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# Quasi periodi motions from Hippar hus to Kolmogorov.

Giovanni Gallavotti

Fisi a, Universita di Roma \La Sapienza"
Institut des Hautes Etudes S ienti

of angular velo ities !1.1 sense of (1).ques (11 sept 1999) We shall say. then. Indeed all the n-ples ('1 . : : : . 'n ) of phases are onsidered as des ribing possible states of the system. Summarizing: to say that the motions of a system are omposed by n ir ular uniform motions. stressing its ontinuity from antiquity to our days. furthermore. to the initial state with phases '1 = '2 = : : : = 0. The observed motion is one that orresponds. is only a possible one within a wider family of motions that have the form x(t) = f ('1 + !1 t. 'n + !n t): (2) Hen e it is in a stronger sense that motions are thought of as omposed by elementary ir ular ones. !n is equivalent to say that it is possible to . but also the other states with arbitrary phases are possible and are realized in orresponden e of di erent given initial onditions and. we an get lose to them by waiting long enough. This means that one thinks that the phases ('1 . that the motion is omposed by n uniform ir ular motions if it is quasi periodi in the The evolution of the on eption of motion as omposed by ir ular uniform motions is analyzed. : : : . : : : . onventionally. In reality in Greek Astronomy it is always lear that the motion of the solar system. on eived as quasi periodi . 'n ) provide a system of oordinates for the possible states of the system. : : : .

Hen e Greek astronomy did onsist in the hypothesis that all the motions ould have the form (2) and in deriving. After Newton and the development of in. with suitable angular velo ities !1 . by experimental observations the fun tions f and the velo ities !i well suited to the des ription of the planets and stars motions. even to our eyes (used to the s reens of digital omputers). evolving in time. appears marvelous and almost in redible. admits a representation of the type (2).g.nd a system of oordinates ompletely des ribing the states of the system (relevant for the dynami al problem under study) whi h an be hosen to be n angles so that . This is indeed manifestly equivalent to saying that an arbitrary observable of the system. : : : . then. polar or Cartesian oordinates of the several physi al point masses of the system). furthermore.e. In Greek physi s no methods were available (that we know of) for determining the angle oordinates in terms of whi h the motion would appear ir ular uniform. !n . i. in terms of oordinates with dire t physi al meaning (e. with a pre ision that. no methods were available for the omputation of the oordinates 'i and of the fun tions f . the motion is simply a uniform ir ular motion of every angle.

HIPPARCHUS AND PTOLEMY Contemporary resear h on the problem of haoti motions in dynami al systems . hao-dyn #9907004 I.nitesimal al ulus it has be ome natural and ustomary to imagine dynami al problems as developing starting from initial ar hived: mp ar #99-244.

that motions an always be onsidered as omposed by ir ular uniform motions. for simpli ity of exposition it is onvenient to start. often presented as kind of funny in high s hool.) from whom.nds its roots in the Aristotelian idea. The reason of this on eption is the perfe tion and simpli ity of su h motions (of whi h the uniform re tilinear motion ase must be thought as a limit ase).3. The idea is far more an ient than Hippar hus (from Ni ea.4. 194-120 a.C. The .

rst step is to understand learly what the Greeks really meant for motion omposed by ir ular uniform motions. and in Greek s ien e it a quired a very pre ise and quantitative meaning that was summarized in all its surprising rigor and power in the Almagest of Ptolemy (100-175 d.C.5{7 We thus de. This indeed is by no means a vague and qualitative notion.).

with periods 2 and !1 . !n are n angular velo ities that are \rationally independent". observed as time t varies. !nt) (1) where f ('1 . of n points on n ir les of radius 1 and. : : : . 'n ) is a multiperiodi fun tion of n angles. impli itly. : : : . in use in the Almagest. an be represented as: x(t) = f (!1 t.8 they were alled the [velo ities of the℄ \motors" of the Heavens. : : : .ne the motion omposed by n uniform ir ular motions with angular velo ities !1 . We must think of su h fun tion f as a fun tion of the positions '1 . A motion is said quasi periodi if every oordinate of any point of the system. that the state of the system is determined by the values of the n angles. : : : . (\phases" or \anomalies"). 1 . hen e. Therefore to say that an observable x evolves as in (1) is equivalent to say that the motion of the system simply orresponds to uniform ir ular motions of the points that. !n that is. represent the state of the system. 'n . : : : . but following the terminology of ontemporary mathemati s. varying on n ir les.

that is. too \simple" to allow us to appre iate the di eren es between the Ptolemai and Coperni an theories) is provided by the theory of the Moon. As . in a way.

