may be continued,

this inequality becomes maximally long.

Corol. 9. [In which the variation of the eccentricity is discussed].

If some body, by some force inversely proportional to the square of its distance from

the centre, may be revolving about this centre in an ellipse ; and soon, in descending from

the upper apside or by increasing from the lower apside, that force may be increasing to a

new force by always approaching in a ratio diminishing more than the square of the

distance: it is evident that the body, by always approaching towards the centre by the

impulse of that new force, may be inclined more towards the centre, than if it were acted

on only by the decrease in the square ratio of the distance ; and thus it may describe a

more inner elliptic orbit, and at the inner apside it may accelerate closer to the centre than

before. Therefore this orbit by the influence of this new force, may become more

exocentric. If now the force, in the recession of the body from the lower apside to the

upper apside, may decrease in the same steps by which before it had increased, may

return the body to the former distance, and thus if the force may decrease in a greater

ratio, now the body attracted less may ascend to a greater distance and thus the

eccentricity of the orbit will be increased even more at this stage. Whereby if the ratio of

the increase and decrease of the individual centripetal force may be increased in the

rotations, the eccentricity will always be increased; and on the other hand, that will be

decreased the same, if that ratio may decrease.

Now truly in a system of bodies T, P, S, when the apsides of the orbit PAB are at the

quadratures, that ratio of the increase and decrease is a minimum, and it shall be a

maximum when the apsides are in conjunction [syzygies]. If the apsides may be set up at

the quadratures, the ratio near the apsides is smaller, and near the syzygies greater than

the square of the distances, and

from that increased ratio a direct

motion or the line of the apsides

arises, as had been said just

now. But if the ratio of all the

increase or decrease may be

considered in the motion

between the apsides, this is less than the square of the distances. The force at the lower

apside is to the force at the upper apside in a ratio less than the square of the distance of

the upper apside from the focus of the ellipse to the distance of the lower apside from the

same focus: and conversely, when the apsides may be put in place at the syzygies, the

force at the lower apside is to the force at the upper in a ratio greater than the square of

the distances. For the forces LM added at the quadratures to the forces of the body T

compound forces in a smaller ratio, and the forces KL at the syzygies taken from the

forces of the body T leave forces in a greater ratio. Therefore the ratio of the whole

decrease and increase, in passing between the apsides, is a minimum at the quadratures

and a maximum at the syzygies: and therefore it will always be increased in the passing

of the apsides from the quadratures to the syzygies, and the ellipse increases in

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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eccentricity; and in the transition from the syzygies to the quadratures the ratio will

always be diminished, and the eccentricity diminished.

Corol.10. [In which the variation of the inclination is discussed].

In order that we may enter into the error [i.e. the nature of the disturbing forces] in the

latitude, we may imagine the plane of the orbit EST to remain at rest; and the cause of the

errors is evident from the exposition, because from the forces NM and ML, which are that

whole cause, the force ML by always acting along the plane of the orbit PAB, at no time

disturbs the motion in the latitude ; each force NM, when the nodes are at the syzygies,

also may be acting along the same plane of the orbit, and so does not disturb this motion

either ; truly when the bodies are at the quadratures, this force disturbs these motions

greatly, and the body P is always attracted from the plane of its orbit, it diminishes the

inclination of the plane in the passage of the body from the quadratures to the syzygies,

and it may augment the same in turn in the passage from the syzygies to the quadratures.

From which it may be that with the body present at the syzygies the smallest inclination

of all may emerge, and it may be returned to the former magnitude almost, when the body

approaches close to a node. But if the nodes may be put in place at the octants after the

quadrants, that is between C and A, V and H, it may be understood from the manner

shown, that in the transition of the body P from either body thus to 90

0

, the inclination of

the plane is continually diminished; then in a transition through approximately 45

0

, as far

as to the nearest quadrant, the inclination will be increased, and again it is diminished

after passing through another transition of 45

0

, as far as to the nearest node. And thus the

inclination is diminished more than it is increased, and therefore it is always less in the

subsequent node than at the preceding one. An by similar reasoning, the inclination is

increased more than it is diminished, when the nodes are in the alternate octants between

A and D, B and C. Therefore the greatest inclination of all is when the nodes are at the

syzygies. In the passage of these from the syzygies to the quadratures, the inclination of

the body is diminished by the individual influences to the nodes ; and it shall be the least

all when the nodes are at the quadrants, and the body at the syzygies: then the inclination

increases by the same steps by which previously it decreased; and under the influences

[of the other bodies acting] it reverts to the original magnitude with the nodes at the

nearby syzygies.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 319

[Note 507 L & J : If the nodes of the body P are situated at the quadratures C and D, the

angle of inclination of the orbit to the fixed plane EST is always diminished in the

passage of the body from the quadratures to the syzygies, truly to be enlarged in the

passage of the body from the syzygies to the quadratures, and in each passage the nodes

are regressed. For let CAD be the part of the orbit PAB raised higher above the fixed

plane of the orbit EST, and truly CBD may be understood to be the part depressed below ;

through the place of the body P the right line Pm acts parallel to the line TS, showing the

direction of the force NM, and the body P may be carried first from a node or quadrature

to the conjunction A, and because the body P is urged by the force of rotation through the

arc Pp, in an element of time, by the force put in place, it will describe the line element

P which is not in the plane CPT, but curved away from that towards Pm, and thus the

body is moving in the plane TP that produced with the plane EST does not cross at C

but beyond C towards the opposition B. With centre C and interval TP the circle CaDb is

described in the plane EST, in the plane CPD the arc of the circle PC, and in the plane

TP the arc Pc crossing the circle CaDb at c. And because the force NM is a minimum

with respect to the force of rotation of the body P, the angle CPc, of the inclination of the

planes CPT and cPT is the smallest possible or infinitesimal, and the arc Pc only differs

from the arc PC by an infinitesimal quantity; whereby since, by hypothesis, the arc PC

differs from the quadrant CA by a finite amount PA, the sum of the arcs PC and Pc is less

than a semicircle, and hence in the spherical triangle CPC, the exterior angle PCa (by

Prop.13 of the Sphericorum of Menelaus, or by the Sphericorum of Wolf) is greater than

the internal angle PcC, that is, the inclination of the plane cPT to the plane EST is less

than the inclination of the plane CPT to the same plane EST. Therefore in the passage of

the body P from the quadrature C to the conjunction A the inclination of the orbit is

always diminished, and because the node C is transferred to c, there becomes because of

the way in which the rotation of the body, the nodes are returned. In the same way the

diminution of the inclination and the nodes to be returned in the passage of the body from

the quadrature D to the opposite B is demonstrated. Now the body may be carried from

the conjunction A to the vicinity of the quadrature D, and at some place P, by the squared

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force, certainly it is urged by the

force of rotation through the arc Pp

and by the force NM along the

right line Pm, and thus it will

describe the line element P ,

which leans towards Pm from the

arc Pp. Whereby if from the centre

T and with the radius TP, three

arcs PD, aD, and Pd are described, in the same way it will be shown that the node D to

be transferred to the previous at d, and the angle Pda to be greater than the angle the

internal angle PDd, that is, the inclination of the orbit is to be augmented in the transition

of the body P, from the conjunction to the nearby quadrature, and in the same way it is

shown to happen in the transition from the opposition B to the quadrature C. Q.e.d.]

Corol. 11. [In which the variation of the ascending node is discussed].

Because the body P, when the nodes are in the quadratures, are perpetually attracted

from the plane of its orbit, and that in part towards S in its transition from the node C

through the conjunction A to the node D ; and in the opposite part in the transition from

the node D through the opposition B to the node C : it is evident, that in its motion from

the node C the body constantly recedes from the orbit of its first plane CD, until then it

has arrived at the nearest node; and thus at this node, with the greatest distance from that

first plane CD, it passes through the plane of the orbit EST not in its plane with the other

node D, but at some point thence it turns in the direction of the body S, each hence is

turning towards the new position of a node. And by a similar argument the nodes go on to

recede in the transition of the body from this node to the neighbouring node. Therefore

the nodes continually recede from the quadratures put in place; the nodes are at rest at the

syzygies, where nothing in the latitude disturbs the motion; at the intermediate positions,

participants of each condition, the nodes recede more slowly: and thus, always either by

receding, or by stationary individual revolutions, they are carried to the preceding nodes.

Corol.12. All these errors described in these corollaries are a little greater at the

conjunction of the bodies P and S, than at the opposition of these; and that on account of

the greater generating forces NM and ML.

Corol. 13. [In which the motion of the body S, so far ignored, is discussed].

Whenever ratios of these corollaries do not depend on the magnitude of the body S, all

the preceding will be obtained, when only the magnitude of the body S is put in place, so

that the system of the two bodies T and P may be rotating about the centre of this. And

from the increase in the body S, and thus with the increase of the centripetal force, from

which the errors of the body P arise, all these errors emerge, with the distances greater in

this case than in the other, where the body S is revolving around the system of the bodies

P and T.

Corol.14. [In which the formula for S's perturbation is introduced].

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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But since the forces NM and ML, when the body S is remote, shall be approximately

as the force SK and the ratio PT to ST conjointly, that is, if there may be given both the

distance PT, as well as the absolute force of the body S, inversely as ST cubed ; but these

forces NM and ML the cause of all the errors and effects, which have been acted on in

the preceding corollaries: it is evident, that these have affected everything, with the

system of the bodies T and P in place, and only with the distance ST chanced and with the

absolute force of the body S, shall be composed approximately in the ratio from the direct

ratio of the absolute force of the body S, and inversely in the triplicate ratio of the inverse

distance ST. From which if the system of bodies T and P may be revolving about the

distant body S; these forces NM and ML, and the effects of these will be will be (by

Corol. 2. and 6, Prop. IV.) reciprocally in the square ratio of the periodic times. And

thence also, if the magnitude of the body S shall be the proportional of the absolute force

itself, these forces NM and ML and the effects of these, shall be directly as the cube of

the apparent diameter of the distant body S observed from the body T, and conversely.

For these ratios are the same, and composed from the above ratio.

[Note 512, L & J : On account of the great distance of the body S, LS will be almost

parallel to MS, and SN ST SK = = , and ML PT = ; and because NM at the syzygies is as

ML at the quadratures. If increased or diminished by the action of the body S, the orbit

CADB hence together with the depending lines PT, NM, ML may be increased or

diminished (by Cor.6 of this Prop. 66) , these three lines will be increased or diminished

in almost the same ratio between themselves (with all else being equal). But the force ML

to the force SK is as the right line ML to the right line SK, or approximately as PT to ST ;

whereby the force ML (and thus also the force NM) is nearly as the force SK and the ratio

PT to AD, jointly that is, if the accelerative force SK may be called A, as

A PT

ST

. Again

with the given absolute force of the body S, the accelerative force A at the distance SK or

ST is as

2

1

ST

( by hypothesis). Whereby the forces NM, ML, with the given absolute force

of the body S, are as

3

PT

ST

; that is (if the distance PT may be given), inversely as

3

ST .

Indeed if the variable shall be the absolute force V of the body S, the accelerative force A

will be as directly as the absolute force and inversely as the square of the distance ST, (for

with the absolute force of the body S, the accelerative force is inversely as

2

ST , and with

the distance ST remaining, the accelerative force is as the absolute force directly, and

therefore likewise with the variations of the absolute force and the distance, the

accelerative force is as the absolute force directly and the square of the distance

inversely). Whereby if in place of the accelerative force A that ratio composed from the

factor

A PT

ST

3

V PT

ST

, or

with PT given, as

3

V

ST

, that is in a ratio composed from the direct ratio of the absolute

force of the body S, and from the inverse cube of the distance ST. But the absolute force

of the body S, is as shown in the ratio composed of the accelerative force A and the

square of the distance ST, and the accelerative force A at the distance ST is (by Corol.2

Prop. 4) in a ratio composed from the direct ratio of the distance ST and in the inverse

square ratio of the periodic time of the body T around S to the distance ST of the circle

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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described, and thus the absolute force of the body S is as the cube of the distance ST

directly, and the square of the periodic time of the body T inversely. Whereby the forces

NM, ML (and the effects of these) which are directly as the absolute force, and inversely

as the cube of the distances, are inversely in the square ratio of the periodic times of the

body T. End of note.]

Corol. 15. [In which Newton infers

the proportionality of perturbing

force to the radius of the orbit of P

about T.]

And because if, with the forms

of the orbits ESE and PAB, with

the proportions and inclination to each other remaining constant, the magnitude of these

may be changed, and if the forces on the bodies S and T may either remain or be changed

in some given ratio; these forces (that is, the force of the body T, by which the body may

be deflected from a straight path into the orbit PAB, and the force of the body S, from

which the same body P is forced to deviate from that) always act in the same way, and in

the same proportion: it is necessary that all effects shall be similar and the times of the

effects to be proportional; that is, so that all linear errors shall be as the diameters of the

orbits, truly the angles shall be as at first, and the times of similar linear errors, or equal

angular errors, shall be as the periodic times of the orbits.

[Note from L & J : That is, if the absolute forces of the bodies S and T either may remain

or be changed in some given ratio, and the magnitude thus may change of the orbits ESE

and PAB, so that it may always remain similar to the orbit ESE itself, thus also so that of

the orbit PAB itself, and the inclination of these orbits may not change, nor the proportion

of the ratio of the axis of one orbit to the axes of another or of any lines whatever in one

orbit to the homologous lines in another orbit. End of L & J note.

Translator's note : these are not errors as we now understand the word, but disturbances

by forces that alter the orbits in some way.]

Corol.16. [In which the mean motion of the increase of the line of apses and the mean

regression of the line of ascending nodes are to be the same, apart from sign].

From which, if the forms of the orbits and the inclination to each other may be given,

and the magnitudes, forces and distances of the bodies may be changed in some manner ;

from the given errors and from the errors in the times in one case, the errors and the error

in the time can be deduced closely : but this is shorter by this method. The forces NM and

ML, with the rest remaining, are as the radius TP, and the periodic effects of these (by

Corol. 2, Lemma X.) as the forces and the squares of the periodic times of the body P

taken together. These are the linear errors [disturbing the orbit] of the body P; and hence

the angular errors have been viewed from the centre T (that is, both the motion of the

apsides and of the nodes, as well as all the errors appearing from the longitude and

latitude), in whatever revolution of the body P, as the square of the time of revolution

approximately. These ratios may be taken together with the ratios of Corollary XlV and

in some system of the bodies T, P, S, where P is revolving around the vicinity of T itself,

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and T around the distant body S, the angular errors of the body P, appearing from the

centre T, will be, in the individual revolutions of that body P, as the squares of the

periodic times of the body P directly and the square of the periodic time of the body T

inversely. And thence the mean motion of the apsides will be in a given ratio to the mean

motion of the nodes ; and each motion will be as the periodic time of the body P directly

and the square of the periodic time of the body T inversely. By increasing or lessening the

eccentricity and the inclination of the orbit PAB, the motion of the apsides and of the

nodes are not changed appreciably, unless where the same are exceedingly large.

Corol. 17. [In which the gravitational

forces of S and T may be compared

with their distances and periods].

But since the line LM may now be

greater, then less than the radius PT,

the mean force LM may be expressed

by that radius PT; and [from the

similar triangles SPT and SLM] this will be to the mean force SK or SN (that is allowed to

express by ST [recall that N is the focus of the elliptical orbit of P, T the centre of gravity

of the fixed body T ]) as the length PT to the length ST.

[i.e.

LM PT

SK ST

= ]

But the mean force SN or ST, by which the body T is held in its orbit around S, to the

force, by which the body P is held in its orbit around in T, is in a ratio compounded from

the ratio of the radius ST to the radius PT, and the square ratio of the periodic time of the

body P around T [which confusingly I have called T], to the periodic time of the body T

[t] around S.

[i.e.

( )

2 ST

ST T

PT t

PT

.]

And from the equality, the mean force LM to the force, by which the body P in held in its

orbit around T (or by which the same body P, in the same periodic time may be able to

revolve around some fixed point T at a distance PT) is in that square ratio of the periodic

times. Therefore with the given periodic times together with the distance PT, the mean

force LM may be given; and with that given, the force MN is also given approximately

by the analogy of the lines PT and MN.

Corol. 18. [Some relevant outcomes of the theory are now discussed, relating to the tides

and associated matters, in the final corollaries. These are of considerable interest].

From the same laws, by which the body P is revolving about the body T, we may

imagine many fluid bodies to be moving around the same body T at equal distances from

that; then from these made touching each other a ring of fluid may be formed, round and

concentric to the body T; and the individual parts of the ring, on completing all their

motion according to the law of the body P, approach closer to the body T, and faster at

the conjunction and opposition of these and the body S, than at the quadratures. And the

nodes of this annulus, or the intersections of this with the plane of the orbiting body S or

T, are at rest at the syzygies ; truly beyond the syzygies they will be moving as before,

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and most quickly indeed at the quadratures, more slowly at other places. Also the

inclination of the annulus will vary in inclination, and the axis of this will oscillate in the

individual revolutions, and with a complete revolution completed it will return to the

former position, unless as far as it will be carried around by the precession of the nodes.

Corol. 19. We may now consider the globe of the body T; agreed not to be fluid matter,

to be made bigger and to be extended as far as to this annulus, and with the hollow

evacuated around to contain water, and with the same motion to revolve with the same

period around its axis uniformly. This liquid will be accelerated and retarded (as in the

above corollary) in turn ; at the syzygies it will be faster, and at the quadratures slower

than the surface of the globe, and thus it will flow to and fro in the manner of the sea.

