Letter | Published:

The Motion of the Perihelion of Mercury

Nature volume 101, page 145 (25 April 1918) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

THE type of resistance suggested by Sir Oliver Lodge (NATURE, April 18, p. 125) is very difficult to visualise. The motion of a planet consists practically of a steady motion in a circle, with a super-imposed free vibration, the amplitude of which is proportional to the eccentricity, and the phase of which depends on the longitude of the perihelion. The hypothesis that the perihelion can be made to move without alteration in the eccentricity is equivalent to assuming that a free vibration can persist in a resisting medium without change of amplitude. It is true that the absolute resistance would be expected to be greater at perihelion than at aphelion, on account of the difference in density at the two points, but this difference contains the eccentricity as a factor, and it is for this reason that the rate of decrease of the eccentricity and the motion of the perihelion would be of the same order of magnitude.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

About this article

Publication history

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/101145a0

Authors

  1. Search for HAROLD JEFFREYS in:

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.