In general motions of heavenly bodies appear.rst example I onsider Hippar hus' theory of the Moon. in a .

onstant in time on every motion and hen e they only serve to spe ify to whi h family of motions the onsidered one belongs. Obviously we shall have to think that the !1 . in fa t. : : : . Am (e. et . In the ase of the motion in longitude of the Moon (i. soon or later. A good example (other than the motion of the Fixed Stars. one on a ir le of radius CO = R.. therefore. it would be onvenient to take the !i themselves as part of the oordinates Ai . Am . Or in average the position of the heavenly body an be dedu ed by imagining it in uniform motion on a ir le. with enter on the Earth and rigidly atta hed to the sphere (\Sky") of the Fixed Stars. : : : . or in whi h the Moon is at a distan e from the Earth di erent from the observed one.) were di erent from the observed values. In Greek astronomy there is no mention of a relation between m and n: probably only be ause no mention is made of the oordinates A1 . Am sin e the Greeks depended ex lusively on a tual observations hen e they ould not on eive studying motions in whi h the A1 . 'n are a omplete system of oordinates.. : : : . that the more general motion has the form: x(t) = f (A1 . Dante. Am are ne essary: they are. parti ularly when one an show that m = n and that the !i an be independent oordinates. that in turn rotates uniformly around the Earth. epi y le. Par. !n t + 'n ) (3) where !1 . Returning to Greek astronomy it is useful to give some example of how one on retely pro eeded to the determination of '1 . rather it is slightly away from it sometimes overtaking it and sometimes lagging behind. with angular velo ity !1 . : : : . if N is the number of bodies. '1 . (h1): Hippar hus' Moon theory: deferent and epi y le. In this respe t it is important to remark that Newtonian me hani s shows that it must be m = n = 3N = fnumber of degrees of freedom of the systemg. X). Let us imagine.g. they would rea h when starting at the given present states (and whi h \just" orrespond to states with arbitrary values of the phase oordinates '1 . : : : . : : : . : : : .rst approximation. !n are fun tions of A1 . Am . (\the oblique ir le that arries the planets along". This average motion was alled deferent motion: but the heavenly body almost never o upies the average position. that is too \trivial". : : : . Nevertheless this identity between m and n has to be onsidered one among the great su esses of Newtonian me hani s. of the proje tion of the lunar motion on the plane of the e lipti ) the simplest representation of these os illations with respe t to the average motion is by means of two ir ular motions. and other oordinates are needed to des ribe the motions of the same planets if they are supposed to have begun their motion in situations radi ally di erent from those whi h. 'n . : : : . : : : . : : : . however. and the motion of the Sun D L C (h1)   C0 O Fig. : : : . of su h \other possible motions" of the system. 'n ). the radii of the orbits of the planets. : : : . Motion is observed in a rotating frame so that the \average Sun" appears . : : : . as otherwise the motion would not be periodi ). other oordinates A1 . For example it is ommon to imagine solar systems in whi h the radius of the orbits of Jupiter is double of what it a tually is. Am and the oordinates A1 . !n themselves are fun tions of the Ai and. the in linations of the orbits. !n and of f . To get a omplete des ription. 'n are not a omplete system of oordinates. et . onditions that an be quite di erent from those of immediate interest in every parti ular problem. !n annot be taken as oordinates in pla e of the Ai 's be ause they are not always independent of ea h other (for instan e the Newtonian theory of the two body problem gives that the three !i are all rational multiples of one of them. of !1 . : : : . with velo ity !0 and another on a small ir le of radius CD = r. !1 t + '1 . Situations of this kind an be in luded in the Greek s heme simply by imagining that the oordinates '1 . even though in general it an happen that the !1 .e. deferent. as uniform ir ular motions around the enter of the Earth.

we ould use instead a onjun tion between the Moon and a .xed (this is a Sun whi h moves exa tly on a ir le with uniform motion and period one solar day.

= !1 t is the angle 2 .4 By using the omplex numbers notation to denote a ve tor in the e lipti plane and beginning to ount angles from the position of apogee on the epi y le we see that the ve tor z that indi ates the longitudinal position of the Moon is n  = !0 t i!0 t i(!1 !0 )t (4) = !1t ) z = Re + re where  = !0 t is the angle C0 OC . when OC0 proje ted on the e lipti plane points at the position of the average Sun. i.e. with obvious hanges). The enter of the epi y le rotates on the deferent with angular velo ity !0 and the Moon L rotates on the epi y le with velo ity !1 . We re kon the angles from a onjun tion between the Moon and the average Sun.xed Star.

if R0 = C1 T.referen e x{axis on a omplex z {plane) is still  = !0 t. one . R~ = C1 F1 = R s and # is the angle between D1 F1 and D0 F0 . In formulae. but the angle = !1 t that determines the position L of the Moon on the epi y le is now re koned from D1 .

