CRM: Centro De Giorgi
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Mechanics, mathematical physics and foundations of mathematics in the 18th and 19th Centuries

seminar: Darwin's Lectures on Hill's Lunar Theory

speaker: Craig Stephenson (The Open University)

abstract: In the late 1870's two papers were published in which G.W. Hill presented a novel method for determining the motion of the Moon. These much-acclaimed papers were a turning point in the history of the three body problem and proved inspirational to mathematicians such as Poincaré and G.H. Darwin in their work on periodic orbits.

My talk will focus on Darwin's lectures on Hill's lunar theory, which he gave at the University of Cambridge during the 1890's. These lectures were an attempt by Darwin to make Hill's theory more accessible, particularly to students of astronomy, and mark the beginning of his own work in the field. I will describe both the content of the lectures, contrasting his approach with that of Hill in his original papers, and the context in which they were given.

Thu 10 Jul, 11:15 - 11:55, Aula Bianchi Scienze
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