(astronomy) The three laws of planetarymotion discovered by Kepler in the early 17th century.
Origin of kepler-s-laws
For Johannes Kepler German mathematician and astronomer.
Kepler-s-laws Sentence Examples
It is quite evident that Kepler's laws do not in themselves enable us to determine the actual motion of the planets.
He quotes as an instance that Newton in this way added to the planetary appearances contained in Kepler's laws the gravitation of the planets to the sun, as a notion of causality not contained in the appearances, and thus discovered that gravitation is the cause of the appearances.
Newton did indeed first show synthetically what kind of motions by mechanical laws have their ground in a centripetal force varying inversely as the square of the distance (all P is M); but his next step was, not to deduce synthetically the planetary motions, but to make a new start from the planetary motions as facts established by Kepler's laws and as examples of the kind of motions in question (all S is P); and then, by combining these two premises, one mechanical and the other astronomical, he analytically deduced that these facts of planetary motion have their ground in a centripetal force varying inversely as the squares of the distances of the planets from the sun (all S is M).
Conversely, assuming this law of attraction, it can be shown that the planets will move according to Kepler's laws.
Having these data, the position of the planet at any other time may be geometrically constructed by Kepler's laws.