when  = 12 . at 45o from the axes). R0  R0 (!0 t. s) =q = s os 2!0t + R~ (1 (s=R~ )2 sin2 2!0 t) z = R0 (!0 t.e.e. It also gives the same result in onjun tion and in opposition (i. it gives a loser Moon at quadratures (i. rightly so. ). when  = 0. no new periods are introdu ed: the motion has still two basi frequen ies and (5) only has more Fourier harmoni s with respe t to (4). s)ei!0 t + re i(!1 #)t (5) whi h redu es to Hippar hus' moon theory if s = 0. R.e. Note that. but it is insuÆ ient (although o by little) for the omputation of the ephemerides in o tagonal positions (i. The theory was therefore further re. R. ~ i# = R0 ei!0 t se i!0 t Re R~ = jR0 ei!0 t se i!0 t j. 32 ).nds:  = !0 t. This representation reveals itself suÆ ient for the omputation of the ephemerides also in quadrature positions.

but rather from the axis F "H of the . who supposed that. as in the previous ase.5 .4.ned by Ptolemy himself. in the pre eding representation. the omputation of the angle = !1t on the epi y le should not be performed by starting from the axis C1 F1 .

therefore. having three degrees of freedom. obviously. the period of rotation of the apogee of approximately 9y (in a dire tion on ording with that of the revolution) and the period of pre ession (retrograde) of the node between the lunar world and the e lipti of approximately 18:7y . This last period. return to the apogee and \true period of revolution") of approximately 27d. is hara terized pre isely by two fundamental periods: for instan e the month of anomaly and the sidereal month (return to the same . does not on ern the motion in longitude whi h. In modern language we say that the Moon.gure: DCL and 2=!1 is the time T that elapses between two su essive returns of the Moon in apogee position on her epi y le (sin e !0  !1 the new apogee will happen at a time T for whi h there exists a small angle Æ su h that: !0 T = 2 + Æ and (!0 !1 )T = Æ ) !1T 2 = 0 ) T = 2=!1 = anomaly month).e. shall have a motion with respe t to the Earth (assumed on a ir ular orbit) endowed with 3 periods: the month of anomaly (i.

It reveals itself suÆ ient (if ombined with the theory of the motion in latitude. Hippar hus' theory of the motion in longitude of the Moon yields. that we do not dis uss here) for the theory of the e lipses. a quasi periodi motion with one deferent.xed star: note that the di eren e between the the two angular velo ities !0 !1 is obviously the velo ity of pre ession of the apogee). Ptolemy develops a more re. one epi y le and two frequen ies (or \motors"). but it provides us with ephemerides (somewhat) in orre t when the Moon is in position of quadrature. as we see.

F 00 Fig.5 .4.ned theory of this motion in longitude. (t1): Ptolemy's orre tion to Hippar hus' Moon theory. (t2): The more re. (t1) below: S0 D0 S0 D0 C0 C0 D1 L D1 (t1) C1 H L R0 F0 F0   (t2) R s R s F1 =se i   s T F1 s T Fig. see Fig.

In a .ned theory of Ptolemy In formulae. as in the previous theory. with R0 as in (5) Again assume that the angles in longitude are re koned from the mean Sun S0 starting at a onjun tion.

does not have origin on the Earth T but in a point F1 that moves with (angular) velo ity !0 on a small ir le of radius s entered on T . however. Note that the above theory oin ides with the pre eding one 3 i!0 t . we suppose that the enter of the epi y le is C1 so that the angle between C1 T and the axis of apogee (our R0 e z = R0 ei!0 t + r 0 jR e + sei!0 t e i!1 t (6) i!0 t + sei!0 t j It is lear that with orre tions of this type it is possible to obtain very general quasi periodi fun tions.rst version he imagines that the enter of the epi y le moves at the extremity of a segment of length R s that.

The values that Ptolemy .at onjun tion. opposition and quadratures and it is otherwise somewhat di erent (in parti ular at the o tagonal positions).

nds for R. r. still today. to an extent that by several a ounts. of Ptolemy's lunar theories are still interpretable as motions of deferents and epi y les. are however su h that the possible variations of the Earth{Moon distan e (between R r s and R + r + s) are very important and in ompatible with a not observed orresponding variation of the apparent diameter of the heavenly body :t is not known why the apparent diameter of the Moon did not seem to worry Ptolemy. really measured in Greek times (due to the diÆ ulty of parallax measurements): but we shall see that in Kepler's theory the measurability of their value payed a major role. I just quote here Coperni us' Commentariolus. although mathemati ally a eptable. what Ptolemy and several others legated to us about su h questions. Whi h is not ompletely obvious sin e some of the axes of referen e of Ptolemy do not move of uniform ir ular motion. so that the theoreti al ephemerides onform with the experimental ones. Ptolemy is \a used" of having abandoned the purity of the ir ular uniform motions with the utilitarian s ope of obtaining agreement between the experimental data and their theoreti al representations10. s. however. Astronomi al distan es (as opposed to elestial longitudes and latitudes of planets) were not. did not seem not to give rise to doubts and dif. few lines before the statement of his famous se ond postulate setting the Earth away from the enter of the World: \Nevertheless.