Water, by revolving around the centre of a globe at rest, if the attraction of the body S

may be taken away, will acquire no motion of flowing backwards and forwards. The

reasoning is the same for a globe progressing uniformly in a direction, and meanwhile

turning about its centre (by Corol. 5 of the laws) and as of a globe drawn uniformly from

its course (by Corol. 6. of the laws). But the body S may approach, and from the

inequality of this attraction soon the water will be disturbed. And also the water to be

attracted more nearer than the body, lesser with that more remote. Moreover the force LM

pulls the water down at the quadratures, and will make that descend as far as the syzygies

; and the force KL draws the same water up at the syzygies, and stop the descent of this,

and will make that ascend as far as the quadratures: unless in so far as the motion of flux

and reflux of the water may be directed by the channel, and may be retarded a little by

friction.

Corol. 20. If the annulus now may be rigid, and the globe may be made smaller, the flow

to and fro will stop ; but that inclination of the motion and of the precession of the nodes

will still remain. The globe may have the same axis with the annulus, and the gyrations

may be completed in the same times, and the annulus may touch the interior itself with its

own surface, and may adhere to that; and by sharing the motion of this each structure will

be oscillating, and the nodes will be regressing. For the globe, as soon will be said [Cor.

XXII], may be indifferent to all forces being accepted. The maximum angle of the

inclination of the annulus with the globe of the orbit is when the nodes are at the

syzygies. Thence in the progression of the nodes to the quadratures the annulus tries to

minimize its own inclination, and by that trial it impresses the motion on the whole globe.

The globe retains the impressed motion, until the annulus then by attempting motion in

the opposite sense may hence remove that motion, and a new motion is impressed in the

opposite direction: And on this account the maximum motion of the decrease of the

inclination shall be at the quadrature of the nodes, and the smallest angle of inclination in

the octants after the quadratures; then the maximum motion of re-inclination at the

syzygies, and the maximum angle in the next octant. And the same account is given of

the globe with the ring removed, which is a little higher at the equatorial or higher

regions than near the poles, or is made from a slightly denser material. For this excess of

the material in the equatorial regions supplies that of the ring. And nevertheless, with any

increase of the centripetal force of this globe, all the parts of this are supposed to be

attracted downwards, according to the manner of the gravitating parts of the earth, yet

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the phenomena of this and of the preceding corollary hence scarcely are changed, except

that the places of the maxima and minima height of the water will be different. For now

the water will be sustained and remain in its own orbit, not by its centrifugal force, but by

the hollow in which is flows. And in addition the force LM pulls the water downwards

maximally at the quadratures, and the force KL or NM LM draws the same upwards

maximally at the syzygies. And these forces taken together stop the water being drawn

downwards and begin to draw the water upwards in the octants before the syzygies, and

they stop drawing the water upwards and begin to draw the water downwards at the

octant after the syzygies. And hence the maximum height of the water can come about in

the octants after the syzygies, and the minima in the octants after the quadrutures

approximately; unless as it were the motion of rising or falling impressed by these forces,

for the water to persist with a little daily motion, either by a force in place or by the

hindrance of some channel it might have stopped a little quicker.

Corol. 21. By the same account, by which the excess matter of the globe lying around the

equator caused the nodes move backwards [or regress], and thus by the increase of this

matter this regression in turn may be increased, again truly with diminution it is

diminished, and on being removed is completely removed; if more than the excess matter

may be removed, that is, if the globe near the equator is either further lowered, or rarer

than around the poles, the motion of the nodes will arises in succession.

Corol. 22. And thus in turn, the constitution of the globe is understood from the motion

of the nodes. Without doubt if the same poles of the globe are maintained constantly, and

the motion shall be as previously [i.e. retrograde], there is an excess of matter near the

equator ; if it is in succession, there is deficiency. Put a uniform and perfectly round

globe first at rest in free space; then propelled from its place by some oblique impulse on

its surface, and the motion thence considered partially to be circular and partially along a

direction. Because this globe has all axis passing through its centre indifferently, there is

no propensity for one axis or any other axis to be in place, it is evident that neither this

particular axis, nor the inclination of the axis, at any time will be changed by its own

force. Now the globe may be impelled obliquely, in the same part of the surface, as the

first, by some new impulse; and since the effect of impulses coming sooner or later

changes nothing, it is evident that these two successive impulses impressed in succession

produce the same motion, as if they were impressed together, that is , the same [motion is

produced], as if the globe had been struck by a simple force composed from each impulse

(by Corol. 2 of the laws), and thus a simple force about the given inclination of the axis.

And the reasoning is the same of a second impulse made at some other place on the

equator of the first motion ; or of the first impulse made at some place on the equator of

the motion generated by the second impulse without the first ; and of both impulses made

at any places : these will generate the same circular motion as if they were impressed

once simultaneously at the intersection of the equators of their motions, which they

would generate by themselves. Therefore a homogeneous and perfect globe will not

retain several distinct motions, but adds together all the impressed forces and reduces that

to one, and just as within itself, it always rotates in a simple and uniform motion about a

single axis, always with an invariable inclination given. Moreover neither will a

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centripetal force be able to change the inclination of the axis, nor the velocity of the

rotation. If a globe may be considered to be divided into two hemispheres by some plane

through its centre, and in which a force is directed passing through its centre ; that force

will always urge each of the hemispheres equally, and therefore the globe, by which the

motion of rotation, will be inclined in no direction. Truly there may be added at some

place between the pole and the equator new matter in the form of raised mountains, and

these, by always trying to be receding from the centre of its motion, will disturb the

motion of the globe, and it may happen that the poles of this globe may wander on the

surface, and they may always describe circles about themselves and about the points

opposite to themselves. Nor may the immensity of these wanderings be themselves

corrected, except by locating that mountain either at one pole or the other, in which case

(by Corol. XXI.) the nodes of the equator will be progressing ; or at the equator, by which

account the nodes will be regressing (by Corol. XX.) ; or finally by adding new matter to

the other part of the axis, by which the mountain will be balanced in its motion, and with

this agreed upon the nodes either will be progressing, or receding, provided that the

mountain and these new matters are either nearer to the pole or to the equator.

PROPOSITION LXVII. THEOREM XXVII.

With the same laws of attraction in place, I say that a body beyond S, around the common

centre of gravity O between P and T, by radii drawn to

that centre, will describe areas more proportional to

the times and the orbit approaching more to the form

of an ellipse having the focus at the centre, than can

be described around the innermost and greatest body

T, with radii drawn to that itself.

For the attractions of the body S towards T and P are composed of this absolute

attraction, which is directed more to the common centre of gravity O of the bodies T and

P , than to the greatest body T , with every square of the distance SO more inversely

proportional, than to the square of the distance ST: as the matter on examination will be

readily agreed upon.

PROPOSITION LXVIII. THEOREM XXVIII.

With the same laws of attraction in places , I say that the external body S, with radii

drawn to that centre, will describe areas more proportional to the times, about the

common centre of gravity O of the interior bodies P and T, and an orbit more

approaching to the form of an ellipse having the focus at the same centre, if the

innermost body and greatest body and the others thus may be disturbed by these

attractions, than if that either were at rest and not being attracted, or much less or much

more attracted, and consequently either much more or much less disturbed.

This may be shown in almost the same manner as Prop. LXVI, by a more lengthy

argument, which therefore I shall pass by. It will suffice to consider the matter thus. From

the demonstration of the latest proposition it is apparent that the centre, towards which

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 327

the body S is urged by the forces conjointly, is very close to the common centre of gravity

of these two. If this centre should coincide with that common centre, and the common

centre of gravity of the three bodies may remain at rest; accurate ellipses are described by

the body from the one side, and the common centre of gravity of the other two from the

other side, about the common centre of gravity of everything at rest. This may be

apparent from the second corollary of Proposition LVIII, taken with the demonstrations

in Prop. LXIV. & LXV. This elliptical motion may itself be disturbed a little by the

distance of the centre of the two from the centre, to which the third body S is attracted.

Besides a motion may be given to the common centre of the three, and it will be

increased by the perturbation, Hence the perturbation is a minimum, when the common

centre of the three is at rest ; that is, when the innermost and largest body T is attracted by

the law of the others: and the perturbation shall always be the largest, when that common

centre of the three, by the smallest decrease in the motion of the body T , begins to move,

and it is disturbed more and more henceforth.

Corol. And hence, if several small bodies were revolving around the largest, it is possible

to deduce that the orbits described approach closer and closer to ellipses, and the

descriptions of the areas become more equal, if all the bodies by accelerative forces,

which are as the absolute forces of these directly and inversely as the square of the

distances, and may mutually attract and perturb each other, and also the focus of each

orbit may be deduced to be at the common centre of gravity of all the interior bodies

(without doubt the focus of the first and innermost at the centre of gravity of the first and

largest body; that of the second orbit, at the common centre of gravity of the two

innermost bodies; that of the third, at the common centre of gravity of the three innermost

, and thus henceforth), as if the innermost body were at rest and may be situated at the

common focus of all the orbits.

PROPOSITION LXIX. THEOREM XXIX.

In a system of several bodies A, B, C, D, &., if some body A shall attract all the others B,

C, D, &c. by accelerative forces which are inversely as the squares of the distances from

the attracting body; and another B also attracts the others A, C, D, &c. by forces which

are inversely as the squares of the distances from the attracting body: the absolute forces

of attraction of the bodies A, B to each other, as are the bodies themselves A, B, of which

they are the forces.

For the accelerative attractions of all the bodies B, C, D towards A, with equal

distances, by hypothesis are equal to each other; and similarly the acclerative attractions

of all the bodies towards B, with equal distances, in turn are equal to each other.

Moreover the absolute force of attraction of the body A is to the absolute force of

attraction of the body B, as the accelerative attraction of all the bodies towards A to the

accelerative attraction of all the bodies towards B, with the distances equal; and thus is

the accelerative attraction of the body B towards A, to the accelerative attraction of the

body A towards B. But the accelerative attraction of the body B towards A is to the

accelerative attraction of the body A towards B, as the mass of the body A to the mass of

the body B ; therefore because the motive forces, which (by the second, seventh and

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 328

eighth definitions) are as the accelerative forces and the bodies attracted jointly, here they

are (by the third law of motion) in turn equal to each other. Therefore the absolute

attractive force of the body A is to the absolute attractive force of the body B, as the mass

of the body A to the mass of the body B.

Q. E. D.

Corol. I. Hence if the individual bodies of the system A, B, C, D, &c. seen to attract all

the rest separately by accelerative forces, which are inversely as the squares of the

distances from the attracting body ; the absolute forces of all the bodies will be in turn as

the bodies themselves.

Corol. 2. By the same argument, if the individual bodies of the system A, B,C, D, &c.

separately observed attract all the others with accelerative forces, which are either

inversely, or directly in the ratio of any powers of the distances from the attracting body,

or which are defined to be following some common law by attracting each other from the

distances ; it is agreed that the absolute forces of these bodies are as the bodies.

Corol.3. In a system of bodies, the forces of which decrease in the square ratio of the

distances, if the lesser may be revolving around the largest one in ellipses, having the

common focus of which at the centre of the largest of these, as it can happen that they are

revolving most accurately ; and with the radii drawn to that largest body, areas may be

described exactly proportional to the times : the absolute forces of these bodies will be in

turn, either accurately or approximately, in the ratio of the bodies; and conversely. This is

apparent from the Corollary of Prop. LXVIII, taken with the corollary I of this Prop.

Scholium.

We are led by these propositions to an analogy between the centripetal forces, and the

central bodies, to which these forces are accustomed to be directed. For it is agreeable to

the reason, that the forces which are directed towards the bodies, depend on the nature

and quantity of the same, as happens in experiments with magnets. And as often as cases

of this kind arise, the attractions of the bodies are to be considered, by designating

appropriate forces to the individual members of these, and by gathering together the sum

of the forces. I may talk about this attraction generally by taking some known attempt of

the bodies to approach each other: either that attempt comes about itself from the action

of the bodies, or they reach towards each other mutually, or by some agent [spirit in the

original] of agitation sent between themselves in turn; or this arises from the action of the

ether, or of the air, or by some medium whatsoever, originating either from bodies or not

from bodies, by impelling the floating bodies in some manner towards each other in turn.

In the same general sense used I may talk not about the kind of forces and physical

quantities. but the amounts and mathematical proportions of these set out in this tract; as

I have explained in the definitions. In mathematics it is required to investigate the

magnitudes of forces and the ratios of these , which follow from some conditions put in

place: then, when we descend to the level of physics, we compare these ratios with the

phenomena; so that it may become known which conditions may be agreed upon with the

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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Book I Section XI.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 329

kinds of the individual attractive forces of the bodies. And then finally concerning the

kinds of bodies, it will be allowed to argue without risk about the causes and reasons

from physics. Therefore we may see by which forces spherical bodies, now agreed upon

in the manner established from the attraction of small bodies, must act mutually on each

other ; and thus what kind of motions they may thence follow.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 348

SECTION XII.

Concerning the attractive forces of spherical bodies.

PROPOSITION LXX. THEOREM XXX.

If the individual points of the surface of a some sphere may be drawn to the centre by

equal forces inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the points : I say

that a corpuscle within the surface agreed upon is not attracted by these forces in any

direction.

Let HIKL be that spherical surface, and P a corpuscle placed within. Through P there

may be drawn two lines to this surface HK and IL, the intercepting arcs HI and KL as

minimum; and, on account of the similar triangles HPI. LPK

(by Corol. 3, Lem. VII.), these arcs will be proportional to

the distances HP and LP , and whatever the small parts of

the spherical surface, proportional to HI and KL, with right

lines drawn passing through the point P and terminating

there on all sides, and they will be in that duplicate ratio.

Therefore the forces of these particles acting on the body P

are equal to each other. For they are directly as the particles,

and inversely as the square of the distances. And these two

ratios compound a ratio of equality. Therefore the

attractions, acting equally on the opposite parts, mutually cancel each other out. And by a

similar argument, all the attractions from the contrary parts for the whole spherical

surface cancel each other by opposite attractions. Therefore the body P in no part is

impelled by these attractions. Q.E,D.

[Note 515 (o) L & J : For the angles HPI , LPK vertically opposite are equal; and the

angles HIL, LKH resting on the same arc are equal, (by Prop. 27. Book 3, Eucl.) For the

evanescent arcs IH, KL, can be taken for the chords themselves (by Cor. 3. Lem. 7)

Whereby the arcs HI, KL with the distances HP, LP are proportional, and hence if an

innumerable number of right lines may be understood to be drawn to the spherical surface

through the point P to the smallest possible arcs as terminals HI, KL, these right lines will

form similar solid figures pyramids or cones, the bases of which will be similar on the

surface of the sphere, and hence (by Lemma 5) they will be in the duplicate ratio of the

sides HI, HL, or of the distances HP, LP. Hence the forces, etc..... ]

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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Book I Section XII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 349

PROPOSITION LXXI. THEOREM XXXI.

With the same in place, I say that a corpuscle put in place outside the surface of the

sphere is attracted to the centre of the sphere, by a force inversely proportional to the

square of its distance from the same centre.

Let AHKB, abhk be two spherical surfaces described, with centres S, s, diameters AB,

ab, & P, p corpuscles situated outside, on these diameters produced [in the case shown,

PA pa > ]. The lines PHK, PIL, phk, pil may be drawn from the corpuscles, taking the

equal arcs HK, hk and IL, il from the great circles AHB, ahb. And the perpendiculars

SD, sd; SE, se; IR, ir; may be sent to these of which SD, sd may cut PL, pl in F and f:

also the perpendiculars IQ, iq may be sent to the diameters. The angles DPE, dpe may be

vanishing: and on account of the equality DS and ds, ES and es, the lines PE, PF and pe,

pf and the smallest lines DF, df may be considered as equal;

[We have taken the liberty of marking these equal chords and perpendiculars in different

colours on both diagrams; unmarked diagrams are of course available in the Latin section

of this file];

evidently the ultimate ratio of these is equality, with the angles DPE, dpe likewise

evanescent. And thus with these put in place, PI to PF will be as RI to DF, & pf to pi as

df or DF to ri

[i.e. ;

pi

ri PI RI

PF DF pf df

= = ] ;

and from the equality, to PI pf PF pi is as RI to ri,

[i.e. ;

PI pf RI df

RI HI

PF pi DF ri ri hi

= = = ]

that is (by Corol. 3. Lem. VII.) as the arc IH to the arc ih [since ;

RI HI

ri hi

= from the similar

triangles RHI and rhi] . Again, PI is to PS as IQ to SE, and ps to pi as se or SE to iq;

[i.e.

or

= ; and

IQ ps

se SE PI

PS SE pi iq

= ],

and from the equality is to PI ps PS pi , as IQ to iq;

[i.e. = ;

PI ps IQ

PS pi iq

],

And with the ratios taken together

2

PI pf ps to

2

pi PF PS , as to IH IQ ih iq ;

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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Book I Section XII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 350

[i.e.

2

2

;

PI ps PI pf PI pf ps IH IQ

PS pi PF pi ih iq

pi PF PS

= = ],

that is, as the circular surface, that the arc IH will describe by rotating about the diameter

AB of the semicircle AKB, to the circular surface, that the arc ih will describe by rotating

about the diameter ab of the semicircle akb. And the forces, by which these surfaces

attract the corpuscles P and p along the lines tending towards themselves, are (by

hypothesis) directly as the surfaces themselves, and inversely as the squares of the

distances of the surfaces from the bodies, that is, as to pf ps PF PS .

[i.e.

2 2

: ;

IH IQ ih iq pf ps

PF PS

PI pi

= ]

And these forces are to the oblique parts of these, which (by the resolution of the forces

made according to Corol 2. of the laws by resolution of the forces) act along the lines PS,

Ps to the centre, as PI to PQ, and pi to pq; that is (on account of the similar triangles PIQ

and PSF, piq and psf) as PS to PF and ps to pf. Thus, from the equality, the attraction of

the corpuscle P towards S shall be to the attraction of the corpuscle p towards s, as

to

PF pf ps pf PF PS

PS ps

that is, as

2 2

to ps PS .

[i.e.

2

2

horizontal attraction of left segment

horizontal attraction of right segment

PF

PS

pf

ps

pf ps

pf ps cos PFS ps

PF PS cos pfs

PF PF PS

= = = .]

