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Problems of Cosmogony and Stellar Dynamics (Classic Reprint)
by:James Hopwood Jeans
Preface It is hoped that the book will be read in the spirit of the remarks of Darwin just quoted. The main object of the essay is to build a framework of absolute mathematical truth; the backbone of the structure is the theoretical investigation into the behaviour of rotating masses. Of this my own contribution forms only a small part; the book contains...
Preface It is hoped that the book will be read in the spirit of the remarks of Darwin just quoted. The main object of the essay is to build a framework of absolute mathematical truth; the backbone of the structure is the theoretical investigation into the behaviour of rotating masses. Of this my own contribution forms only a small part; the book contains also an account of general dynamical theory, and of the researches of Darwin, Poincare and others, in so far as they relate to the main problem in hand. This part of the book has been made as concise as possible, and I have ventured to hope that it will prove of value to those who are embarking on a study of the general problem of cosmic evolution. I have tried not only to build a skeleton but also to clothe it. When a firm theoretical framework had been constructed, it seemed permissible and proper to try to fit the facts of observational astronomy into their places. If ever a complete mathematical theory is achieved, it will probably be an easy task to trace out the order of evolution of stellar objects, but at present our theoretical knowledge is so incomplete that a large element of speculation must necessarily enter into every attempt to connect up theory and observation. I have tried throughout to keep speculation within reasonable limits, and have applied as many checks and tests as I could to the various conjectural hypotheses brought forward. Many astronomers necessarily will disagree with a number of these conjectures; it is in this way that science advances. To any critic who may think the conjectures ought not to have been brought forward at all, I would reply in the words of Herschel: If we indulge a fanciful imagination and build worlds of our own,... these will vanish like the Cartesian vortices, that soon gave way when better theories were offered. On the other hand, if we add observation to (Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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