it would be possible to .. \Having realized this.. \So that su h an explanation did not seem suÆ iently omplete nor suÆ iently onform to a rational riterion" ... ulties" . I often meditated whether. by han e.

see11 p. of ourse. They are all .108. ir les.nd a more rational system of ir les with whi h it would be possible to explain every apparent diversity. COPERNICUS The skies are painted with unnumber'd sparks. II. moved on themselves with a uniform motion".

Consider for simpli ity the ase of quasi periodi motions with two frequen ies !1. indeed. as a tually all quasi periodi motions. Then the position will be Coperni us (1473-1543)9 (who was.38 Therefore let us he k what was. and every one doth shine. an be interpreted in terms of epi y les. !2 . in some form. very worried by the latter problem) tried to . Namely we he k that also the motions of the Ptolemai lunar theories.re. But there's but one in all doth hold his pla e. probably so obvious to Ptolemy that he did not seem to feel the ne essity of justifying his alleged deviation from the \dogma" of de omposability into uniform motions.

on whi h.nd a remedy by introdu ing a se ondary epi y le: his model goes ba k to that of Hippar hus. the Moon journeyed with angular velo ity 2!0 F . \improved" by imagining that the point of the epi y le on whi h Hippar hus set the Moon was instead the enter of a smaller se ondary epi y le. of radius s.

S0 L z (t) = ( C = !0 t .

1 X T   r(t) = 1 ei 1 t 1 + 2 ei( 2 1 )t  1   1 + 3 ei( 3 2 )t (1 + : : :) 2 Fig. that the motions (9) whi h. denotes a pair 1 . Then r(t) an be rewritten as R 1. 2 and j  !1 1 + !22 . again. so that 1 >> 2  3 > : : :. = !1t. Before attempting a omparison between the method of Ptolemy and that of Coperni us it is good to larify the modern interpretation of the notions of deferent and epi y le and to larify. 4 .2 1 2 ei(!1 1 +!2 2 )t  X j j ei j t (8) by the Fourier series theorem. 4 . as that used by Coperni us in the above lunar model. F L = s 1 . j  4 one obtains a motion with one deferent and two epi y les. Imagine. for simpli ity. 3 : : :. in the se ond sum. Note that. and is made. CF = r ( 1) = 2!0t. also that the enumeration with the label j of the pairs 1 . is the uniform ir ular motion on the deferent of radius j1 j with angular velo ity 1 . negle ting only 3 . : : : it is a motion with a deferent of radius j1 j rotating at velo ity 1 on whi h rests an epi y le of radius j2 j on whi h the planet rotates at velo ity 2 1 . negle ting 2 . negle ting only j . also. ( 1): Coperni us' Moon theory with two epi y les and in formulae: rL = Rei!0 t + e (!1 !0 )t (r + se2i!0 t ) (7) This gives a theory of the longitudes of the Moon essentially as pre ise as that of Ptolemy. 2 ould be made. the same two independent angular velo ities are suÆ ient. where i are arbitrary integers and j .

what said remains true ex ept that the notion of deferent is no longer meaningful. in other words.12 . if existent. The epi y le with radius mu h larger than the sum of the radii of the other epi y les. a situation that is not met in an ient astronomy). although the average motion still makes sense. essentially determines the average motion and is given the privileged name of \deferent". it is no longer asso iated with a parti ular epi y le. In the other ases.If j1 j is not substantially larger than the other radii (and pre isely if j1 j not is mu h larger than the sum of the other jj j. the distin tion between main ir ular motion and epi y les is no longer so lear from a physi al and geometri al viewpoint. but all of them on ur to de. Or.

