Sources and Studies in the History of Mathematics and Physical Sciences

The Hill-Brown Theory of the Moon’s Motion

Its Coming-to-be and Short-lived Ascendancy (1877-1984)

Authors: Wilson, Curtis

  • Illustrates the complete history of the theory begun by G.W. Hill through to its completion by E.W. Brown
  • Numerous historical accounts reveal how and why perspectives on the lunar problem have changed over time
  • Uniquely present the set of lunar properties that made the moon a more difficult subject for celestial mechanicians than any other celestial body
  • Provides elementary explanation of the dynamics involved in the Hill-Brown theory making the book accessible to the non-professional
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eBook $149.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4419-5937-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $189.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4419-5936-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $189.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4614-2614-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

The Hill–Brown theory of lunar motion was, from its completion in 1908 to its retirement in 1984, the most accurate model of the moon’s orbit. The mathematical, philosophical, and historical interest in the analytic solution of the lunar problem using the Hill–Brown method still engages celestial mechanicians, and is the primary focus of this work. This book, in three parts, describes three phases in the development of the modern theory and calculation of the Moon's motion. Part I explains the crisis in lunar theory in the 1870s that led G.W. Hill to lay a new foundation for an analytic solution, a preliminary orbit he called the "variational curve." Part II is devoted to E.W. Brown's completion of the new theory as a series of successive perturbations of Hill's variational curve. Part III describes the revolutionary developments in time-measurement and the determination of Earth-Moon and Earth-planet distances that led to the replacement of the Hill–Brown theory in 1984. Although some calculus and differential equations are included, the text is largely accessible without advanced knowledge in these areas. Amateurs of astronomy, as well as instructors and scholars of the general history of science, will find this book of significant interest.

Reviews

From the reviews:

“This is the second book on historical aspects of lunar theory to have been published by Springer within a twelve-month period. … the text is largely accessible without specialist knowledge of its central themes. … this text is mainly one for specialists. … the history of lunar theory introduces many fascinating ideas, and it refers very many creative mathematicians and astronomers.” (Peter Ruane, The Mathematical Association of America, August, 2010)

“This excellent book is a cornerstone in the history of astronomy. It deals with the Hill-Brown theory of the Moon’s motion between 1877 and 1984. … This lively written book contains many biographical notes and well-founded historical comments, and thus can be recommended to amateurs in astronomy and science history, and to instructors and scholars interested in the rapid development of astronomy and physics.” (Johannes Viktor Feitzinger, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1202, 2011)


Table of contents (25 chapters)

  • George William Hill, Mathematician

    Wilson, Curtis

    Pages 3-8

  • Lunar Theory from the 1740s to the 1870s – A Sketch

    Wilson, Curtis

    Pages 9-30

  • Hill on the Motion of the Lunar Perigee

    Wilson, Curtis

    Pages 31-53

  • Hill’s Variation Curve

    Wilson, Curtis

    Pages 55-68

  • Early Assessments of Hill’s Lunar Theory

    Wilson, Curtis

    Pages 69-72

Buy this book

eBook $149.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4419-5937-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $189.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4419-5936-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $189.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4614-2614-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Hill-Brown Theory of the Moon’s Motion
Book Subtitle
Its Coming-to-be and Short-lived Ascendancy (1877-1984)
Authors
Series Title
Sources and Studies in the History of Mathematics and Physical Sciences
Copyright
2010
Publisher
Springer-Verlag New York
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
eBook ISBN
978-1-4419-5937-9
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4419-5937-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-4419-5936-2
Softcover ISBN
978-1-4614-2614-1
Series ISSN
2196-8810
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 323
Number of Illustrations and Tables
1 b/w illustrations, 8 illustrations in colour
Topics