Isaac Newton and the problem of the earth's shape

  title={Isaac Newton and the problem of the earth's shape},
  author={John L. Greenberg},
  journal={Archive for History of Exact Sciences},
  • J. Greenberg
  • Published 1 December 1996
  • Philosophy
  • Archive for History of Exact Sciences
In this article I discuss the theory of the earth's shape presented by Isaac Newton in Book III of his Principia. I show that the theory struck even the most reputable continental mathematicians of the day as incomprehensible. I examine the many obstacles to understanding the theory which the reader faced — the gaps, the underived equations, the unproven assertions, the dependence upon corollaries to practically incomprehensible theorems in Book I of the Principia and the ambiguities of these… 
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