And by a similar argument the forces, by which the surfaces by the rotation of the

described arcs KL, kl pull on the corpuscles, will be as

2 2

to ps PS . And it will be

possible to distinguish the forces of all the circular surfaces in the same ratio in which

each spherical surface will be, by always taking sd equal to SD and se equal to SE. And,

by putting these together, the forces of all the spherical surfaces exercised on the bodies

will be in the same ratio. Q.E.D.

[When this proof is understood, it is seen to be very simple, and this was probably the

only way in which the problem could be solved at the time, without resorting to a full

integration ; the distances of the corpuscles from the shells is the only variable, and other

chords and perpendiculars, etc. maintain the same lengths in each shell, allowing the

summation to proceed, and the final ratio required to emerge.]

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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Book I Section XII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 351

PROPOSITION LXXII. THEOREM XXXII.

If equal centripetal forces attract particular points of some sphere decreasing in the

inverse ratio of the distance from these points; and both the density of the sphere may be

given, as well as the ratio of the diameter of the sphere to the distance of [such]a

corpuscle from the centre of this : I say that the force, by which the corpuscle is

attracted, will be proportional to the radius of the sphere.

For consider two separate corpuscles attracted by two spheres, one corpuscle by the

one sphere, and the other corpuscle by the other sphere, and the distances of these from

the centres of the spheres are proportional to the diameters of the spheres respectively,

the spheres moreover are resolved into similar particles and similarly put in place with

the corpuscles. And the attractions of the one corpuscle made towards the individual

particles of the one sphere, will be to the attraction of the other corpuscle towards just as

many particles of the other sphere, in a ratio compounded from the ratio of the particles

directly, and in the ratio of the inverse squares of the distances. But the [number of the]

particles are as the [volumes or masses of the] spheres, that is, in the triplicate [i.e. cubic]

ratio of the diameters, and the distances are as the diameters ; and the first ratio directly

together with the second ratio inversely twice is the ratio of the diameter to the diameter.

Q.E.D.

[Consider two spheres A and B with radii R

A

and R

B

; corpuscles are situated at distances

C

A

and C

B

from their respective spheres, then by hypothesis, =

A A

B B

C R

C R

; let N

A

and N

B

be

the number of particles or corpuscles in the respective spheres, then the respective F

A

and

F

B

forces will be in the ratio

2 2 3 2

2 2 3 2

=

A A B A B A B A

B B B

A A B A B

F N C M C R R R

F N M

C C R R R

= = = .]

Corol. I. Hence if the corpuscles may be revolving in circles about the spheres constantly

attracted equally by the matter ; and the distances from the centres shall be proportional

to the diameters of the same: The periodic times shall be equal.

[Recall from previously, such S.H.M. motion has the period independent of the amplitude

or radius.]

Corol. 2. And conversely, if the periodic times are equal; the distances shall be

proportional to the diameters. These two are in agreement by Corol. 3. Prop. IV.

Corol. 3. If equal centripetal forces may attract the individual points [corpuscles] of any

two similar solids of equal density, decreasing in the squared ratio of the distances from

the points ; the forces, by which the corpuscles will be attracted by the same, by these

two similar solids in place, will be in turn as the diameters of the solids.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 352

PROPOSITION LXXIII. THEOREM XXXIII.

If for some given sphere, equal centripetal forces attract particular points decreasing in

the square ratio of the distances from the points : I say that a corpuscle within the sphere

constituted is attracted by a force proportional to its distance from the centre.

A corpuscle P will be located in the sphere ABCD

described with centre S; and from the same centre S, with

the interval SP, consider the spherical interior PEQF to be

described. It is evident, (by Prop. LXX.) that the

concentric spherical surfaces, from which the difference of

the spheres AEBF is composed, with their attractions

destroyed by opposing attractions, do not act on the body

P. Only the attraction of the interior sphere PEQF

remains. And (by Prop. LXXII.) this is as the distance PS.

Q.E.D.

[ In the diagram constructed here, the original sphere is

replaced by two spheres of the same material having

radii OB and O'B', while the corpuscles considered

are at the positions P and P' with the radii OA and

O'A' . From the first proposition in this section (no.

70), the corpuscles at P and P' experience no force

from the outer particles beyond the radii OB and

OB', considering these outer particles as lying on

concentric shells; meanwhile, from the second

proposition in this section (no. 71), theinner

particles lying in their concentric shells can be replaced by equivalent masses at the

origins O and O', exerting forces proportional to their respective masses, and inversely as

the distances OP and O'P' squared in turn. The ratio of these forces in an obvious

notation is given by :

3 3

2 2

OP A A A B

O' P' A B

A A

F R R' R R

F' R' R'

R R'

.

= = = ]

Scholium.

The surfaces, from which the solids are composed, here are not purely mathematical,

but thus tenuous shells [orbs], so that the thickness of these shall be equivalent to zero;

without doubt the evanescent shells, from which the sphere finally will be composed

when the number of these shells may be increased indefinitely and the thickness is

minimised. Similarly the points, from which the lines, surfaces, and volumes are said to

be composed, are understood to equal particles of insignificant magnitude.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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Ed.

Book I Section XII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 353

PROPOSITION LXXIV. THEOREM XXXIV.

With the same in place, I say that a corpuscle constituted beyond the sphere is attracted

by a force inversely proportional to the square of its distance from the centre of this

sphere.

For the sphere may be separated into innumerable concentric spherical surfaces,

and the attractions of the corpuscle arising from the individual surfaces will be inversely

as the square of the distance from the centre (by prop. LXXI.) And on compounding, the

sum of the attractions, that is the attraction of the corpuscle by the whole sphere, happens

in the same ratio.

Q. E. D.

[Thus, the attractive force

2

1

distance

]

Corol. I. Hence at equal distances from the centres of homogeneous spheres, the

attractions are as the [masses of the] spheres. For (by Prop. LXXII.) if the distances are

proportional to the diameters of the spheres, the forces will be as the diameters. The

greater distance may be reduced into that ratio [of the radii]; and with the distances now

made equal [to those of the respective spheres], the attraction will be increased in that

ratio squared ; and thus it will be to the other attraction in that ratio cubed, that is, in the

ratio of the spheres.

[ See Chandrasekhar on this point : i.e. the forces are in the ratio of the cubes of the radii

for equal distances from the spheres.]

Corol. 2. In which any attractions are as the [masses of the] applicable spheres to the

squares of the distances.

Corol. 3. If a corpuscle, situated outside a homogenous sphere, is drawn by a force

inversely proportional to the square of its distance from the centre itself, but the sphere

may be constructed from attracting particles ; the force of each particle will decrease in

the square ratio of the distance from the particle.

[As Chandrasakher points out on p. 278, this amounts to a statement of the universal law

of gravitation, but applied to this circumstance.]

PROPOSITION LXXV. THEOREM XXXV.

If equal centripetal forces may extend to the individual particles of a given sphere,

decreasing in the inverse square ratio of the distances from the points ; I say that any

other similar sphere, by the same is attracted by a force inversely proportional to the

square of the distance of the centres.

For the attraction of each particle is inversely as the square of its distance from the

centre of the attracting sphere, (by Prop. LXXIV.) and therefore [the attraction of the

particles in a sphere between themselves] is the same, as if the total attracting force may

spring from a single corpuscle situated at the centre of this sphere. But this attraction is

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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Book I Section XII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 354

just as great, as would be the case as if in turn it were attracted by a force of the same size

by all the other particles of the sphere. But the attraction of that sphere would be (by

Prop. LXXIV.) inversely proportional to the square of its distance from the centre of the

other sphere; and thus the attraction of the sphere is equal to this in the same ratio. Q.E.D.

Corol. I. The attractions of spheres, towards other homogeneous spheres, are as the

applied attracting spheres to the squares of the distances of their centres from the centres

of these which they attract.

Corol.2. The same becomes apparent, when the attracted sphere also attracts. In as much

as the individual points of this will attract the individual points of the other sphere with

the same force, from which by these themselves in turn they are attracted; and thus as in

any attraction both the attracting point, as well as the attracted point, may be acted on

by law 3, there will be a mutual pair of attracting forces with the proportions conserved.

Corol. 3. Everything prevails the same, which have been shown above concerning the

motions of bodies about the focal points of conic sections, when the attracting sphere is

located at the focus, and the bodies will be moving outside the sphere.

Corol. 4. That truly, which may be shown concerning the motion of bodies about the

centre of a conic section, will prevail when the motions are taking place within the

sphere.

PROPOSITION LXXVI. THEOREM XXXVI.

If spheres, in a progression from the centre to the circumference, dissimilar in some

manner (as far as the density of the material and the attractive force are concerned), by

progressing around, are all alike on all sides at a given distance from the centre; and he

attractive force of each point decreases in the square ratio of the attracting body : I say

that the total force, by which one sphere of this kind attracts another, shall be inversely

proportional to the square of the distance from the centre.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 355

Let AB, CD, E F, &c. be some similar concentric spheres the interiors of which added

to the outsides put together a material denser towards the centre, or taken away leave

behind a more tenuous medium; and these individual spheres (by Prop. LXXV.) will

attract other individual similar concentric spheres GH, IK, LM, &c., with forces inversely

proportional to the distance SP. And by adding together or by dividing apart, the sum of

the forces of all these, or the excess of some above the others, that is the force by which

the whole sphere, composed from any number of concentric spheres or differences AB,

attracts the whole composed from some number of concentric spheres or differences GH,

will bein the same ratio. Thus the number of concentric spheres may be increased

indefinitely, to that the density of the material together with the attractive force, in

progressing from the circumference to the centre, may increase of decrease following

some law; and non attracting material may be added whenever the density is deficient, so

that the spheres may acquire some optimum form; and the force, by which one of these

may attract the other, even now will be by the above argument, in that inverse ratio of the

square of the distance. Q.E.D.

Corol. 1. Hence if many spheres of this kind, themselves in turn similar through all,

mutually may attract each other ; the accelerative attractions of individuals on individuals

will be, at whatever equal distances of the attractions, as the attracting spheres.

Corol. 2. And with any unequal distances, as the applicable attracting spheres to the

squares of the distances between the centres.

Corol. 3. Truly the motive attractions [i.e. the attractive forces], or the weights of the

spheres on the spheres will be, at equal distances of the centres, as the attracting and

attracted spheres conjointly, that is as the content within the spheres produced by

multiplication.

Corol. 4. And in accordance with unequal distances, directly as that product and inversely

as the square of the distances between the centres.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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Book I Section XII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 356

Corol.5. The same will emerge when the attraction arises on each sphere by virtue of the

mutual attraction exercised by one sphere on the other. For with both forces the attraction

forms a pair, with the proportion maintained.

Corol. 6. If some spheres of this kind may be revolving around others at rest, individual

spheres around individual spheres; and the distances between the centres of the revolving

and the resting spheres proportional to the resting diameters ; the periodic times will be

equal.

Corol.7. And conversely, if the periodic times are equal ; the distances will be

proportional to the diameters.

Corol. 8. Everything will be obtained the same, which have been shown above

concerning the motion of bodies around the foci of conic sections ; where the attracting

sphere, of the form and of each condition now described, may be located at the focus.

Corol. 9. And as also where the attracting spheres are rotating, with any of the conditions

now described.

PROPOSITION LXXVII. THEOREM XXXVII.

If centripetal forces attract the individual points of the spheres proportional to the

distances between the points from the attracting bodies : I say that the composite force,

by which the two spheres will attract each other mutually, is as the distance between the

spheres.

Case. 1. Let AEBF be the sphere; S the centre of this; P an attracted corpuscle, PASB the

axis of the sphere passing through the centre of the corpuscle ; EF, ef two planes, by

which the sphere may be cut, perpendicular

to this axis, and hence thereupon equally

distant from the centre of the sphere ; G, g

the intersections of the planes and the axis ;

and H some point in the plane EF. The

centripetal force at the corpuscle P to the

point H, acts along the line PH , is as the

distance PH; and (by Corol. 2. of the laws)

along the line PG, or towards the centre S, as

the length PG. Therefore the force of all the

points in the plane EF, that is of the whole

plane, by which the corpuscle P is attracted towards S, is as the distance PG multiplied by

the number of points, that is, as that solid contained under the plane EF itself and that

distance PG. And similarly the force of the plane ef, by which the corpuscle P is attracted

towards the centre S, is as that plane taken by its distance Pg, or equally as the plane EF

taken by that distance Pg; and the sum of forces of each plane as the plane EF taken by

the sum of the distances PG Pg + , that is, as that plane multiplied into twice the distance

PS between the centre and the corpuscle, that is, as twice the plane EF multiplied into

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

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Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 357

the difference PS, or as the sum of the equal planes EF ef + multiplied by the same

distance. And by a similar argument, all the forces of the planes in the whole sphere,

hence in this manner at equal distances from the centre of the sphere, as the sums of the

planes multiplied by the distance PS, that is, as the whole sphere and as the distance PS

conjointly. Q.E.D.

Case 2. Now the corpuscle P may attract the sphere AEBF. And by the same argument it

will be approved that the force, by which that sphere is attracted, will be as the distance

PS. Q.E.D.

Case 3. Now the other sphere may be put

together from innumerable particles P; and

because the force, by which any corpuscle

whatever is attracted, is as the distance of the

corpuscle from the centre of the first sphere and

as the same sphere taken conjointly, and thus is

the same, as if the whole may be produced from a

single corpuscle at the centre of the sphere ; the

whole force, by which all the corpuscles are

attracted to the second sphere, will be the same as

if that sphere may be attracted by the force produced from a single corpuscle at the centre

of the first sphere, and therefore is proportional to the distance between the centres of the

spheres. Q.E.D.

Case 4. The spheres may attract each other mutually, and the double force will maintain

the previous proportion. Q.E.D.

Case 5. Now the corpuscle p may be located within the sphere AEBF; and because the

force of the plane ef at the corpuscle is as the solid contained under that plane and the

distance pG; and the force of the opposite plane EF is as the solid contained under that

plane and the distance pG; the force composed from each will be as the difference of the

solids, that is, as the sum of the equal planes multiplied by half the difference of the

distances, that is, as half that multiplied into the distance pS of the corpuscle from the

centre of the sphere. And by a similar argument, the attraction of all the planes EF, ef in

the whole sphere, that is, the attraction of the whole sphere, is jointly as the sum of all the

planes, or the whole sphere, and as the distance pS of the corpuscle from the centre of the

sphere. Q.E.D.

[ Note 517(s) Leseur & J anquier : the force composed from each will be as the difference

of the solids, that is, as ef pg EF pG. But Sg SG = , and thus

2 pg pG pS SG pG pS; = + = whereby since also there shall be EF ef = , there will be

2 ef pg EF pG ef pg pG ef pS ef EF pS. = = = + If the point G is placed

between p and S, the total force will be as ef pg EF pG + , and because there is

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 358

always Sg SG = , and in this case 2 pg pG pS SG pG pS, + = + + = similarly the total

force will be found as ef EF pS + .]

Case 6. And if the new sphere may be composed from innumerable corpuscles p, situated

within the first sphere AEBF; it will be approved as before that the attraction, either a

simple one of one sphere towards the other, or mutually each in turn towards the other,

will be as the distance of the centres pS. Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION LXXVIII. THEOREM XXXVIII.

If the spheres in the progression from the centre shall be dissimilar in some manner and

unequal, but truly in progressing around, all at a given distance from the centre, they

shall be the same on all sides; and the attractive force of each point shall be as the

distance of the attracted body : I say that the total force by which two spheres of this kind

mutually attract each other shall be proportional to the distance between the centres of

the spheres.

This may be demonstrated from the previous proposition in the same manner, by

which Proposition LXXVI was shown from Proposition LXXV.

Corol. Those matters have been shown above in Propositions X. and LXIV. concerning

the motion of bodies about the centre of conic sections, where all the attractions emerge

made from the force of spherical bodies under the conditions now described, and the

attracted bodies are spheres of the same description.

Scholium.

I have now explained the two most significant cases of the attractions ; without doubt

where the centripetal forces decrease in the square ratio of the distances, or increase in

the simple ratio of the distances ; in each case putting into effect that bodies may rotate in

conic sections, and the component centripetal forces of spherical bodies by the same law,

in receding from the centre, decreasing or increasing with these themselves : which is

noteworthy. It would be tedious to run through the remaining cases one by one, which

show less elegant conclusions. I am inclined to understand and to determine everything

by a general method, as follows.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 359

LEMMA XXIX.

If some circle AEB be described with centre S, and with centre P the two circular arcs

EF, ef are described, cutting the first in E and e, and the line PS in F, f; and the

perpendiculars ED and ed may be sent to PS: I say that, if the separation of the arcs EF

and ef may be understood to be infinitely small, the final ratio of the vanishing line Dd to

the vanishing line Ff shall be that, which the line PE has to the line PS.

For if the line Pe may cut the arc EF in q; and the right line Ee, which will coincide

with the vanishing arc Ee, produced meets the right line PS in T; and from S the normal

SG may be sent to PE : on account of the similar triangles DTE, dTe, DES; Dd will be to

Ee, as DT to TE, or DE to ES; and similar on account of the triangles Eeq, ESG (by Lem.

VIII. & Corol 3. Lem. VII.), Ee will be to eq or Ff as ES to SG; and from the equality, Dd

to Ff as DE to SG; that is (on account of the similar triangles PDE, PGS) as PE to PS.

Q.E.D.