We see. and su h only in a rather restri ted sense that it is not possible to dis uss here. 310-235 a. i. the omplete equivalen e between the representation of the quasi periodi motions by means of a Fourier transform and that in terms of epi y les. however. having referred the motions to the (average) Sun rather than to the Earth: that is a trivial hange of oordinates. therefore. but set aside by Ptolemy for obvious reasons of onvenien e.ne it. known as possible and already studied in antiquity. as seen above. Greek astronomy.15 . Ptolemy et . This is perhaps16 the great innovation of Coperni us and not.although there is perhaps noth- re tly series whi h ontain in..14. or better parameterizes. of some details of the motion of Mer ury) is stri tly oherent with this prin iple. for an example see [AA68℄.138. Coperni us' work (with the only ex eption. See the Almagest. instead. the one he is always redited for. set in his early proje t quoted above.. be ause in the end it is from Earth that we observe the heavens (so that still today many ephemerides are referred to the Earth and not to an improbable observer on the Sun). as many as needed to an a urate representation of the motion. p. onsisted in the sear h of the Fourier oeÆ ients of the quasi periodi motions of the heavenly bodies. oin ides with the omputation of the Fourier transform of the oordinates with oeÆ ients ordered by de reasing absolute value. and also be ause he seemed to la k an understanding of the prin iple of inertia (as we would say in modern language). Coperni us' idea.. below and17 ): the intri ate interplay of rotating sti ks that explains. by Aristar hus (of Samos.10 .). ertainly.45 where allegedly Ptolemy says: \. thus. But Ptolemy's method is in a ertain sense not systemati (see.C. the motion of the Moon is very lever and pre ise but it seems quite learly not apt for obvious extensions to the ases of other planets and heavenly bodies. p. is systemati and. of introdu ing epi y les of epi y les.e. geometri ally represented by means of uniform motions.

nitely many Fourier oeÆ ients (see R0 (!0 t) in (5) where this happens be ause of the square root). i.e. in.

less elementary uniform ir ular motions (whi h. very often in the Ptolemai onstru tions. however. equal or lose to those of the motion that one wants to represent: it is this absen e of uniqueness that makes the Ptolemai method appear unsystemati . I mean those whi h are not negligible. provided that the motion that results has Fourier oeÆ ients. are in. It has. We an therefore obtain the same results with several arrangements of sti ks. most of whi h are obviously very small and hen e irrelevant. at equal approximation. if applied by an astronomer like Ptolemy. the advantage that. on the ontrary. it apparently requires.nitely many epi y les.

nitely many as we see in the ase of (5). Ptolemy identi.(6)): this has been erroneously interpreted as meaning less epi y les than usually ne essary with the methods of Coperni us: a fa t that was and still is onsidered a grave defe t of the Coperni an theory ompared to the Ptolemai .

es 43 fundamental uniform ir ular motions (that ombine to give rise to quasi periodi fun tions endowed with in.

nitely many harmoni s formed with the 43 fundamental frequen ies) to explain the whole system of the World: young Coperni us hopes initially (in the Commentariolus) to be able to explain everything with 34 harmoni s. only to .

18 One should not. however. at the end of a lifetime work. See Neugebauer in5 . that he is for ed to introdu e several more. p. miss stressing also that Coperni us helio entri assumption made possible a simple and unambiguous omputation of the planetary distan es. vol. and the orbits are supposed ir ular (to make this remark simplest) then the radii of the epi y les of the external planets (for instan e) are automati ally .926.925.nd out in the De Revolutionibus.16 If the Sun is assumed as the enter. 2.

ing in the elestial phenomena whi h would ount against that hypothesis [that the Sun is the enter of the World℄. one an see that su h a notion is quite ridi ulous.. One an \save the phenomena" by arbitrarily s aling deferent and epi y les radii independently for ea h planet! The possibility of reliably measuring distan es.xed to be all equal to the distan e Earth{Sun. Then.17 Ptolemy. was essential to establishing the helio entri system and to Kepler. with lever and auda ious geometri onstru tions does not ompute oeÆ ient after oeÆ ient the . applied by Coperni us and then by Ty ho and Kepler. one easily dedu es the distan e of the planet to the Earth and to the Sun.. see23 . In a geo entri system the radii of the epi y les are simply related to their deferents sizes and the latter are a priori unrelated to the Sun{Earth distan e: also for this reason (although mainly be ause of the diÆ ulty of parallax measurements) in an ient astronomy the size of the planetary distan es was a big open problem. in units of the Earth{Sun distan e. a more diÆ ult but very illuminating task. knowing the periods of revolution and observing one opposition (to the Sun) of a planet and one position o onjun tion at a later time. who ould thus see that the saving of the phenomena in longitudinal observation was not the same as saving them in the radial observations.

He sees di5 .rst few terms of a Fourier transform.

One an even dare the hypothesis that the Almagest was just a volume of ommented tables based on prin iples so well known to not even deserve being mentioned. It is diÆ ult to imagine that Ptolemy had pro eeded in an absolutely empiri al manner in the invention of anomalous obje ts like \equant points" and strange epi y les (like those he uses in the theory of the Moon. des ribed there and he would be left wandering how all that had been ompiled: be ause it is very dif.In reality also the ritique of la k of a systemati method in Ptolemy. the starting point of the Coperni an theory. see above) and yet he did not feel that he was departing from the main stream based on the axiom that all motions were de omposable into uniform ir ular motions: it is attra tive. to think that he did not feel. by any means. and by the data orre tness. after mankind re overed from some great disaster. to have violated the aristotelian law of the omposition of motions by ir ular uniform ones. found a opy the Ameri an Astronomi al Almana 19 (possibly translated from translations into some new languages) he would be astonished by the amount of details. instead. should be re onsidered and subje t to s rutiny: indeed we do not know the theoreti al foundations on whi h Ptolemy based the Almagest nor through whi h dedu tions he arrived at the idea of the equant and to other marvelous devi es. One should note that if a s ientist of the stature of Coperni us in a 1000 years from now.

