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An Introduction to Celestial Mechanics (Dover Books on Astronomy) 2nd Revised ed. Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
In itself, the book is a textbook, but it serves as a great companion to any modern text. This book is actually quite old, so it gives you alot of insight into "antequated knowledge." You know, the "stuff" teachers already assume you know.
So, I recommend this book to anyone. It is very readable. It explains concepts in a very simplistic manner. Unlike modern books that give you point "A" and expect you to fill in all the gaps to point "Z," Moulton uses the "old style of teaching" where he takes you from point "A" to point "Z" to fully prepare you, and then, he slams you with the impossible problems at the end. But, you find the problems are not nearly as difficult due to his preparations.
However, I was pleasantly surprised by its clarity, ease of use, and explanation and example. It was worth the expense, and has made my understanding of the area much more broad and detailed. I am pleased with my purchase. I would not recommend it to someone who is unfamiliar with mathematics in terms of the complexity - it deals with calculus, advanced trigonometry and many properties of various spherical triangles and the like are assumed background knowledge. It is more a middle-level rather than a introductory textbook in my view.
Moulton covers the basics of linear motion as a short refresher in the begin of Chp 2 but does assume the reader is already familiar with linear algebra determinants, and Lagrangian mechanics when covering perturbation theory.
Not in the text are conversations on the Roche Limit, Lagrangian Points, and Relativistic Celestial Mechanics. The text does discus surface equipotentials in chapter VII The Problem of Three Bodies.
Some of my favorite sections of the text being:
Chp I Fundamental Principles and Definitions
I.16 pertaining to Kepler and discussion on Areal Velocity
Chp II Rectilinear Motion
II.33 Attractive Force Varying Inversely as the Square of the Distance
Chp III Central Force
III.55 Newton's Law of Gravitation
III.62 Force Varying as the Square of the Distance
Chp IV The Potential and Attractions of Bodies
IV.78 The Potential and Attraction of a Solid Homogeneous Oblate Spheroid upon a Distant Unit Particle
IV.81 The Attraction of Spheroids
Chp V The Problem of Two Bodies
V.97 Graphical Solution of Kepler's Equation
V.104 The Heliocentric Position in the Ecliptic System
Chp VIII The Problem of Three Bodies
VIII.163 Application to the Gegenschein
Chp IX Perturbations-Geometrical Considerations
IX.175 Disturbing Effects of the Orthogonal Components
IX.188 Perturbations of the Inclination
IX.189 Precession of the Equinoxes. Nutation
IX.197 The Motion of the Line of Apsides
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was expecting to get what the title implies, an "Introduction". This book is NOT for the timid. The math here is very advanced and the notations used are a century old. Read morePublished 12 months ago by J. Occhuizzo
A thorough and non-trivial ( you need good math skills to understand) treatise on the fundamentals of celestial mechanics. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Peter Jones
Interesting subject but rather heavy on the higher math calculations. Not quite what I expected, but interesting all the same.Published 21 months ago by wmhars
I enjoyed this book. But I wish it were longer updated. Still, I recommend it as a supplement on the topic.Published on June 25, 2013 by Sandro Ricardo De Souza
The book importance is due to the fact that Moulton has been the first US book on astronomy. Some subjects are still up to date, but personally I have found more useful the book by... Read morePublished on May 21, 2013 by ALBERTO PEGORETTI
This text is very meticulous in providing the mathematical details that are usually left to the reader in more modern accounts of celestial mechanics. Read morePublished on February 3, 2013 by Michael Richardson
In an attempt to program the Hulett Packard HP 50g calculator with necessary astronomical formulas this book has been helpful. Read morePublished on October 21, 2012 by Weston Bergman Jr.
Classic book on celestial mechanics. Great supplement to a course in Astrophysics or Classical Mechanics.Published on March 12, 2010 by Dolores Monk