Edmond Halley (October 29, 1656–January 25, 1742) was an English astronomer, geophysicist, mathematician, meteorologist and physicist who is best known for computing the orbit of Halley’s Comet. He was the second Astronomer Royal in Britain, succeeding John Flamsteed.
Halley spent most of his time on lunar observations, but was also interested in the problems of gravity. One problem that attracted his attention was the proof of Kepler’s laws of planetary motion.
In August 1684, he went to Cambridge to discuss this with Isaac Newton, much as John Flamsteed had done four years earlier, only to find that Newton had already solved the problem without publishing the solution because he had no money.
Halley then asked to see the calculations but Newton told him he could not find them, but promised to redo them and send them on later, which he eventually did, in a short treatise entitled, ”On the motion of bodies in an orbit”.
Halley recognised the importance of the work and encouraged Newton to publish his findings at Halley’s own expense. Newton modified and expanded the treatise as ”Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica” which was then published in 1687 with Halley bearing all the costs.
Newton’s findings of that day is still relevant in the Scientific World today, thanks to Halley who encouraged him. Else, they would have been buried with Newton in his grave.
What are you waiting for? Notice someone with a talent but he’s afraid to launch it, encourage him today….Encourage someone today….
Have a historical week ahead!
YOU CAN ALSO READ: History of the Atomic Theory: From Democritus to Schrödinger
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