24. far from marking the end of the grandiose Greek on eption of motion as omposed by ir ular uniform motions. if not impossible to derive even the Kepler's laws. And he would say \surely there must be a simpler way to represent the motions of the planets. Newtonian me hani s has been. only to end his life (as Coperni us in \De revolutionibus")11 with new tables that oin ided with an appropriately updated version of the ones he found in his youth. while the Almagest is an earlier but more detailed version of it. The Ameri an Astronomi al Almana an be perhaps better ompared to Ptolemy's Planetary Hypotheses if the latter is really due to him. ult. Contrary to what at times is said. stars and galaxies". its most brilliant on. and the whole pro ess might start anew. instead. as universally a epted. dire tly from it (not to mention the present knowledge on the three body problem). After the dis overy of the Kepler laws the theory of gravitation of Newton (1642-1727) was soon rea hed.

the Keplerian motion of the Mars around the Sun is des ribed by the equations: z = pei# (1 e os #) 1 .38 Today we would say that Ptolemy's theory was nonperturbative be ause it immediately represented the motions as quasi periodi fun tions (with in. if # denotes the angle between the major semiaxis and the a tual position on the orbit (\true anomaly"). For example. a is the major semiaxis of the ellipse and e is its e entri ity.rmation. Unshak'd of motion. ` denotes the average anomaly. ` = !t (10) 4 III. KEPLER Yet in the number I do know but one That unassailable holds on his rank. p = a(1 e2 ) 5 # = ` 2e sin ` + e2 sin 2` + O(e3 ).

Coperni us' is. instead.nitely many Fourier oeÆ ients). perturbative and it systemati ally generates representations of the motions by means of developments with a .

But the systemati nature of the Coperni an method permitted to his su essors to organize the large amount of new data of the astronomers of the Renaissan e and of the Reform time. or the Earth in the ase of the Moon. while in Ptolemy the geometri onstru tions asso iated with an epi y le sometimes introdu e also harmoni s that are multiples. see20 Ch. harmoni s multiple of others ount as di erent epi y les. The larger number of harmoni s in Coperni us is simply explained be ause. equivalently. Nor it should appear as making a di eren e that the epi y les are. Eventually it allowed Kepler (15711630) to re ognize that what was being painfully onstru ted. of others already existent and produ e an \apparent" saving of epi y les. But it is instead lear that Keplerian motions are still interpretable in terms of epi y les whose amplitudes and positions are omputed with the Coperni an or Ptolemai methods (that he regarded as equivalent in a sense that reminds us of the modern theories of \equivalent ensembles" in statisti al me hani s. For reasons that es ape me History of S ien e often redits Kepler for making possible the reje tion of the s heme of representation of the Heavens in terms of deferents and epi y les. 1-4) or. with the purpose of improving the agreement with experien e. one after the other. oeÆ ient after oeÆ ient.nite number of harmoni s onstru ted by adding new pure harmoni s. was in the simplest ases just the Fourier series of a motion that developed on an ellipse with the Sun. in the fo us and with onstant area velo ity. stri tly speaking. via the modern Fourier transform. from his point of view. or ombinations with integer oeÆ ients. in favor of motions on ellipses. in.

(even though all ex ept a small number have amplitudes. to be representable by epi y les (i. i. radii. in. with the their auda ious onstru tions based on rotating sti ks did require. whi h are ompletely negligible): already the Ptolemai motions.nitely many. by Fourier series).e.e.

in whi h the r.s. manifestly have in.nitely many oeÆ ients (or harmoni s). see (5).h.(6) above.

nitely many nonvanishing ones. Only Coperni an astronomy was built to have a .

nite number of epi y les: but their number had to be ever in reasing with the in rease of the pre ision of the approximations. Ptolemy seemed to be looking and Kepler ertainly was looking for exa t theories. hen e 6 . Coperni us appears to our eyes doomed to look for better and better approximations.

z = p(1 e2 )1=2 ei# (1 + 2 1 X n=1 1 2 1 = 2 1 e ) )e = e + O(e3 ) (e)  (1 (1 with respe t to the Fixed Stars Sky and it is the theory that one .

after onverting it to the inertial frame of referen e .nds in the Almagest.

