Did not Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation originate from Kepler's second and third laws?

Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation is man's greatest discovery.Puny man could unwrap the secret laws governing movement of galaxies,stars,planets,earth and moon.Newton himself said that he stood on shoulders of great scientists and thinkers like Copernicus,Galeleo and Kepler to lay foundations and show proofs for his Law of Gravitation. While merely reading Kepler's laws one feels that the invisible strings of gravity pull the planets and satellites at greater speeds in their elliptical motions when they are coming near to the central object

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I would certainly agree that Newton built his success upon the earlier work of others, like Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler, and Galileo. I would not necessarily agree that Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation is man's greatest discovery. Newton understood the limitations of his work in that discipline better than most, and he knew very well that his equations provided a tool to predict motion in a gravitational field, but did little to advance the understanding of how it works. Improved understanding and a better set of tools arrived 200 years later with the work of Dr Einstein, who stood on the shoulders of Newton and others.

    Newton and Einstein stride like giants across the landscape of modern scientific thought. It is difficult to mention one without invoking the other in any discussion of modern physics. Personally, I think Newton's primary contributions came in the areas of mechanics and calculus, both of which he essentially invented (with a little help from his friends). His efforts in the area of gravitation were brilliant, but limited by the difficulties he faced in terms of supporting knowledge in 17th and 18th century Europe. He could only go so far.

  • Mark G
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Kepler's three laws would have been Newton's starting point. He need a way of explaining why they hold. The answer is that the force holding the planets round the sun is an inverse square law. From that getting to Newtonian Mechanics is fairly straight forward (you need calculus but that was on its way even if Newton did create it independently)

    So to answer you question, yes it did.

  • 1 decade ago

    I believe the short answer to your question is yes. Newton said that, as well, but I don't recall where.

    And Kepler's work was on the back of Tycho Brahe (a Dane) and Nikolas Kopernik (he was Polish).

    Source(s): Exhibits at museums in Weil der Stadt, Germany (Kepler's birthplace), the Tycho Brahe museum on the island of Hven (was Denmark, but now Sweden), and at Greenwich Observatory in England.
  • Anonymous
    4 years ago


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  • 1 decade ago

    maybe they served as a foundation

  • No,my dear it's different.

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