[ Note initially, as was common practice for Newton, the increment in a length from a

point was given a small letter, such as Ee, etc. From similar triangles,

Dd DT DE

Ee ET SE

= = ;

Ee Ee ES

eq Ff SG

= = . Thus,

Dd DE PE

Ff SG PS

= = . It is thus apparent that a ratio such as

Dd

Ff

is one of

vanishing quantities, where the sides of generating triangle tend towards zero and would

be termed by us a differential ratio; it is also usual that such a vanishing ratio is set equal

to some finite ratio found geometrically. We may also mention here again, that such

quantities are considered by Newton as vanishing : not about to vanish, in which case

they would be represented by finite difference, and not vanished, in which case they

would all be the meaningless zero on zero, but in the act of vanishing together, in which

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 360

circumstance they adopt the final ratio; which we might term now the limiting value of

the ratio, which means the same thing in different words. In the annotated diagram, were

g and a are constants, this becomes in modern terms :

f

dx a sin

df g sin g

= = .

To show this, we may revert to modern analysis, as the original calculation has not been

supplied in this manner. Thus initially, we may consider the circle AEB, with P the origin

of coordinates and the radius a; the coordinates of any point E on the circle

are and x g acos y a sin = + = ; and the implicit equation of the circle AEB is :

( )

( )

2

2 2

x g y a + = . However, from triangle EPS, we have

( )

f g

a

sin sin sin

= = , and

hence

( ) ( )

f

sin a sin a sin

g g sin sin a sin

= = = . Also,

( )

( )

2

2 2 2 2 2

2 f g acos a sin g ag cos a = + + = + + ; hence

( ) fdf ag sin d gd acos gdx = = = , giving

f

dx a sin

df g g sin

= = , as required and ( ) f ,

may be taken as the independent variables for future use in integrations over the spherical

volume. To turn the circle integrations into spherical integrations, it is necessary to

multiply only to multiply by 2 . We will not do so, as this factor disappears in ratios.

This derivation above is no more and no less than the original result for the Lemma

obtained above by Newton, but written in more familiar terms.]

PROPOSITION LXXIX. THEOREM XXXIX.

If the surface EFfe is already vanishing on account of an infinite diminution of width,

with the rotation of this around the axis PS, it may describe a concave-convex spherical

solid, and equal centripetal forces are extended to the individual particles of this: I say

that the force, by which that solid attracts a corpuscle situated on the axis at P, is in a

ratio composed from the ratio of the solid

2

DE Ff , and in the ratio of that force by

which the given particle at the place Ff may attract the same corpuscle.

For if in the first place, we may consider the force of

the spherical surface FE, which may be generated by

the rotation of the arc FE, and which may be cut

somewhere by the line de in r; the part of the surface of

the ring, generated by the rotation of the arc rE , will be

as the line increment Dd, with the radius of the sphere

PE remaining constant (as Archimedes demonstrated in

his book, On the Sphere & Cylinder.)

[Imagine rE coming out of the plane of the page as it rotates about the axis PS forming a

ring of radius DE and width Dd, with P the apex of the twin cone; as we move towards F,

concentric rings of width Dd are inscribed in the inner surface of the sphere centre P,

radius PE, until an incremental circle is found at F; the diagram is a vertical section

through this sphere and the spherical body AEB ]

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 361

[Note 518(x) Leseur & J anquier : The demonstration is easy. For because the angle PEr is

right (from the nature of the circle) the angle DEr is equal to the angle DPE, on account

of the sum of the angles being equal to the right angle DPE PED PEr + . From which, if

from the point r it may be considered to send a perpendicular (shown here in red) to the

line DE , that is equal to the line increment Dd, there may be put in place a vanishing

triangle similar to triangle EPD, and thus there will be and

Dd PE Dd DE

PE Er DE

Er

= = , but the

circular region generated by the rotation of the arc rE is as the rectangle Er DE ;

whereby if in this rectangle in place of Er there may be substituted the value found in this

manner, the region will be as PE Dd , that is, on account of the given radius PE, as Dd.

Q.E.D.]

And the force of this element of area, exercised on the conical surface in place along the

lines PE or Pr, shall be as this part [i.e. incremental area] of the annular surface itself;

that is, as the line increment Dd, or, because it is likewise, as the rectangle under the

sphere with the given radius PE and that line increment Dd : but along the line PS

attracting towards the centre S in the smaller ratio PD to PE, and thus as PD Dd .

[Note 518(z) Leseur & J anquier : For if the force acting along the direction PE may be set

out by the line PE, the part of this force which acts along the direction PS, may be set out

by the line PD;

PE Dd PE

PD PD Dd

,

= that hence will show the force along that direction PD, but

the oblique forces ED from each part of the axis PB mutually destroy each other; end of

L & J note. Thus, the force normal to the element PE Dd is proportional to

PD

PE

PE Dd PD Dd = .]

Now the line DF may be considered to be divided into innumerable equal small parts,

which one to the other may be called Dd; and the surface FE may be divided into an

equal number of rings, the forces of which are as the sums of all the terms PD Dd , that

is as

2 2

1 1

2 2

PF PD , and thus as

2

DE .

[The force exerted on P due to this set of rings of successive width dx on the PS axis is

the sum of forces parallel to the axis , any of which has the form PD Dd .]

[Note 519(b) Leseur & J anquier : Clearly all PD, while they are being changed from PD

into PF by increasing uniformly make an arithmetic progression, because all the small

parts Dd by which the line PD may be increased are equal : therefore the sum of all PD

will be in that ratio found from which the sums of the arithmetical progressions may be

obtained, certainly by being multiplied jointly by the number of terms of the progression,

and by taking half of the product. Truly the first term of this progression is PD, the final

PF and DF the number of terms, if indeed DF is the sum of the equal vanishing

increments of the line PD, therefore the sum of all the PD is

2

PF PD DF +

or (because DF

is the difference of the lines PF and PD) the sum of all the PD is

2

PF PD PF PD +

= ; but

(by 6.2. Eucl. Elements) the sum and the difference of two lines is equal to the difference

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 362

of the squares of these, hence

2 2

1 1

2 2 2

PF PD PF PD

PF PD

+

= , and the sum of all

2 2

1 1

2 2

PF PD Dd = , but Dd is the increment which is assumed as constant in all these

cases, therefore the forces of the whole surface FE which are as the sum of all the

termsPD Dd ,are as

2 2

1 1

2 2

PF PD or as

2 2

PF PD ; but

2 2

PF PE = by construction,

and

2 2 2

PE PD DE = (by 47.1 Eucl. Elements) hence the forces of the surface FE, are

as DE

2

.

The same otherwise: Let the given radius PE f = (not to be confused with the increment

Ff), the variable FD x = , the fluxion and Dd dx, PD f x = = , and thus (the limits of

integration, to the left, are 0 x = and x DF = ) : PD Dd fdx xdx = , and with the

fluents (integrals) taken on both sides :

2

2

1

2 2 2

fx xx

DE

Sum PD Dd fx xx

= = = , (Prop.

13. Book 6. Eucl. Elements). (For ( )

2

2 2 2

2 f f x fx x ED = = ). Whereby the force of

the surface arising by rotating the arc FE will be as DE

2

. Extra note : this integral with

the limits 0 and x is understood to be prefixed by a force, which is constant under these

circumstances, so that the original double integral can be expressed as the product of two

integrals.]

Now the surface FE may be multiplied by the [incremental] altitude Ff; and the force of

the solid EFfe exercised on the corpuscle P becomes as

2

DE Ff : for example if Ff may

be given as the force some small particle exerts on the corpuscle P at the distance PF .

But if that force may not be given, the force of the solid EFfe becomes as the solid

2

DE Ff , and that force is not given conjointly. Q.E.D.

[i.e. we have not yet been given the force, just a very cunning way of evaluating its

volume integral from a particular form of an increment of the sphere. Incidentally,

Chandrasekhar seems to have missed the point here, as he sets out on a conventional

double integration, which Newton has avoided by integrating over constant force shells in

an almost trivial manner. It is a short step for us to consider these as equipotential

surfaces; however, it cannot be assumed more than coincidence that such constant energy

surfaces have appeared in Newton's calculations ; the idea of potential energy was just

not present at the time, and when such energy related ideas arise. they must be considered

merely as useful devices that ease calculations, rather than some fundamental insight.

Chandrasekhar's book is full of such anachronisms, which does little to enhance one's

understanding of the evolution of ideas that occurred at this time. One way to explain in

ordinary language what Newton has done, is to consider a hypothetical onion, with

uniform layers or shells; P lies at the centre of this onion; now imagine a device that can

cut out a spherical shape from the body of the onion; retaining P at its original position

and consider this dissected sphere, also at its original position: this now consists of layers

or parts of shells each of which is equidistant from P, and an integration over the sphere

can now be performed, so finding the total force using this unusual by highly effective

way of dissecting the sphere into elements equidistant from P. Newton's originality

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 363

continues to amaze. Later in this section, he introduces the idea of inversion, so that the

forces due to all the points of the sphere can be found on some corpuscle located within

the sphere. ]

PROPOSITION LXXX. THEOREM XL.

If equal centripetal forces may be extended to the individual equal parts of a sphere ABE

described with centre S, and to the axis AB of the sphere, on which some corpuscle may

be placed at P, from individual points [such as] D perpendiculars DE may be erected

crossing the sphere in E, and in these lengths [such as] DN may be taken, which shall be

as the magnitude

2

DE PS

PE

and the force, that the particles of the sphere situated on the

axis at a distance PE may exercise on the corpuscle P, conjointly: I say that the total

force, by which the corpuscle P is drawn towards the sphere, is as the area ANB taken

under the axis of the sphere AB, and the curved line ANB, that always is a tangent at the

point N.

For indeed with everything in place which was constructed in the lemma and in the

most recent theorem, consider the axis of the sphere AB to be divided into innumerable

equal parts Dd, and the whole sphere to be divided into just as many concave convex

sheets EFfe; and the perpendicular dn may be erected.

By the above theorem the force, by which the shell EFfe attracts the corpuscle P, is as

2

DE Ff and as the force of the single particle Dd at the distance PE or PF exercised

conjointly [with this mass or weight factor.] But (by the most recent lemma :

Dd PE

Ff PS

= )

Dd is to Pf as PE to PS, and thence Ff is equal to

PS Dd

PE

; and

2

DE Ff equals

2

DE PS

PE

Dd

, and therefore the force of the shell EFfe is as

2

DE PS

PE

Dd

, and the force

of the particle at the distance PF exercised conjointly, that is (by hypothesis) as

DN Dd ,[ i.e.

2

DE PS

PE

Dd DN Dd

= ], or the vanishing area DNnd. Therefore the

forces of all the shells, exercised on the body P, are as all the areas DNnd, that is, the

total force of the sphere is as the total area ANB. Q.E.D.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 364

Corol. I. Hence if the centripetal force, attracting the individual particles, always remains

the same at all distances, and DN becomes as

2

DE PS

PE

corpuscle is attracted to the sphere, shall be as the area ANB.

Corol. 2. If the centripetal force of the particles shall be inversely as the distances of the

corpuscles attracting each other, and DN becomes as

2

2

DE PS

PE

corpuscle P is attracted to the whole sphere, shall be as the area ANB.

Corol. 3. If the centripetal force of the particles shall be inversely as the cube of the

distances by which they attract each other, DN shall be as

2

4

DE PS

PE

which the corpuscle is attracted by the whole sphere, shall be as the area ANB.

Corol. 4. And generally if the centripetal force drawing the individual particles of the

sphere may be put to be inversely as the magnitude V, moreover DN becomes as

2

DE PS

PE V

;

and the force, by which the corpuscle is attracted to the whole sphere, is as the area ANB.

PROPOSITION LXXXI. PROBLEM XLI.

With everything remaining in place, it is required to measure the area ANB.

From the point P the right line PH may be drawn tangent at H, and the normal HI may

be sent to the axes PAB, and PI may be bisected in L; and (by Prop. XII. Book 2. Eucl.

Elem.)

2

PE will be equal to

2 2

2 PS SE PS.SD + + . But

2

SE or

2

SH (on account of the

similar triangles SPH and SHI) is equal to

the rectangle PS.SI [ i.e.

; or

IS HS IS a

HS PS a g

= = , giving

2

a

g

IS = , which

is, of course, constant.] . Therefore

2

PE is

equal to the rectangle contained by PS and

PS +SI+2SD, that is, by PS and 2LS+2SD,

that is, by PS and 2LD. Again

2

DE is equal

to

2 2

SE SD , or

2 2 2

2 SE LS SL.LD LD + , that is,

2

2SL.LD LD AL.LB . For

2 2

LS SE or

2 2

LS SA , (by Prop. VI. Book 2. Eucl. Elem.) is equal to the rectangle

AL.LB. And thus

2

2SL.LD LD AL.LB

may be written for

2

DE ; and the magnitude

2

DE PS

PE V

corollary of the preceding proposition, which is as the length of the applied ordinate DN,

may be resolved into three parts :

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 365

2

2SL LD PS LD PS AL LB PS

PE V PE V PE V

,

where if for V there may be written the centripetal force in the inverse ratio; and for PE

the mean proportional between PS and 2LD; [for from above :

2

2 PE PS.LD = ] these

three parts produce the applied ordinates of just as many curved lines, the area of which

become known by common methods.

Q.E.F.

[In more detail, for the first part : ( )

2

2 2 2 2

2 PE PS SD DE PS SE PS.SD = + + = + + ; but

2

SE PS.SI = and hence ( )

2

2 2 2

2 PE PS SD DE PS PS.SI PS.SD = + + = + + ,

or ( )

2

2 PE PS PS SI SD = + + ; moreover, 2 2 2 2 PS SI IS PI IS LI LS + = + = + = ; hence,

2

2 PE PS.LD = .

For the second part : ( )

2

2 2 2 2

DE SE SD SE LD LS = = , giving

2 2 2

2 SE LD LS LD.LS + . But

( )( )

2 2 2 2

LS SE LS SB LS SA LS SB LA.LB = = + = ;

hence, we may write

2 2

2 DE LD.LS LD LA.LB = ;

which is very pretty, as all the line sections lie on the axis.

Algebraically,

( ) ( )

2 2 2

2 2

2

1 1

g

a a a

g

g g

PS g; PI g g ; PL LI = = = = = ; and

( )

2

2

2

1

g

a

g

LS = + ;

( )

2

2

2

1

g

a

g

LD LS SD x = + = + + . While

( ) ( )

2 2

2 2

2 2

1 1

g g

a a

g g

LB a; LA a = + + = + . Hence,

( )

2

2

2 2

2 1

a

g

LB LA ag = + ; while

( )

2

2

2

2

2

4

1

g

a

g

LA.LB a = + . Also, we have

( )

2

2

2

1

g

a

g

LS = + .]

Example 1. If the centripetal force attracting the individual particles of the sphere shall be

inversely as the distance; write the distance PE for V; then

2PS LD for

2

PE , and DN becomes as

1

2 2

AL.LB

LD

SL LD .

Put DN equal to the double of this, or equal to 2

ALB

LD

SL LD : and the given [constant]

part of the ordinate 2SL multiplied by the length AB [i.e. the sum of the increments Dd]

describes the area of the rectangle 2SL AB ; and the variable part LD multiplied

normally into the same length [Dd] by a continued motion, as by that law requiring the

motion to be either increasing or decreasing between [the limits] , may always be equal to

the LD, and it will describe the area

2 2

2

LB LA

, that is, the area SL AB ; which subtracted

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 366

from the first area 2SL AB leaves the area SL AB . [Here we

integrate

( ) ( )

2 2

2 2

2

1 1

g a a

g

a a

g g

g a a

dx xdx ag

+

+ + = +

.]

But the third part

AL.LB

LD

, likewise with the same

local motion multiplied normally into the same

width, will describe the area under a hyperbola;

which taken from the area SL AB leaves the area

sought AN.NB. From which will emerge the

construction of such problems. Erect the

perpendiculars Ll, Aa, Bb, at the points L, A, B of

which Aa itself is equal to LB, and Bb to LA.

[Thus, the area is required under the rectangular hyperbola

1

1 x

y

+

= between the points

(A,LB) and (B, LA) or (ga,

( )

2

2

2

1

g

a

g

a + + ) and (g+a,

( )

2

2

2

1

g

a

g

a + ) is required.]

With the asymptotes Ll, LB, the hyperbola ab is described through the points a and b.

And with the chord ba drawn the area ab.ba enclosed [finally] is equal to the area sought

AN.NB.

[Here the integration is performed over

2

AL.LB

LD

Dd. This becomes:

( ) ( )

( )

( )

2

2

2

2 2

2 2

4 2 2 2

2

2

2

1

2

2 4 4 1 1

2

1

g

a g a

a g

x

g a

a

A

a

g

a

g a g a

g a

LA.LB a dx dx' A A

LD A x' g a

g

g a

g x

Dd dx a dx' ln

+

+

+

+

+ +

+ +

=

, where

( )

2

2 2

2

2

2

2 2 2 2

2 2 2

1 and 1

4 4

4

a a

g g

g a

g

A

A g a a

g

= + = + =

. The total force is then the sum of

these component forces. Hence we have the total force F given by :

( ) ( ) 2

2

2 2 2 2

4

2 ( +g )

g a

g a

g

F ag a g a ln

=

.]

Example 2. If the centripetal force attracting the corpuscle towards the individual

particles shall be inversely as the cube of the distance, or (that is likewise ) as that cube

applied so some given plane ; write

3

2

2

PE

AS

for V, then as above write 2PS LD for

2

PE ;

and DN becomes as

2 2 2

2

2

2

SL AS AS AL.LB AS

PS LD PS

PS LD

, that is (on account of the continued

proportionals PS, AS, SI) as

2

1

2

2

LS.SI AL.LB SI

LD

LD

SI

.

[For recall that

2 2

SE SA PS.SI = = and hence

i.e.