see23 where the latter is dis ussed in some detail.22 The above. see4 p.2-4: this is usually quoted by saying the \for the Earth Ptolemy (Coperni us and Ty ho) did not bise t the e entri ity". see also20 Ch. is not the path followed by Kepler. making the Coperni an Earth lose one more distinguishing feature with respe t to the other planets.192. meaning that the enter and the equant were identi al and both 2 e a away from the Sun: from23 we dedu e that this did not matter for the Earth whi h has a mu h smaller e entri ity (than Mars).xed with the Sun. Before dis overing the ellipse Kepler had to redress this \anomaly" and he indeed bise ted also the Earth e entri ity. see23 . however. Thus bringing the development in e to . The motion of the Earth around the Sun (or vi eversa if one prefers) is similar ex ept that the enter of the deferent ir le is dire tly the equant point.

Moon and Mars: to se ond order however the equant be omes insuÆ ient and Kepler realized that the ellipse had to be des ribed at onstant area velo ity with respe t to the fo us.rst order one rea hes a level of approximation qualitatively satisfa tory for the observations to whi h Kepler's and Ty ho's prede essors had a ess. not only for the Sun but also for the more anomalous planets like Mer ury. We an say that the experimental data agree within a (e)n os n#) 2 (11) and to .

rst order in e: z = aei!t (1 2e sin !t)(1 + 2e os t) + O(e2 ) = = aei!t (1 + e(1 + i)ei!t + e(1 i)e i!t + O(e2 )) (12) whi h an be des ribed to lowest order in e. Indeed the simplest epi y li al motion is perhaps that in whi h one onsiders in. as omposed by a deferent and two epi y les. by onsidering epi y li al motions. In this respe t it is interesting to observe how one an arrive to an ellipse with fo us on the Sun. Two more would be ne essary to obtain an error of O(e3 ).

that leads to the ellipse in the . 2.nitely many pairs of epi y les. with n = 1. and with radii de reasing in geometri progression. : : :. i. 0 . : 1 X 0 i# z (#) = p e 0n os n# n=0 (13) for some p0 .e. run with respe tive angular velo ity n!.

MODERN TIMES To realize better the originality of the Newtonian theory we must observe that in the approximations in whi h Kepler worked it was evident that the laws of Kepler were not absolutely valid: the pre ession of the lunar node. SC =ea # S (e) ea C ` Sequant Fig. if run with the law of the areas. to be explained.rst of the (11). instead of # ! !t.21 . new epi y les: in a ertain sense the Keplerian ellipses be ame \deferent" motions that. (e): The equant onstru tion of Ptolemy adapted to a helio entri theory of Mars. a uniform angular motion around a point Sequant of abs issa 2ea from the point S with respe t to whi h the anomaly # is evaluated and of abs issa ea with respe t to the enter C of the ir le on whi h the (manifestly nonuniform) motion takes pla e third order error in the e entri ity with the hypothesis of an ellipti al motion and with a time law based on the area law: this. oin ides with the Ptolemai law of the equant. is rather # ! !t 2e sin !t + : : :. within a se ond order error in the e entri ity. S is the Sun. is that the time law whi h gives the motion on the ellipse. at least at lowest order in e. IV. i. M is Mars. enter of the orbit and the equant point is Sequant . What is less natural in the Kepler laws.e. of the lunar perigee and of the Earth itself did require. A stri t interpretation of Kepler's laws would be manifestly in ontrast with ertain elementary astronomi al observations unless ombined with suitable onstru tions of epi y les as Kepler himself realized and applied to the theory of the Moon. if we onsider the \two body problem" and we reinterpreted in a novel way the Keplerian on eption that the motion of a planet was mostly due to a for e exer ized by the Sun and partly to a for e due to itself. The theory of Newtonian gravitation follows after the abstra tion made by Newton that Kepler's laws would be rigorously exa t in the situation in whi h we ould negle t the perturbations due to the other planets. did permit us to avoid the use of equants and of other Ptolemai \tri ks". The theory of gravitation not only predi ts that the M CM =a. C the this means that the angle ` in the drawing rotates uniformly and # = ` 2e sin ` + e2 sin 2` + O(e3 ) (14) Trun ating the series in (13) and (14) to . Su h motion is however an old \Ptolemai knowledge" being.

two epi y les and an equant: it is a des ription quite a urate of the motion of Mars 7 .rst order in the e entri ity we obtain (12) and hen e a des ription in terms of one deferent.

seemed to on. Siegel in parti ular. Hopf. et . with Birkho . But only around the middle of the 1950's it has been possible to understand the paradox onsisting in the di hotomy generated by Poin are: (1) on the one hand the su esses of lassi al astronomy based on Newtonian me hani s and on the perturbation theory of Lapla e. Lagrange. ians who. started from Poin are to begin the onstru tion of the orpus that is today alled the theory of haos.

rm the validity of the quasi periodi on eption of motions (re all for instan e Lapla e's theory of the World.34: he stressed the existen e of two ways of performing perturbation theory.32 ).35 .33.35 and the dis overy of Neptune. or Gauss' \redis overy" of Ceres. The fundamental new ontribution ame from Kolmogorov. In the . (2) on the other hand the theorem of Poin are ex luded the onvergen e of the series used in (1).

the lassi al one.rst way. one .