2

2 2

1

2 2

2 2

AS SL AL.LB SL SI SI AL.LB SI

PS LD LD

LD LD

DN

= =

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 367

If the three parts of this may be multiplied by AB, the first

LS.SI

LD

,

[for

( )

2 2

2

2

2 2

1

2

1

1

g

a

g

g

LS.SI a a

LD g

g

x

+ +

= + , etc.]

will generate a hyperbolic area; the second

1

2

SI the area

1

2

AB SI ; the third

2

2

AL.LB SI

LD

2 2

AL.LB SI AL.LB SI

LA LB

, that is

1

2

AB SI . From the first

there may be taken the sum of the second and the third,

and the area sought ANB will remain. From such the

construction of the problem emerges. Erect the

perpendiculars Ll, Aa, Ss, Bb to the points L, A, S, B, of which Ss may be equal to SI, and

through the point s to the asymptotes Ll, LB the hyperbola asb may be described crossing

the perpendiculars Aa, Bb at a and b; and the rectangle 2AS.SI taken from the hyperbolic

area AasbB leaves the area sought ANB.

[Thus, Newton fits a section of a hyperbola to the forces at the ends A and B of the

diameter of the sphere, and uses this area as a known amount, without mentioning natural

logarithms.]

Example 3. If the centripetal force, attracting the corpuscle to the individual particles of

the sphere, decreases in the quadruple ratio of the distance from the particles ; write

4

3

2

PE

AS

for V, then 2PS LD for PE, and DN becomes as

2 2 2

3 6

1 1 1

2 2 2 2 2

SI SL SI SI AL.LB

SI SI LD SI

LD LD

;

The three parts of which multiplied by the length AB, produces just as many areas, viz.

2 2 2

3 3

2 1 1 1 1

2 2 2 2

into ; in ; and into

SI SL SI SI ALB

SI LA LB SI SI

LA LB

LB LA

And these after due reduction become

2 3

2 2

2 2

3

,

SI SL SI

LI LI

SI ,&SI

with the latter taken from the former,

3

4

3

SI

LI

. Hence the total force, by which the corpuscle

P is drawn to the centre of the sphere, is as

3

SI

PI

, that is, reciprocally as

3

PS PI . Q.E.I.

[Chandrasekhar provides equivalent modern integrations for Newton's results on pp.291-

293 of his book. Leseur & J anquier provide very longwinded derivations of these

integrations, which have not been included here.]

By the same method it is possible to determine the attraction of the corpuscle in place

outside the sphere, but it will be more expeditious by the following theorem.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 368

PROPOSITION LXXXII. THEOREM XLI.

In a sphere with centre S described with the radius SA, if the continued proportions SI,

SA, SP may be taken: I say that the attraction of a corpuscle within the sphere, at some

place I, to the attraction outside the sphere at the place P, is compounded in the ratio

from the square root of the distances from the centre IS, PS, and in the square root ratio

of the centripetal forces, at these places P and I, tending to the centre of attraction.

For, if the centripetal forces of the particles of the sphere shall be reciprocally as the

distances of the corpuscles attracting each other; the force, by which a corpuscle situated

at I is attracted by the whole sphere, to that by which it is attracted at P, is compounded

from the ratio of the square root of the distance SI to the distance SP, and from the square

root ratio of the centripetal force at the position I, arising from some particle situated at

the centre, to the centripetal force at the position P arising from the same particle at the

centre, that is, in the square root ratio of the distances SI, SP reciprocally in turn.

[i.e.

PS I

P IS

F F

SP

F F

SI

= in an obvious notation.]

Then these square root ratios make a ratio of equality, and therefore the attractions at I

and P from the whole sphere are made equal. By a similar computation, if the forces of

the particles of the sphere are inversely in the square ratio of the distances, it may be

deduced that the attraction at I shall be to the attraction at P, as the distance SP to the

radius of the sphere SA: If these forces are inversely as the triplicate ratio of the distances,

the attractions at I and P are in turn as SP

2

to SA

2

: If in the quadruplicate, as SP

3

ad SA

3

.

From which since the attraction at P, in this final case, were found inversely as

3

PS PI ,

the attraction at 1 will be inversely as

3

SA PI , that is (on account of

3

SA ) inversely as

PI. And the progression to infinity is similar. Thus truly the Theorem is demonstrated.

Now with everything in place as before, and with a corpuscle present at some place P,

the applied ordinate DN may be found, i.e.

2

DE PS

PE V

DN

= . Therefore if IE may be

drawn, that ordinate for some other corpuscle in the place I, with everything changed

requiring to be changed, in order that

2

DE IS

IE V

emanating from some point of the sphere E, to be in turn with the distances IE, PE, as

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 369

to

n n

PE IE (where the number n designates the index of the powers PE and IE) and these

ordinates [of the forces] become as

2 2

and

n n

DE PS DE IS

PE PE IE IE

, the ratio of which in turn is as

to

n n

PS IE IE IS PE PE . Because on account of the continued proportionals SI,

SE, SP, the triangles SPE and SEI are similar, hence there becomes IE to PE as IS to SE

or SA; for the ratio IE to PE write the ratio IS to SA; and the ratio of the ordinates

emerges to

n n

PS IE SA PE .

[Thus, the ratio of the forces on like particles at P and I due to an incremental shell at E

of the sphere at E,

2

2

n n n n

PE

n n n n

IE

F

DE PS IE IE PS IS PS PS IE IE IE IE

F PE IS SE SA IS SA

PE PE DE IS PE PE PE

=

= = = = ;

but ; or

SI SI SI IE IE

PE SA PE

SP.SI SP

; = = = and

SP SP SP

SA

SP.SI SI

= = hence

1

2

2 2

2 1

2 2

n n

n n

PE

n n n n

IE

F

SP DE PS IE IE PS SI SI IE IE

F PE IS

PE PE DE IS PE SI

SP SP

= = = = .]

But PS to SA is as the square root ratio of the distances PS to SI; and the square root

to

n n

IE PE (on account of the proportionals IE to PE as IS to SA) is the ratio of the

forces at the distances PS, IS. Therefore the ordinates, and therefore the areas which the

ordinates describe, and from these proportional attractions, are in a ratio composed from

the square roots of these ratios. Q.E.D.

[The points P and I are inverse points with respect to the sphere of radius a; hence we

have ( )

2

a g g a SP SI = = . From the first example, the force acting on P due to the

whole sphere is

( ) ( ) 2

2

2 2 2 2

1

4

2 ( +g )

g a

g a

g

F ag a g a ln

=

while the force F

2

acting on

a similar corpuscle within the sphere at the inverse point is given by the same formula,

and thus the forces at P and I are equal in this case. Chandrasekhar shows that such image

forces at the image points R

1

and R

2

are related in general by

( )

1

1 1

1

2

2

2 n

n

F R

F

R

+

+

= , where

2

1 2

R R a = , and the forces are proportional to the n

th

power of the distance ; in this case

1 n = , and thus the forces are equal; and the other cases Newton enumerates for higher

powers are as given by this result. Thus, as Chandrasekhar points out, Newton was

already familiar with the image method of inverse points applied to the gravitational

cases of spheres as we will now find out, and later was discovered and used for solving

electrostatics problems by William Thompson.]

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 370

PROPOSITION LXXXIII. PROBLEM XLII.

To find the force by which a corpuscle located at the centre of a sphere is attracted to any

segment of this.

Let P be some body at the centre of the sphere, and RBSD a segment of this sphere

contained by the plane RDS and by the spherical surface RBS. The spherical surface EFG

described with centre P may cut DB in F, and the segment

may be separated into the parts BREFGS and FEDG. But that

surface shall not be a purely mathematical one, but a physical

one, having a minimum depth. This thickness may be called O,

and this will be the surface (demonstrated by Archimedes) as

PF DF O . [we can think of O as the incremental

thickness.] Besides we may put the attractive forces of the

particles of the sphere to be inversely as that power of the

distances of which the index is n ; and the force, by which the

surface EFG pulls on the body P, will be (by Prop. LXXIX.)

as

2

n

DE O

PF

that is, as

2

1

2

n n

DF O DF O

PF PF

. [For

( )

2 2 2

2 DE PF PD PF DF DF = = .] The perpendicular

FN multiplied by O shall be drawn proportional to this ; and the curved area BDI, that the

applied ordinate FN [that is in modern terms, the y coordinate] will describe by the

motion through the length DB, will be as the total force RBSD attracting the body P.

Q.E.I.

PROPOSITION LXXXIV. PROBLEM XLIII.

To find the force, by which a corpuscle, beyond the centre of the sphere at some place on

the axis of the segment, is attracted by the same segment.

The body P located on the axis of this ADB may

be attracted by the segment EBK. With centre P and

with the radius PE the spherical surface EFK is

drawn, by which the segment may be separated into

two parts EBKSE and EBKDE. The force of the

first part may be found by Prop. LXXXI. and the

force of the second part by Prop. LXXXIII ; and the

sum of the forces will be the force of the whole

segment EBKDE. Q.E.I.

Scholium.

With the attractions of spherical bodies explained, now it may be permitted to go on

to the laws of attraction of certain bodies similarly constructed from attracting particles ;

but to treat these a little less than it is considered customary. Certain more general

proposition concerning the forces of bodies of this kind will suffice to be added, from

which motions thence originated, on account of these being of some little use in

philosophical matters.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 385

SECTION XIII.

Concerning the attractive forces of nonspherical bodies.

PROPOSITION LXXXV. THEOREM XLII.

If the attraction of a body by another shall be far greater, when it is attracted in contact,

than when the bodies may be separated by the smallest distance from each other: then the

forces of the attracting particles in the distant parts of the attracting body, decrease in a

ratio greater than the square of the distances from the particles.

For if the forces between the particles decrease in the inverse square ratio of the

distances; the attraction towards a spherical body, [placed at the point of contact and

drawn within the attracting body with the same curvature as the surface at this point],

because that attraction (by Prop. LXXIV.) shall be inversely as the square of the distance

of the attracted body from the centre of the sphere, will not be sensibly increased on

being in contact; and it will be increased even less by the contact, if the attraction in the

more distant parts from [the point of contact] of the attracting body may decrease in a

smaller ratio. Therefore the proposition is apparent for the attraction of spheres. And

there is the same reasoning for concave spherical shells attracting bodies externally. And

the matter is agreed upon even more with hollow shells attracting bodies within

themselves, since the attractions may be removed everywhere through the cavity by

opposing attractions (by Prop. LXX), and thus are even zero at the contact point itself.

For if from these spherical and spherical shells any parts may be taken from places

remote from the point of the point of contact, and new parts may be added elsewhere : the

shapes of these attracting bodies may be changed at will, yet the parts added or removed,

since they shall be remote from the point of contact, will not notably increase the excess

of the attraction which arises at the point of contact. Therefore the proposition may be

agreed upon for all shapes of bodies. Q. E. D.

[The reader may wish to reflect on the electrostatic analogy of this theorem.]

PROPOSITION LXXXVI. THEOREM XLIII.

If the forces of the particles, from which the attracting body is composed, decrease in

the remote parts of the attracting body in the triplicate or greater ratio of the distances

from the particles : the attraction will be much stronger in contact, than when the

attracted and attracting bodies may be separated in turn even at a minimal distance.

For it is agreed in the approach of an attracted corpuscle to an attracting sphere of this

kind that the attraction increases indefinitely, by the solution of Problem XLI in the

second and third example shown. Likewise, it is easily deduced from that example and

Theorem XLI taken together, concerning the attractions of bodies towards concave-

convex shells, either with the attracted bodies gathered together outside the shells, or

within the cavities of these. But also by adding or taking away any attracting matter from

these spheres and shells somewhere beyond the point of contact, so that the attracting

bodies may adopt there some assigned figure, the proposition will be agreed upon

generally for all bodies. Q. E. D.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 386

PROPOSITION LXXXVII. THEOREM XLIV.

If two bodies similar to each other, and consisting of equally attracting material, may

each attract corpuscles to themselves, with these corpuscles proportional and similar to

themselves : the accelerative attractions of the corpuscles for the whole bodies shall be

as the accelerative attractions of the corpuscles for all the proportional particles of these,

similarly put in place in the whole bodies.

For if the bodies may be separated into particles which may be proportional to the

whole, and similarly situated in the whole; there will be, as the attraction of some

particle of one body to the attraction in the corresponding particle in the other body, thus

the corresponding attractions in the individual particles of the first body to the individual

particle attractions in the other ; and on adding these together, thus the attraction in the

first whole body to the attraction in the second whole body.

Q. E. D.

[This proposition is an assertion that a body may be considered as consisting of particles,

each of which, and collections of these, up to the whole body, behave in the same way

under the influence of a mutual attraction with another body, similarly constituted:

Newton's bodies are held together by gravitational attractions that extend to other bodies,

wholly or in part. The same rules can be extended to other unspecified forces, obeying

inverse power laws, that give rise to a scaling law, as set out by Chandrasekhar pp305-

306 : Thus, if the force on a corpuscle at position R relative to an extended body, and

summed over the constituent particles, each of which exerts a force, resolved along the

axes, of which ( )

n

dv

x

R r

dF R density

volume, and varying inversely as the n

th

power of the distance, is given on replacing

r r;R R , by

3

( )

n

n

dv

x

R r

dF R density

the certain cases 2 3 4 n , , = .]

Corol. 1. Therefore if the attractive forces of the particles, with the distances of the

particles increased, may decrease in the ratio of some power of any of the distances; the

accelerative attractions in the whole bodies shall be as the bodies directly, and these

powers of the distances, inversely. So that if the forces of the particles may decrease in

the ratio of the squares of the distances from the corpuscles attracted, the bodies

moreover shall be as

3 3

A &B . and thus both the cubic sides of bodies, as well as the

distances of the attracting bodies from the bodies, as A & B: the accelerative attractions in

the bodies will be as

3 3

2 2

A B

A B

& , that is, as the sides from these cubic bodies A & B. If the

forces of the particles may decrease in the triplicate ratio of the distances from the

attracting bodies; the accelerative attractions in the whole bodies will be as

3 3

3 3

A B

A B

& , that

is, equal. If the forces may decrease in the quadruple ratio; the attractions between the

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 387

bodies will be as

3 3

4 4

A B

A B

& , that is , inversely as the cubic sides A & B. And thus for the

others.

Corol.2. From which in turn, from the forces by which similar bodies attract corpuscles

similarly put in place to themselves, the ratio of the decrease of the attractive forces of

the particles can be deduced in the receding of the attracting corpuscles; but only if that

decrease shall be directly or inversely in some ratio of the distances.

PROPOSITION LXXXVIlI. THEOREM XLV.

If the attractive forces of the equal particles of some body shall be as the distances of

the places from the particles : the force of the whole body will tend towards the centre of

gravity of this ; and it will be the same as with the force of a globe agreed upon from the

same material and equal in all respects, and having the centre of this at the centre of

gravity.

The particles A, B of the body RSTV may pull some

corpuscle Z by forces, which, if the particles may be

equal among themselves, shall be as the distances AZ,

BZ; but if unequal particles may be put in place, the

forces shall be as these particles and the distances of

these AZ, BZ jointly, or (if I may say thus), as these

particles respectively multiplied by their distances AZ,

BZ . And these forces may be set out contained by

these A AZ &B BZ . AB may be joined and with

that line cut in G so that there shall be AG to BG as the particle B to the particle A; and G

will be the common centre of gravity of the particles A & B . The forceA AZ (by Corol.

2. of the laws) is resolved into the forces and A GZ A AG and the force B BZ into the

forces and B GZ B BG . But the forces and A AG B BG are equal, on account of

the proportionals A to B and BG to AG; therefore since they may be directed in opposite

directions, the mutually cancel each other out. The forces remain and A GZ B Gz .

These tend from Z towards the centre G, and they compound the force A B GZ + ; that

is, the same force. and as if the attracting particles A & B may constitute the components

of the common centre of gravity G of these, there the components of a globe.

By the same argument, if a third particle C may be added and also it may be

compounded with the force A B GZ + tending towards the centre G; hence the force

arising tends towards the common centre of gravity of that globe at G and of the particle

C; that is, to the common centre of gravity of the three particles A, B, C; and it will be the

same as if the globe and the particle C may be present at that common centre, comprising

a greater globe. And thus it may go on indefinitely. Therefore the total force of all the

particles bodies of any kind is the same RSTV, as if that body, by maintaining the centre

of gravity, may adopt the figure of a globe. Q. E. D.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 388

Corol. Hence the motion of the attracted body Z will be the same, as if the attracting body

RSTV were spherical : and therefore if that attracting body either were at rest, or

progressing uniformly along a direction ; the attracted body will be moving in an ellipse

having at its attracting centre the centre of gravity.

PROPOSITIO LXXXIX. THEOREMA XLVI.

If several bodies shall consist of equal particles, of which the forces shall be as the

distances of the places from the individual particles : the force from all the forces added

together, by which a certain corpuscle is attracted, will tend towards the common centre

of gravitational attraction ; and it will be the same, as if the particles might group

together and be formed into a globe by that attraction, with the centre serving as a

common centre of gravity

.

This may be demonstrated in the same manner as with the above proposition.

Corol. Therefore the motion of an attracted body will be the same, as if the attracting

bodies, with a common centre of gravity maintained, may coalesce and be formed into a

globe. And thus if the common centre of gravity of the attracting bodies may either be at

rest, or progressing uniformly along a right line; an attracted body will be moving in an

ellipse, by having the centre in that common attracting centre of gravity.

PROPOSITION XC. PROBLEM XLIV.

If equal centripetal forces may attract the individual points of any circle , increasing or

decreasing in some ratio of the distances: to find the force, by which a corpuscle may be

attracted at some position on a straight line, which remains perpendicular to the plane

of the circle at its centre.

With centre A and with some radius AD, a

circle may be understood to be described in the

plane, to which the right line AP is

perpendicular ; and the force shall be required

to be found, by which some corpuscle P on the

same is attracted. A right line PE may be drawn

from some point E of the circle to the attracted

corpuscle P. On the right line PA, PF may be

taken equal to PE itself, and the normal FK

may be erected, which shall be as the force by

which the point E attracts the corpuscle P. And

let IKL be the curved line that always touches

the point K. The same curved line may cross

the plane of the circle at L. On PA there may be

taken PH equal to PD, and a perpendicular to

the aforementioned curve HI may be erected crossing at I; and the attraction of the

corpuscle P to the circle will be as the area AHIL taken by the altitude AP. Q. E. I.

And indeed on AE the line Ee may be taken as minimal [i.e. as the increment dx]. Pe

may be joined, and on PE and PA there may be taken PC and Pf themselves equal to Pe.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 389

And since the force, by which the annulus with centre A and radius AE described in the

aforementioned plane, attracts P to some point E of the body itself, is put to be as FK,

and hence the force, by which that point attracts the body P towards A, is as

AP FK

PE

and

the force, by which the whole annulus attracts the body P towards A ,as the annulus

and

AP FK

PE

conjointly [for if ( ) f r if the force due to the increment Ee along Pe, the

normal force due to the whole annulus is ( ) 2 area of annulis

AP

PE

rf r cos FK ]; but

the annulus itself is as the rectangle under the radius AE and with the width Ee, and this

rectangle (on account of the proportionals PE and AE, Ee and CE) is equal to the

rectangle PE CE orPE Ff [for

CE

sin

AE Ee PE sin PE CE PF Ff

= = = ]; the

force, by which the annulus itself attracts the body P towards A, will be as

and

AP FK

PF

PE Ff

jointly, that is, as contained by Ff FK AP , or as the area FKkf

multiplied by AP. And therefore the sum of the forces, by which all the annuli in the

circle, which is described with centre A and interval AD, attract the body P towards A, is

as the total area AHIKL multiplied by AP. Q.E.D.

[We note that ( ) 2 Ff FK AP f r dr

, where the area under the integral becomes

AHIL.]

Corol. 1. Hence if the forces of the points decrease in the duplicate ratio of the distance,

that is, if FK shall be as

2

1

PF

, and thus the area AHIKL as

1 1

PA PH

; the attraction of the

corpuscle P into the circle will be as 1

PA

PH

, that is, as

AH

PH

.

Corol.2. And universally, if the forces of the points at the distances D shall be

reciprocally as some power of some distances

n

D , that is, if FK shall be as

1

n

D

, and thus

AHIKL as

1 1

1 1

n n

PA PH

; the attraction of the corpuscle P towards the circle shall be as

2 1

1 1

n n

PA PH

Corol. 3. And if the diameter of the circle may be increased to infinity, and the number

n shall be greater than unity ; the attraction of the corpuscle P in the whole infinite plane

shall be as

2 n

PA

, because therefore the other term PA vanishes.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 390

PROPOSITION XCI. PROBLEM XLV.

To find the attraction of a body situated on the axis of a solid of rotation, to the

individual points of which equal centripetal

forces attract in some decreasing ratio of the

distances.

The corpuscle P is attracted towards the

solid DECG, situated on the axis of this AB.

This solid may be cut by some circle RFS

perpendicular to its axis, and on the radius of

this FS, by some other plane PALKB passing

through the axis, the length FK may be taken

for the force (by Prop. XC.), by which the

corpuscle P is attracted proportionally in that circle. Moreover the point K may touch the

line LKI, meeting the planes of the outermost circles AL and BI at L and I ; and the

attraction of the corpuscle P towards the solid will be as the area LABI. Q.E.I.

Corol. 1. From which if the solid shall be a cylinder described by revolving the

parallelogram ADEB about the axis AB, and the centripetal forces tending towards the

individual points of this shall be inversely as the square of the distances from the points :

the attraction of the corpuscle P will be towards this cylinder as AB PE PD + . For the

applied ordinate FK [i.e. the increment of the

force] (by Corol. I. Prop. XC.) will be as

1

PF

PR

[for the force due to the incremental

circle is proportional to

( )

1 1

1

PF

PF PR PR

PF = ]. The part 1 which

multiplied by the length AB, will describe the

area1 AB : and the other part

PF

PR

multiplied

by the length PB, will describe the area 1 by

PE AD , that which can be easily shown

from the quadrature of the curve LKI ;

and similarly the same part multiplied by the length PA will describe the area 1 by

PD AD , and multiplied by the difference of PB and PA, AB will describe the

difference 1 by PE AD of the areas. From the first content1 AB there may be taken

away the latter 1 by PE AD , and there will remain the area LABI equal to 1 by

AB PE PD + . Therefore the force, proportional to this area, is as AB PE PD + .

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 391

[for in a similar manner to the above : the incremental force dF due to the incremental

cylinder circle with diameter RS and width dr from above will be equal to

( ) 2 2

1 1 1

2 2 2

PR PR

dr z

r PF PR

r r

PF PF

rdr PF PF = =

; the sum of the increment forces due to

these incremental cylinders will be as

( )

( ) ( )

1 1

2 2

2 2

2 2 2 2

1 1

2 2

PB

z

a z

PA

zdz PB PA a PB a PA AB PE PD

+

= + + + +

]

[There follows an extended note to this rather important following result.]

Corol. 2. Hence also the force will become known, by which a spheroid AGBC attracts

some body P, situated on its axis outside AB ; NKRM shall be the conic section of which

the applied ordinate is ER, perpendicular to PE itself, that may always be equal to the

length PD, which is drawn to that point D, at which the applied line may cut the

spheroid. From the vertices of the spheroid A and B to its axis AB, the perpendiculars AK

and BM may be erected equal to AP and BP respectively, and therefore crossing the

conic section at K & M; and KM may be joined, taking KMRK from the same segment.

Moreover let the centre of the spheroid be S and the greatest radius SC: and the force, by

which the spheroid attracts the body P, will be to the force, by which a sphere with the

diameter AB described cuts the same body, as

2

2 2 2

AS CS PS KMRK

PS CS AS

+

to

3

2

3

AS

PS

. And from the

same fundamentals it is possible by computation to find the forces of the spheroidal

segment. [The red lines and variables have been added to aid the following integration.]

[We acknowledge the work done by Chandrasekhar in solving this problem in modern

terms, which is introduced and paraphrased here somewhat. The problem has also been

solved by a Leseur and J anquier, which we subsequently present fully in translation. First

of all, the oblate spheroid is an ellipse rotated about the major axis GC, while the minor

axis is AB. Thus, we have the customary implicit equation of the ellipse :

2

2

2 2

1

y

x

a b

+ = ,

taking S as the origin, SG as the positive x-axis, and SA as the positive y axis. From

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 392

Newton's construction, we have given ; ; PA AK PE ER PB BM = = = ; also,

; ; ED x SE y PS Y = = = and EP Y y = ; hence ( )

2

2

PD x Y y = + . The incremental

force due to an incremental slice of the oblate spheroid is given by Cor.1 above as

2 2

1 1

zdz PF PE

PR PD

x z

dz

+

= in this case. The force due to the whole solid of revolution

is then, ignoring the 2 factor, is then given by

2 2

1

Y b

z

x z

Y b

F dz

+

+

; before this

integral can be evaluated, we must write x in terms of z : from

2

2

2 2

1

y

x

a b

+ = we have

( ) ( )

2 2

2

2

2 2 2

2 2

1;

b z a b z

x

a b b

x a

+ = = ;

hence

( ) ( ) ( )

( )

2 2 2 2

2

2 2 2 2 2 2

1

1 1

1 1

1 1 1

b z a b z b z

z

a b b z e z

Y b Y b Y b

z

a

Y b Y b Y b

F dz dz dz

+ + +

= = =

; recall that

the eccentricity is related to a and b by the equation

( )

2 2 2

1 b a e = , hence

( )

( )

2

2 2

1

1

1

1

b z

e z

Y b

Y b

F dz

equivalent to Newton's result, on page 316 of his book, Newton's Principia for the

common reader. Rather than presenting that derivation here, we will delve into the other

presentation by L & S, which is more relevant to Newton's approach, and although rather

long, is presumably similar to the manner in which Newton derived the result. The fact

that an elliptic integral corresponding to the area KRMK arises, which Newton could not

resolve by conventional means, is of some interest.]

ADDITION :

Leseur & J anquier derivation of Newton's result for the oblate spheroid:

[Note 542 part (x)] NKRM shall be the conic section of which the applied ordinate is ER,

perpendicular to PE itself, that may always be

equal to the length PD, which is drawn to that

point D, at which the applied line may cut the

spheroid......

Let AP a = , andAS b = shall be the semi-axis

of the given curve ACB, the rotation of which

generates the spheroid, the other semi-diameter

SC c, AE x = = , there will be PE a x = + , and

from the equation of the ellipse [

( )

2

2

2 2

1

x b

ED

b c

+ = ],

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 393

2

2

2 2

2

c

b

ED bx x = ;

from which the square of the ordinate ER [ =PD ] to the curve NKRM is given by

2 2

2 2

2 2 2 2 2 2

2 2

c c

b b

PD PE ED a ax x bx x = + = + + + ; therefore, since this equation for the

curve NKRM does not to rise beyond the second degree it is agreed that curve shall be

one of the conic sections : moreover it will be an ellipse, if the quantity

2

2

2 2

c

b

x x shall be

negative, which comes about when SC or c is greater than AS or b; Truly it will be a

parabola if that quantity may vanish, and thus if c b = , which eventuates when the curve

ACB is a circle; and then it will be a hyperbola if that quantity is positive, that is, if AS is

the longer semi-axis.

[Continuing, note 543 :] ACB shall be an ellipse the axis CS of which shall be greater

than the axis AS, in which case the curve NKRM will be an ellipse [i.e. c >b above], and

from this ratio, the axes and vertex of this curve NKRM will be determined. The semi-

axis of this ellipse NKRM may be

called ON s = , and the other semi-

axis OT may be called t, the

distance of the vertex N from the

vertex A of the curve ACB may be

called p, the abscissa NE will be

p x = + , and the square of the

ordinate ER will be from the

equation of the ellipse

2

2

2 2

2 2 2

t

s

sp sx p px x + ,

which from the hypothesis of the

construction was found above

2 2

2 2

2 2 2

2 2

c c

b b

a ax x bx x = + + + .

The homogeneous terms of these

values may be brought together,

evidently constants with constants,

these which include one variable

with similar ones, etc., and three

equations arise, with the variable omitted:

2 2 2 2 2

2 2 2 2

2 2

2 ; ; 1

t c t c t

b

s s b s

a sp p a s p = + = = .

From that third equation, with each sign changed, with the first member reduced to a

common denominator, and with the terms inverted, there becomes

2 2 2 2

2 2 2 2 2

2

and

s b b t

t c b c b

s .

= = Then the second equation

2 2

2

c t

b

s

a s p + = , with the terms

multiplied by

2

2

s

t

, with the reduction made of the first member to the same denominator,

and with the substitution made of the above value of

2

2

s

t

found, will become

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 394

2 2

b

c b

s p ba cc

2

2

2 2

2

t

s

a sp p =

multiplied

2

2

s

t

, each with the sign changed and with s

2

added, becomes finally

2

2 2

2 2 2 2

2

b

c b

s a s sp p

square of the quantity s p , with the value of this substituted in the first value found,

and in place of s

2

in the first term also with the value of this substituted, there becomes

( )

2 2

2 2 2 2

2 2 2

b b

c b c b

t a ba c

= + , and with each term divided by

( )

2

2 2

b

c b

with a

2

transposed, and by reducing the second term to a common denominator, and with the

common terms canceling each other, there shall be

2

2 2

2 2 2

2

c

c b

t a ab c

= + + , or because

PS a b = + , thus, there becomes

2

2 2

2 2 2 2

c

c b

t PS b c

= + , certainly

2

2 2

2 2 2 2

CS

CS AS

OT PS AS CS

found the remaining terms pertaining to the ellipse can be conveniently found.

With regard to the following note, from these we will determine the value of the

quantity

2 2 2

2

t s PO

t

+

that is equal to the quantity

2

2 2 2

CS

PS AS CS +

, which thus may be put in

place with the above values found. From the third equation, there is

2 2

2 2

2

b t

c b

s

= , hence

there will be

2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2

2 2 2 2

2 2

b t c t b t c t

c b c b

s t

+

+ = = , and thus

2 2 2 2

2 2 2 2 2

s t c CS

t c b CS AS

+

= = . Truly there

will be AO s p = , and PO PA AO a s p = + = + , and since there shall be

( ) ( )

2 2 2

s p c b ba c = + , from the second equation, there is

2 2

2

b

c b

PO a ba c

= + + ,

with which value reduced to a common denominator, and with terms canceling out, there

is

2

2 2

c

c b

PO a b

= + or

2

2 2

CS

CS AS

PS

2

2 2

2 2 2 2

CS

CS AS

t PS AS CS

= + , there is

2 2 2 2

PO PS

t PS AS CS +

= and

2

2 2 2 2 2 2

PO CS PS

t CS AS PS AS CS +

= . From which there is finally

2 2 2 2 2 2

2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2

s t PO CS CS PS

t CS AS CS AS PS AS CS

+

+

= , or

( )

2 2

2 2 2 2 2

1

CS PS

CS AS PS AS CS +

= , and on

being reduced to the same denominator, with terms canceling,

2 2 2 2

2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2

CS AS CS CS

CS AS PS AS CS PS AS CS

+

+ +

= = with the numerator and denominator divided by

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 395

2 2

CS AS . Therefore there is

2 2 2 2

2 2 2 2

s t PO CS

t PS AS CS

+

+

= . Q.e.d.

[Continuing, note 544 :] Moreover, let the given curve ACB be a circle, thus so the

spheroid arising from the rotation of this shall be a sphere, the curve NKRM then will be a

parabola, for with everything that has been said remaining in place from the previous

note, there will be as before, PE a x = + , and from the equation of the circle,

2 2

2 EP bx x = , from which there shall be PF squared

=

2 2 2 2 2 2

2 2 2 2 PE EF a ax x bx x a ax bx + = + + + = + + ; since therefore the ordinate ER

to the curve NKRM may be taken equal to PF, the square of this ordinate will be equal to

the abscissa itself multiplied by a constant quantity, but not increasing beyond the first

order, which is a property of the parabola. Therefore the latus rectum of this parabola

may be called 1, the distance of the vertex N from the vertex A of the curve ACB may be

called p, the abscissa NE will be p x + , and from the equation of the parabola, the square

of the ordinate ER =1 1 p x + this value may be united with the value of the same ER

2

found above,

2

2 2 a ax bx + + , the constant terms with constants, and those which include

the variable with similar ones, become two equations

2

1 and 1 2 2 2 p a , a b PS, = = + =

and thus

2 2

2 2 2

a PA

a b PS

p

+

= = ; and since from the equation of the parabola , there shall be

2

1 ER p x = + , there will be

2

2

ER

PS

p x NE + = = ; and since the parabolic area between the

abscissa, the ordinate, and the curve intercepted shall be equal to two thirds of the

rectangle of the abscissa by the ordinates, the area of the parabola

3

2

3

3

2 3

ER

ER

PS PS

NER = = ,

and because, from the construction, the ordinates erected at A and B shall equal PA and

PB, the parabolic area will be

3

3

PA

PS

NEK = , and the parabolic area

( )

3

3 2

3 3

PA AS

PB

PS PS

NBM

+

= = , and the difference of these areas AKRMB corresponding to the

axis of the sphere AB, will be

2 2 3

6 12 8

3

PA AS PA AS AS

PS

+ +

, and then with the trapezium

AKMB removed, the segment of the remaining parabolic segment will be equal to

3

2

3

PA

PS

,

for the trapezium AKMB is equal to

1

2

AB AK BM + or, since (because

1

2

and 2 AB AS, AK PA, BM PB PA AS = = = = + ) it is equal to

2

2 2 AS PA AS + , and by

reduction to the denominator 3PS or 3 3 PA AS + it equals

2 2 3

6 12 6

3

AS PA AS PA AS

PS

+ +

, that

taken from the area AKRMB =

2 2 3

6 12 8

3

PA AS PA AS AS

PS

+ +

leaves

3

2

3

AS

PS

. Q.e.d.

[Continuing, note 545 :] The force, by which the spheroid attracts the body P, will be to

the force, by which a sphere with the diameter AB described cuts the same body, as

2

2 2 2

AS CS PS KMRK

PS CS AS

+

to

3

2

3

AS

PS

.

J ust as the solution of this problem may be put in place, the second curve described

AB, the ordinates of which for the single point E shall be equal to the force by which the

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 396

body P is attracted by a circle the radius of which is ED; that force is, by Cor. 1. Prop

XC, as 1

PE

PD

, OE shall be the abscissa of this curve assumed from the point O (with the

centre of the curve NKRM just noted 543 determined) and it may be called z, the fluxion

[i.e. differential] of this will be dz, and thus the differential of the area of the curve which

shows the force of the spheroid will be

PE

PD

dz dz , and since there shall be

and PE PO OE PO z PD ER = = = , the ordinates of the curve NKRM, from the

construction, and there shall be, as is easily deduced from note 543,

2 2

t

s

ER s z = , the

differential of this area shall be

2 2 2 2

t t

s s

POdz zdz

s z s z

dz

+ . Of the positive terms

2 2

t

s

zdz

s z

dz

+

the fluent [i.e. the indefinite integral] is

2 2

s

t

z s z + but as

2 2

2 2

2 2 2 2

and

s s t s

t s

t t

z OE s z s z ER = = = , the corresponding differential of the

positive term is

2

2

s

t

OE ER , and the total area of the corresponding line OA is

2

2

s

t

OA AK , from which the corresponding second area of the part OB required to be

taken away, as the curve which the force of the spheroid is not lead to express, and which

is

2

2

s

t

OB BM , and as by the construction and AK AP, BM PB BA AP = = = + , truly

there will be the integral

2 2 2 2

2 2 2

s s s t

t t t

OA OB AP BA AP AB AB AB

+

= + = .

The integral of the third term

2 2

t

s

POdz

s z

is found thus; the differential

of the elliptic sector of the ellipse TOK

1

2

2 2

stdz

s z

is multiplied by

2

2PO

t

and the

proposed term arises

2 2

t

s

POdz

s z

, from which the integral of

the term proposed is that elliptic sector

TOK multiplied by

2

2PO

t

, but because

the area sought does not correspond to

the whole area OA, but rather to the

part AB of this, indeed the integral of

the area sought found from the third

term is the sector

2

2PO

t

TOK with the

sector

2

2PO

t

TOM removed, or the

sector

2

2PO

t

MOK . But the sector

MOK is divided into the rectilinear figure MOK and the curved figure MRK; the triangle

MOK becomes

1

2

PO AB , for the right line MK may be produced and will extend to P,

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 397

because and PA AK PB BM = = , the whole triangle certainly

1 1

2 2

OMP OP BM OP PB = = , and the triangle

1 1

2 2

OKP OP AK OP AP = = , from

which with triangle OKP subtracted from triangle OMP, there remains the triangle

( )

1 1

2 2

OMK OP PB AP OP AB = = . From which the integral sought of this third term

is

2

2 2 2 2

2 2 2 1

2

PO PO PO PO

t t t t

OP AB MRK AB MRK + = + , which taken from the integral

of the positive terms

2 2

2

s t

t

AB

+

becomes

2 2 2

2 2

2 s t PO PO

t t

AB MRK

+

, since there shall

be therefore

2 2 2 2

2 2 2 2

s t PO CS

t PS AS CS

+

+

= and

2 2 2 2

PO PS

t PS AS CS +

= by note 543, because

2 AB AS = , the integral sought is

2

2 2 2

2 2 AS CS PS MRK

PS AS CS

+

.

But if the curve ACB shall be a circle, truly the spheroid becomes a sphere, making

CS AS = and the segment MRK becomes

3

2

2

3

AS

PS

and thus that formula is changed into this

3

2 3 3

2 2 4

3

3 3

2 2 2 2 2

2 2

2

3

PS AS

PS

AS AS AS AS

AS

PS AS AS PS PS

+

= = , which expresses the force of the sphere; and thus

with the expression of the force of the spheroid and the force of the sphere divided by the

common multiple 2; the force of the spheroid to the force of the sphere shall be as

2

2 2 2

AS CS PS MRK

PS AS CS

+

to

3

2

3

AS

PS

. Q.e.d.

It is also possible to determine the force of the sphere, by this calculation, as first there

shall be 2 the abscissa PA a, AB b, AE x, PF v, = = = = and there will be

2 2 2

2 PE a ax x = + + , and

2 2

2 EF bx x = , from the equation of the circle, and thus

2 2 2

or 2 2 PF v a ax bx = + + , from which there is found

( ) ( )

2 2

2

2 2

and

v a vdv vdv

a b a b a b

x dx

+ + +

= = = , and

( )

2 2

2

2

and

a ab v dx dv

PF a b a b

PE

+ +

+ +

= = . And thus, with

the derivative of the area expressed, the force of the sphere shall be by Cor. I Prop. XC,

as

PEdx

PF

dx , this differential [or fluxion] will be as

( )

2 2

2

2

2

a ab v

a b

dx dv

+ +

+

, of which the

integral [or fluent] is

( )

2 3

1

3

2

2

2

a v abv v

a b

x Q

+ +

+

+ , where Q is a constant, which must vanish on

putting 0 x = and x a = , and thus

( ) ( )

3 2 3 3 2

1 4

3 3

2 2

2 2

2 2

0 and

a a b a a a b

a b a b

Q , Q

+ + +

+ +

+ = = ; but the force

of the whole sphere may be obtained if there becomes

or 2 and or 2 x AB b v PB a b = = + , and thus there is

( )

3 2 3 2 3 2 2 3

8 4 1

3 3 3

2

2 4 2 4

2

2

a a b a a b a a b ab b

a b

b

+

+

+ which reduces to

( )

2

2

3

2

2

2

b

a b

b

+

, or on putting AS

for b and PS for a b + , the total force of the sphere is

3

2

2

3

AS

PS

. Q.e.i.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 398

Corol. 3. But if the corpuscle may be placed within the spheroid on the axis, the

attraction will be as its distance from the centre. This may be easily proven by this

argument, whether the particle shall be on the axis, or

on some other given diameter. Let AGOF be the

attracting spheroid, S its centre, and P the attracted

body. Through that body P there are drawn both a

semi-diameter SPA, as well as any two right lines DE

and FG, hence crossing the spheroid at D and E, F

and G; PCM and HLN shall be the surfaces of two

interior spheroids, similar and concentric with the

exterior, the first of which may pass through the body

P, and may cut the right lines DE and FG in B and C,

the latter may cut the same right lines in H and I and in K and L. But all the spheroids

have a common axis, and hence the parts of the right lines thus intersected are mutually

equal to each other : DP and BE, FP and CG, DH and IE, FK and LG ; therefore as the

right lines DE, PB and HI may be bisected at the same point, as well as the right lines

FG, PC and K L. Now consider DPF and EPG to designate opposing cones, described

with infinitely small vertical angles DPF and EPG, and the lines DH and EI to be

infinitely small also; and the small parts cut of the spheroidal surfaces DHKF and GLIE,

on account of the equality of the lines DH and EI, will be in turn as the squares of their

distances from the corpuscle P, and therefore attract that corpuscle equally. And by the

same reason, if the spaces DPF and EGCB may be divided into small parts by the

surfaces of innumerable similar concentric spheroids having a common axis, all these

each attract the body P equally on both sides in the opposite directions. Therefore the

forces of the cone DPF and of the segment of the cone EGCB are equal, and by opposing

each other cancel out. And the ratio of all the forces of the material beyond the inner

spheroid PCBM. Therefore the body P is attracted only by the inner spheroid PCBM, and

therefore (by Corol.3. Prop. LXXII.) the attraction of this is as the force, by which the

body A is attracted by the whole spheroid AGOD, as the distance PS to the distance AS.

Q.E.D.

PROPOSITION XCII. PROBLEM XLVI.

For a given attracted body, to find the ratio of the decrease of the attraction of the

centripetal forces at the individual points of this.

From some given body either a sphere, a cylinder, or some other regular body is

required to be formed, of which the law of attraction can be found, for any decrease of

the ratio you please (by Prop. LXX, LXXXI, & XCI.). Then from the experiment

performed the force of attraction at different distances can be found, and the law of

attraction thence revealed for the whole body will give the ratio of the decrease of the

forces of the individual parts, as was required to be found.

[Such experiments were eventually performed by Henry Cavendish a century later.]

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 399

PROPOSITI XCIII. THEOREM XLVII.

If a solid may consist of a single plane surface [part], but with the remaining parts from

an infinitude of planes, with equal particles attracting equally, the forces of which in the

depths of the solid decrease in some ratio of the power greater than the square, and a

corpuscle may be attracted by the force of

the whole solid, by each of the plane parts

put in place : I say that the attractive

force of the solid, receding away from the

plane surface of this, decreases in the

ratio of some power, the root [i.e. base]

of this power is the distance of the

corpuscle from the plane, and the index

by three less than the index of the power

of the distances.

Case 1. Let LGl be the plane in which the

solid is terminated. But the solid may be

put in place from plane parts of this towards I, and resolved into innumerable planes

mHM, nIN, oKO, &c. parallel to GL itself. And in the first place the attracted body may

be put in place at C outside the solid. But CGHI may be drawn from these innumerable

perpendicular planes, and the attractive forces of the points of the solid may decrease in

a ratio of the powers of the distances, the index of which shall be the number n not less

than 3. Hence (by Corol. 3. Prop. XC.) the force, by which some plane mHM attracts the

point C, is inversely as

3 n

CH

. In the plane mHM, the length HM may itself be taken

reciprocally proportional of

2 n

CH

, and that force will be as HM. Similarly in the

individual planes lGL, nIN, oKO, &c. the lengths may be taken GL, IN, KO, &c.

reciprocally proportional to

2 2 2 n n n

CG ,CI ,CK ,

&c.; and the forces of the same planes

will be as the lengths taken, and thus the sum of the forces as the sum of the lengths, that

is, the whole force is as the area GLOK produced towards OK indefinitely. But that area

(by the known methods of quadratures) is reciprocally as

3 n

CG

, and therefore the force

of the whole solid is inversely as

3 n

CG

. Q. E. D.

[Note from L & J : Let CH x, = then MH will be as

2

1

n

x

by hypothesis, and the element

of the area GLMH corresponding to an element of the force- will be as

2 n

dx

x

, and thus

the area itself will be as

( )

3

1

3

n

n x

Q

x CG = . Whereby

( )

3

1

3

n

n CG

Q

( ) ( )

3 3

1 1

3 3

n n

n CG n CH

. But since CH becomes infinite, the term

( )

3

1

3

n

n CH

vanishes and

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 400

the area GLOK becomes infinite as

( )

3

1

3

n

n CG

as

3 n

CG

.]

Case 2. Now the corpuscle C may be placed in that part of the plane lGL within the solid,

and take the distance CK equal to the distance

CG. And the part of the solid LGloKO,

terminated by the parallel planes lGL, oKO,

the corpuscle C situated in the middle will

not be attracted by any part, with the counter

actions of the opposing points mutually being

removed from the equality. On that account

the corpuscle C is attracted only by the force

of the solid situated beyond the plane OK.

But this force (by the first case ) is inversely

as

3 n

CK

, that is (on account of the equality

of CG and CK) inversely as

3 n

CG

. Q. E. D.

Corol. I. Hence if the solid LGIN may be bounded by the two infinite parallel planes LG

and IN on each side ; the attractive force of is known, by taking away from the attractive

force of the whole infinite solid LGKO, the attractive force of the part beyond NIKO,

produced from KO indefinitely.

Corol. 2. If the ulterior part of this infinite solid, when the attraction of this taken with the

attraction of the nearer part is hardly of any concern, it may be rejected : the attraction of

that closer part may decrease in increasing the distance approximately in the ratio of the

power

3 n

CG

.

Corol. 3. And hence if some finite body, with a single plane part, may attract a corpuscle

from the middle region of this plane, and the distances between the corpuscle collated

with the dimensions of the attracting body shall be extremely small, it may be agreed

moreover that the body be attracting with homogeneous particles, the attractive forces of

which decrease in some ratio of the power greater than the square of the distances; the

attractive force of the whole body will decrease approximately in the ratio of the powers,

the base of which shall be that very small distance, and the index by three less than the

index of the former power. Concerning a body constructed from particles, the attractive

forces of which may decrease in the triplicate ratio of the distances, the assertion is not

valid; because hence, in that case, the attraction of these further parts of the infinite body

in the second corollary, is always infinitely greater than the attraction of the closer parts.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIII.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 401

Scholium.

If some body may be attracted perpendicularly towards a given plane, and the motion

of the body may be sought from some given law : the problem may be solved by seeking

(by Prop. XXXIX) the right motion of the body descending to this plane, and (by Corol. 2

of the laws) compounding with that uniform motion, following lines made parallel to the

same plane. And conversely, if the law of attraction of the body towards the plane along

lines made perpendicular may be sought, so that the attracted body may be moving along

some given curve from that condition, the problem may be solved by working according

to the example of the third problem.

Moreover the operations are accustomed to be drawn together by resolving the applied

ordinates in converging series. J ust as if to the base A [i.e. the x coordinate] the applied

ordinate may be given a length B at some given angle, which shall be as some power of

the base

m

n

A [i.e. or

m n

n m

B A A B = = ]; and the force by which the body shall be moving

along some curved line, following the position of the applied ordinate, either attracted to

or repelled from the plane base, so that it will always touch the upper end of the applied

ordinate [i.e. the y coordinate]: I may suppose the base to be increased from the minimum

O, and the applied ordinate ( )

m

n

A O + to be resolved into an infinite series

2

2

m m n m n

n n n m mm mn

n nn

A OA OOA

dimensions, I suppose to be proportional to the force, that is, the term

2

2

m n

n mm mn

nn

OOA

.

Therefore the force sought is as

2 m n

n mm mn

nn

A

, or what is moreover, as

2 m n

m mm mn

nn

B

. So

that if the applied ordinate may touch a parabola, with 2 and 1 m , n = = arising: the force

becomes as given 2B

0

, and thus may be given [as constant]. Therefore with a given force

a body will be moving in a parabola, just as Galilio showed. But if the applied ordinate

may touch a hyperbola, with 0 1and 1 m , n = = arising ; the force becomes as

3

2A

or

3

2B : and thus the force, which shall be as the cube of the applied ordinate, will cause the

body to move in a hyperbola. But with propositions of this kind dismissed, I go on to

certain other kinds of motion, which I shall only touch on.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIV.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 411

SECTION XIV.

Concerning the motion of the smallest bodies, which may be set in motion by attracting

centripetal forces towards the individual parts of some great body.

PROPOSITION XCIV. THEOREM XLVIII.

If two similar media may be distinguished in turn, with each space bounded by

parallel planes, and a body in passing through this space is attracted or repelled

perpendicularly towards either medium, and not set in motion or impeded by any other

motion; moreover the attraction shall be the same at equal distances from each plane and

taken in the same direction of each: I say that the sine of the incidence in each plane will

be in a given ratio to the sine of the emergence from the other plane.

Case I. Take two parallel planes Aa, Bb. A body is

incident on the first plane Aa along the line GH, and

in its whole passage through the space within the

medium it may be attracted or repelled towards the

medium of incidence, and from that action will

describe the curved line HI, and may emerge along

the line IK. At the plane of emergence Bb there may

be erected the perpendicular IM, crossing both the

line of incidence GH produced in M, as well as the

plane of incidence Aa in R; and the line of emergence

KI produced crosses HM in L. A circle may be described with centre L and radius LI,

cutting HM at both P and Q, as well as MI produced in N; and initially if a uniform

attraction or impulse may be put in place, the curve will be the parabola HI (from

Galileo's demonstration) [i.e. a constant vertical force acts along a diameter of the

parabola RI, while no force acts along the horizontal direction between the plate surfaces.

In the original formulation of the parabola by Apollonius see below, the latus rectum l,

not drawn on this diagram, multiplied by the ordinate x, or distance along some diameter

of the parabola from a point on the curve to the mid-point of a diameter 2y, are related in

skew coordinates by

2

l.x y = , similar to our

2

4 y ax = .], a property of which is this : that

the rectangle under the given latus rectum and the [ordinate]line 1M shall be equal to

HM

2

; but also the line HM will be bisected in L. From which if a perpendicular LO may

be sent to MI, MO and OR will be equal; and with the equal lines ON and OI added, the

totals MN and IR become equal. Hence since IR may be given, MN is given also; and the

rectangle NM.MI to the rectangle under the latus rectum by IM is in a given ratio to HM

2

.

But the rectangle NM.MI is equal to the rectangle PM.MQ, that is, to the difference of the

squares ML

2

and PL

2

or LI

2

; and HM

2

has the given ratio

2

4

ML

: therefore the given

ratio

2 2 2

to ML LI ML , and by converting the ratio LI

2

to ML

2

, and with the square root

taken, the ratio LI to ML is given. But in any triangle LMI, the sines of the angles are

proportional to the opposite sides.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIV.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 412

[i.e.

2 2 2

2 2 2 2

4

4 4

PM.MQ

NM.MI ML LI LI

HM HM ML / ML

= = = is in a given ratio, and thus

LI

ML

is given.]

Therefore the ratio of the sine of the angle of incidence LMR to the sine of the angle of

emergence LIR is given. Q. E. D.

[Leseur & J anquire, note 551 (g) : With the diameter HT drawn through the point H, and

with the right line HV the applied ordinate to

the other diameter IR, and with IT the

ordinate from the point I to the diameter HT,

on account of the parallels MI, HT (by

Theorem I Apol. de Parabola), and the

parallels MH, IT (by Lem. 4, Apol. de Conic.),

and MI HT IT MH = = (by 34. Book I, Eu.

Elem.) ; but (by Theorem I. de Parabola), the

square of the ordinate TI is equal to the

rectangle under the given latus rectum of the

diameter HT and with the abscissa HT,

therefore the rectangle under the given latus

rectum and the line MI is equal to the square

HM. And since HM is a tangent to the

parabola at H and thus (by Cor. 1, Lem. 5, de

Conic.) IM VI = and HV is parallel to LI,

there will also be HL LM = .

Q.e.d.

Here the latus rectum is a fixed length l not drawn on the diagram, for which

2 2

etc l.TH TI ;l.LH XE ; . , where TH, TI etc. are oblique ordinates, in the original

formulation of Apollonius, and which also has a place when the chord becomes a tangent

to the parabola.]

Case 2. Now the body may pass

successively through several spaces bounded

by the planes AabB, BbcC, &c. and may be

disturbed by a force which shall be uniform

in every one apart, but which differ in

different spaces; and now by the

demonstration, the sine of incidence in the

first plane Aa will be in a given ratio to the

sine of emergence from the second plane Bb

; and this sine, which is the sine of incidence in the second plane Bb, will be in a given

ratio to the line of emergence from the third plane Cc; and this sine will be in a given

ratio to the sine of emergence from the fourth planeDd, and thus indefinitely : and from

the equation, the sine of incidence in the first plane to the sine of emergence from the

final plane will be in a given ratio. Now the intervals between the planes may be

minimised and the number may be increased indefinitely, so that from that attraction or

from the action of the impulse, the following law assigned in some manner, will be

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIV.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 413

continually returned; and the ratio of the sine of incidence in the first plane to the line of

emergence in the final plane, always proving to be given, also even now will be given.

Q. E. D.

PROPOSITION XCV. THEOREM XLIX.

With the same in place; I say that the velocity of the body before incidence is to the

velocity of the body after emergence, as the emergent sine to the incident sine.

AH and Id may be taken equal, and the perpendiculars AG and dK may be erected

meeting the lines of incidence and emergence GH and IK in G and K. On GH there may

be taken TH equal to IK, and Tv may be sent

normally to the plane Aa. And (by Corol. 2 of

the laws) the motion of the body may be

distinguished into two parts, the one

perpendicular to the planes Aa, Bb, Cc, &c.,

the other parallel to the same. The force of

attraction or of impulses, by acting along the

perpendicular lines, changes no motion along

the parallels, and therefore the body may

complete equal intervals in equal times

following the parallels, which are between the

line AG and the point H, and between the

point I and the line dK; that is, the lines GH and IK are described in equal times. Hence

the velocity before incidence is to the velocity after incidence as GH to IK or TR, that is,

as AR or Id to vH, that is (with respect to the radii TH or IK) as the sine of emergence to

the sine of incidence.

PROPOSITIO XCVI. THEOREMA L.

With the same in place, and because the motion before incidence shall be greater than

after : I say that the body, on being inclined to the line of incidence, finally will be

reflected, and the angle of reflection becomes equal to the angle of incidence.

For consider the body to describe parabolic arcs between the parallel planes Aa, Bb,

Cc. &c. as above, and those shall be the arcs HP, PQ, QR, &c. And that line of incidence

GH shall be oblique to the first plane Aa, so that the sine of incidence shall be to the

radius of the circle, of which it is the sine, in that same ratio as the sine of incidence to

the sine of emergence from the plane Dd, in the space DdeE : and on account of the sine

of emergence now made equal to the radius, the angle of emergence will be a right angle

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIV.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 414

and thus the line of emergence will coincide with the plane Dd. The body may arrive at

this plane at the point R; and because the line of emergence coincides with the same

plane, it is evident that the body cannot progress further towards the plane Ee. But nor

can it go on along the line of emergence Rd, as it is always attracted or repelled towards

the medium of incidence. And thus it will be returned between the planes Cc, Dd, by

describing the arc of the parabola QR

2

of which the principal vertex is at R (just as

Galileo has shown); and it will cut the plane Cc in the same angle at q, as before at Q;

then by progressing in the parabolic arcs qp, ph, &c. by similar and equal arcs to the

previous arcs QP, PH, it will cut the remaining planes in the same angles at p, h, &c. as

before at P, H, &c. and finally it will emerge with the same obliquity at h, by which it

began at H. Consider now the intervals between the planes Aa, Bb, Cc, Dd, Ee, &c. to be

diminished indefinitely and the be increased in number indefinitely, so by that action of

attraction or of impulse following some designated law it may be returned continually ;

and the angle of emergence always arising equal to the angle of incidence, will remain

even then equal to the same. Q. E. D.

Scholium.

The reflection and refraction of light are not much dissimilar to these attractions, made

following a given ratio of the secants, as Snell found, and by the ratio of the sines as

consequence, as set out by Descartes. J ust as light can be propagated from the sun both

successively from the start and through space in a time of seven or eight minutes to arrive

at the earth, now agreed upon through the phenomena of the moons of J upiter, confirmed

from the observations of different astronomers. But the rays present in air (as Grimaldi

found some time ago, with the light admitted

through a hole into a darkened chamber, and that

itself I have tried too) in passing close to either the

edges of opaque or transparent bodies

(such as are circles and rectangular edges of gold,

silver, and brass coins, or of knives, or the

fractured edges of stones or glass) may be curved

around bodies, as if attracted to the same ; and

with these rays, which in passing approach closer

are curved more, as if attracted more, as that itself

I have carefully observed also. And those which pass at

greater distances are curved less; and at greater distances

they are curved a little towards the opposite direction

and form bands of three colours. In the figure s may

designate the shape edge of a knife, or of some kind of

wedge AsB; and gowog, fnunf, emtme, dlsld are the rays,

with the arcs curved towards the knife edge; and that

more or less with the distance of these from the knife

edge. But since there is a lack of curvature of the rays in

air without the knife edge, also the rays which are

incident on the knife edge must not be curved in the air before they reach the knife. And

the account is the same of rays incident on glass. Therefore refraction happens, not at the

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIV.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 415

points of incidence, but by a little continuation of the rays, made partially in the air before

they touch the glass, partially (lest I am mistaken) in the glass, after they have entered

that: as with the incident rays ckzc, biyb,ahxa at r, q, p, and with the curvature traced out

between k and z, i and y, h and x. Therefore on account of the analogy which there is

between the propagation of rays of light and the progress of bodies, it is seen that the

follow propositions be adjoined for optical uses; meanwhile concerning the nature of

rays, (whether they may be bodies or not) nothing generally is disputed, but only that the

trajectories of bodies are very alike to determining the trajectories of rays.

PROPOSITION XCVII. PROBLEM XLVII.

Because that sine of incidence placed in some surface shall be in a given ratio to the

sine of emergence; and because of the in-curving nature of the path of bodies made in the

shortest space near that surface, that may be possible to consider as a point: to determine

the surface, which all the corpuscles successively arising from a given place may be able

to converge to, at another given place.

Let A be the place from which the corpuscles diverge ; B the place at which they must

converge [thus, a theory for a lens is presented here]; CDE the curved line which may

describe the surface sought by rotating about the axis AB ; D and E any two points of this

curve ; EF and EG perpendiculars sent to the paths AD and DB of the bodies . The point

D may approach to the point E; and

the final ratio of the line DF, by

which AD may be increased, to the

line DG, by which DB is being

diminished, will be the same as the

ratio which the sine of incidence

has to the sine of emergence.

[For from the added normal line in the diagram, we have

and :

DG sini DF DF

DE DE sinr DG

sini sinr = = = as required.]

Therefore the ratio may be given of the increment of the line AD to the decrement of the

line DB ; and therefore, if some point C may be taken on the axis AB, through which the

curve CDE must pass, and the increment CM of AC itself may be taken, to the decrement

of BC itself, CN in that given ratio, and with the centres A and B, and with the intervals

AM and BN two circles may be described cutting each other mutually at D; that point D

touches the curve sought CDE, and the same curve required to be touching everywhere

will be determined. Q. E. I.

Corol. 1. But on requiring now that the point A or B may go off to infinity, or to be

transported to other parts of the point C, all these figures will be had, that Descartes set

out in his optics and geometry relating to refractions. The invention of which Descartes

has concealed, may be seen to be explained in this proposition.

[Note (b) L & J relating to this corollary : Which lines indeed Descartes calls A5, A6, or

A7, A8 in his Geometry. page 50 et seq., and these are called here by Newton CM, CN,

and with the others the construction is as by that first author. (The interested reader may

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIV.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 416

wish to examine the Dover edition in translation of : The Geometry of Rene Descartes,

circa p.110) From which it is evident, if the point C, between the points A and B, and the

point N between C and M, the first Cartesian shall be situated to be described by the

Newtonian construction; if for the remaining points A, C, B, M, the point N may be

located between C and A, the second Cartesian oval will be obtained; truly if the point B

may be moved to other regions of the point C beyond A, and the point C shall be between

A and N, and M, the third Cartesian oval will be obtained, and with the same positions, if

the point N shall be between C and A, the fourth Cartesian oval will be set out. Again, if

the point A or B may go off to infinity so that the incident or refracted ray are parallel,

then through the point M or N a perpendicular will be erected, that will cut a circle to be

described with centre B or A, and with radius BN or AM , at some point D, of the curve

CDE, which shall be either an ellipse of hyperbola, as may be apparent from an easy

calculation, and these are the figures for which Descartes has described the use in optics

in Chapter 8. (We may note here that the usual modern approach to establishing such

curves, ideal of course for designing lenses free from spherical aberration, is to use

Fermat's Principle of least time, where all the path lengths of the rays are equal, so that

above we would have

A B

n AD n DB = ; from which of course we have at

once

A B

n DF n DG = ); the different ovals which arise both for reflection and

refraction are conic sections.)]

Corol. 2. If a body incident on some surface CD, along a right line AD, acted on by some

law, may emerge along some other right line DK, and the curved lines CP and CQ may

be understood to be drawn from the point C always perpendicular to AD and DK

themselves: the increments of the lines PD and QD, and thus these lines themselves

arising from these increments PD and QD, will be as the sine of incidence and of

emergence inversely: and conversely.

[In this case the path length increases

are again equal, or, the increase in one

is reduced by the decrease in the other

to equality. The added lines and letters

R and S show how this can be proven,

using the cyclic points RSDP and

similar triangles.

The Schaum Outline book Optics by

Eugene Hecht is particularly

illuminating on Descartes Ovoids at an

elementary level. One wonders why Newton did not make use of Fermat's Principle,

which would apply to small bodies as well as waves.]

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIV.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 417

PROPOSITION XCVIII. PROBLEM XLVIII.

With the same in place; and some attractive surface CD may be described around the

axis AB, regular or irregular, through which bodies leaving from the given place A are

able to pass through: to find another attractive surface EF, by which that body may be

made to converge to the given place B.

With AB joined it may cut the first surface in C and the second in E, at some assumed

point.

[The idea being that the

refracting surface CD is

present already, and a

new element is to be

added to the surface

EF, to focus the

particles travelling

along AP at B : thus,

the position of F is

required to be found.]

And on putting the sine of incidence on the first surface to the sine of emergence from the

same, and with the sine of emergence from the second surface to the sine of incidence in

the same, as some given quantity M to another given N: then produce AB to G, so that

there shall be BG to CE as M N to N; as well as produce AD to H, so that AH shall be

equal to AG, as well also DF to K, so that there shall be DK to DH as N to M. J oin KB,

and with centre D and with radius DH describe the circle meeting KB produced in L, and

draw BF itself parallel to D L : and the point F may touch the line EF [the emergent ray,

but not a tangent at F], which rotated about the axis AB will describe the surface sought.

Q. E. F.

[So far, we have been introduced to the ratio

M

N

equal to the ratio of the sines of

incidence and emergence, so that we may write

1 1

i e

M N

sin sin = , then corresponding to

the Snell's law, we have

1 1

and

i e

i e

n n

M v N v = = , where n

i

, n

e

and v

i

, v

e

are the

refractive indices and velocities in the mediums i and e. The time to traverse the distance

CE with the lower speed N is proportional to

CE

N

, which otherwise without the lens

would be traversed in a time proportional to

CE

M

; the extra time is given by

( )

CE CE CE

N M NM

M N = , and is equivalent to an extra distance BG and an extra time

BG

M

in the first medium, so that

( )

; or

CE M N

BG CE BG

MN M N M N

= = . Thus, AH and AG

correspond to the equal lengths that would be traversed in the actual equal times taken to

traverse the system by any path, if no change in the medium occurs. Optically, it is the

equivalent vacuum path distance.

In the same way, a similar ratio results for the ray DF: or

N DK DK DH

DH M N M

= = , or, the

time to traverse DK at the reduced speed N is the same as the time to traverse the free

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIV.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 418

space with the speed M. In turn, this means that the ratio of the sides of the respective

triangle are as the ratio of the speeds, and so of angles of incidence and emergence.

Finally, from the construction, DL is the equivalent free space distance from D to H.

Hence, if we move the line DL up parallel to itself, a path DF in the slower medium and a

path FB in the faster medium replaces the original path DL; when the ratio FK to FR has

the required value, the appropriate point F has been reached. We now give Newton's

explanation, in terms of ratios only; note that Newton often uses added or separated ratios

to achieve his ends: that is , if then

a c a a c

b d b b d

,

and then

a c a ka a

b d b kb b

c ka d kb,

= = = = , or the original result follows simply by cross-

multiplying.]

For consider the lines CP and CQ with respect to AD and DF themselves, and the lines

ER, ES with FB, FD themselves to be everywhere perpendicular, and thus QS, is always

equal to CE itself;

[i.e. the times to traverse the sections CE and the composite section QS are always equal;

for along ACEB, the angles of incidence and refraction are all 90

0

, and the argument in

the above note can be used to determine the length BG, from which the 'time of flight' can

be found. The lengths in the following ratios have physical significance : thus, DL is the

equivalent length in the first medium to travel from D to L, etc. These hypothetical

lengths are shown dotted. Thus

M DL FB

N FQ QD

numerator distance with speed M as does the denominator with speed N, etc.]

and there will be (by Corol. 2. Prop. XCVII.), PD to QD as M to N, and thus as DL to

DK or FB to FK;

[i.e. = = =

PD M DL FB

QD N DK FK

; the last step by similar triangles, ]

and on separating, as DL FB or PH PD FB to FD or FQ QD ;

[i.e. = = or = ;

DL FB DL FB PH PD FB M DL FB PH PD FB

DK FK FD FD N FQ QD FQ QD

= ]

and on adding, as PH FB to FQ, that is (on account of PH and CG, QS and CE being

equal) to CE BG FR CE FS + .

[i.e.

CE BG FR M PH FB

N FQ CE FS

+

= = ]

Truly (on account of the proportionals BG to CE and M N to N) also there is

CE BG + to CE as M to N; and thus separated FR to FS as M to N; and therefore (by

Corol. 2. Prop. XCVII.) the surface EF collects the body, incident on that second line

itself DF , to go along in the line FR to the place B.

Q. E. D.

[Essentially, all the paths have the same time of traversal, or, they obey Fermat's

Principle of least time; clearly the straightthrough path is such a minimum, on which

others can be gauged.]

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book I Section XIV.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 419

Scholium.

It is permissible to go on by the same method to three or more surfaces. But spherical

figures are the most convenient for use in optics. If spyglasses with objective and

eyepiece may be constructed from two spherical glass figures, and water enclosed

between them; it can come about that the refraction errors, which are present in the

extreme surfaces of the glasses, may be corrected well enough by the refraction of the

water. But such glass objectives are to be preferred than ellipses or hyperbolas, not only

because they are they are easier and more accurate to be made, but also the pencils of

rays beyond the axis of the glass in place may refract more accurately. But this is

impeded from perfection by the diverse refractions of the different kinds of rays, by

which the optics either by spherical or other figures is less than perfect. Unless the errors

hence arising shall be corrected, all the labour involved in correcting the other errors will

be to no avail.

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book II Section I.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 425

CONCERNING THE MOTION OF

BODIES

BOOK TWO.

SECTION I.

Concerning the motion of bodies being resisted in the ratio of the velocities.

PROPOSITION I. THEOREM I.

The motion [i.e. velocity] of a body removed by resistance, to which it is resisted in the

ratio of the velocity, is as the distance completed in moving.

For since the loss of motion in equal small intervals of time shall be as the velocity,

that is, as the small parts of the journey completed: the motion lost in the whole time shall

be as the whole journey. Q. E. D.

[Thus, in each increment of time t for a given velocity v, we may write

; hence

v x

t t

kv k v k x

= = = thus on adding the losses over the whole journey,

the whole loss in velocity is proportional to the whole distance gone.]

Corol. Whereby if a body, freed from all weight, may be moving in free spaces by the

action of its innate force only; and while the whole motion may be given at the start, as

well as the remaining motion also, after the completion of some distances: the whole of

the distance is given that the body is able to describe in an infinite time. For that distance

will be to the distance now described, as the whole motion from the start, to that part of

the motion lost.

[Expressing this idea in modern terms, if the rate of decrease of the velocity in the time dt

is proportional to the velocity, then we have for a body of unit mass,

( )

( ) dv t

dx

dt dt

a t kv k = = = , giving ( ) ( )

( )

0

0

; 1

v

kt kt

k

v t v e x t e

= = . Thus, the whole

journey is given by ( )

0

v

k

x = , while

( )

( )

1

1

kt

x

x t e

= ; again,

( )

0

0

1

kt

v

v e

the start to the motion lost, which is in the same ratio, as asserted. Newton makes use of

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book II Section I.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Bruce. Page 426

this simple idea in the following propositions. The luxury of the exponential function

however, was not available to Newton; results had to be found without this convenience;

use was made of the area under the rectangular hyperbola to measure the difference in

times, as we shall see. Thus, we may write

( ) ( ) ( ) ( )

( ) 0 0 0 0

; ; ;

o

t

v

kt kt kt

du

v u

a t kv e a e v t v e kx t v v t ln kt k

= = = = = =

]

LEMMA I.

Proportional quantities formed from their differences are continued proportionals.

A shall be toA B as B to B C and as C to C D , &c., and by being converted there

becomes A to B as B to C and C to D, &c. Q. E. D.

[For if ,etc.

C A B

A B B C C D

= = = ; then 1 1 1 ,etc.

C A B

B A C B D C

+ = + = + = ,

giving ,etc.

C B D

B A C B D C

= = = then .....

B C C C D A A B B

B B C C C D D D E

= = = = = .; from which

the result follows.]

PROPOSITION II. THEOREM II.

If, for a body resisted in the ratio of the velocity, and moving through a uniform

medium by its innate force alone, and moreover equal time intervals may be taken, then

the velocities at the beginnings of the individual time intervals are in a geometric

progression, and the distances described in the individual time intervals are as the

velocities.

Case. I. The time may be divided up into small equal parts ; and if the force of resistance

may act at the beginning of the increments of time by single impulses, which shall be as

the velocity: the decrease of the velocity in the individual increments of time will be as

the same velocities. Therefore the velocities from these differences are proportionals, and

on this account continued proportionals, (by Lem. I. Book. II.).

[For in ,etc.

C A B

A B B C C D

= = = , if etc.

A B C

v , v , v , , are the velocities at the start of

successive constant increments in time, then etc.

A B A B C B

v v kv , v v kv , = = ; and

1 1

1

.....

B C C C D A A B B

B B C C C D D D E

v v v v v v v v v

v v v v v v v v v k r

= = = = = = = , as the ratio of successive velocities is

a constant r or

1

1 k

, by hypothesis . Thus we may write

2 3

, etc.

B A C B A D A

v rv , v rv r v , v r v = = = = in an inductive manner, as we have shown

above, forming a geometric progression. In the limit, these ratios form a continuous

logarithmic or exponential curve.]

Hence, if from a number of equal small time intervals, equal [larger] time intervals may

be put in place, the velocities from the starts of these times will be as the terms in a

Isaac NEWTON: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 3

rd

Ed.

Book II Section I.

Translated and Annotated by Ian Br