A se ond approa h onsists in . see34 Se . 5. One then tries to show that the perturbed motion.xes the initial data and lets them evolve with the equations of motion. do not onverge or sometimes even ontain divergent terms. et . be ause they redu e to a Newtonian problem of two bodies or.10. Su h equations. however. depend by several small parameters (ratios of masses. simply by trying to ompute the periodi fun tions f that should represent the motion with the given initial data (and the orresponding phases 'i . angular velo ities !i . And for " = 0 the equations an be solved exa tly and expli itly. in all appli ations. and the onstants of motion Ai ) by means of power series in ". with " 6= 0. is still quasi periodi .) denoted above generi ally by ". Su h series. in not heavenly problems. to other integrable systems. deprived of meaning.

the angular velo ities (or frequen ies) !1 . !n of the quasi periodi motions that one wants to . : : : .xing. instead of given initial data (note that it is in any ase illusory to imagine knowing them exa tly).

'.nd. in terms of whi h one an represent quasi periodi motions. with the pre. Then it is often possible to onstru t by means of power series in " the fun tions f and the variables A.

Jupiter and imagining for simpli ity the Sun . we ask the possible question: given the system Sun. Earth.xed frequen ies. In other words. and making an example.

!i . 'i by su essive approximations in a series of powers in several parameters (ratios of masses of heavenly bodies. is it or not possible that in eternity (or also only up to just a few billion years) the Earth evolves with a period of rotation around to Sun of about 1 year. e entri ities. : : : . The summa of Lapla e (1749-1827) on the Me anique eleste of 1799. et . but it gives us the algorithms for omputing the fun tions f ('1 . makes us see how the des ription of the solar system motions. of revolution around its axis of about 1 day. ould be made in terms quasi periodi fun tions. A3N ) and the 3N angles '1 . '3N and the 3N angular velo ities !1 (A). for simpli ity. that will be denoted here with the only symbol ".xed and Jupiter on a Keplerian orbit around it. : : : . of pre ession around the heavenly poles of about 25:500 years. even after taking into a ount the intera tions between the planets.). Newtonian me hani s allows us to ompute approximately the 3N oordinates A = (A1 . : : : . apparently even in the approximation in whi h one does not negle t the re ipro al intera tions between the planets. After Lapla e approximately 80 years elapse during whi h the te hnique and the algorithms for the onstru tion of the heavenly series are developed and re. !3N (A) in terms of whi h the motion simply onsists of 3N uniform rotations of the 3N angles while the A remain onstant. Lapla e makes us see that there is an algorithm that allows us to ompute the Ai .25. ratios of the planets radii to their orbits radii et . 'n ).? One shall remark that this se ond type of question is mu h more similar to the ones that the Greek astronomers asked themselves when trying to dedu e from the periods of the several motions that animated a heavenly body the equations of the orresponding quasi peri- motions of the heavenly bodies are quasi periodi . : : : .

Then Poin are was able to see learly the new phenomenon that marks the .ned leading to the onstru tion of the formal stru ture of analyti me hani s.

rst true and de.

nitive blow to the Greek on eption of motion: with a simple proof. Few did realize the depth and the revolutionary hara ter of Poin are's dis overy: among them Fermi who tried of dedu e with the methods of Poin are a proof of the ergodi ity of the motions of Hamiltonian dynami al systems that are \not too spe ial". The proof of Fermi. elebrated but somehow little known. remained one of the few attempts made in the .26. very instru tive and witty although stri tly speaking not on lusive from a physi al viewpoint. he showed that the algorithms that had obtained so many su esses in the astronomy of the 1800's were in general non onvergent algorithms.

ame ba k on the subje t to rea h on lusions very di erent from the ones of his youth (with the elebrated numeri al experiment of Fermi-Pasta-Ulam). at the end of his history. Fermi himself. to understand the importan e of of Poin are's theorem.rst sixty years of the 1900's by theoreti al physi ists.28 And the Greek on eption of motion .

at the root. proposes it as a base of his theory of turbulen e in uids. The alternative proposed by them began modern resear h on the theory of the development of turbulen e and the renewed attempts at establishing a theory of developed turbulen e. a priori) \advo ates" in Landau that. The attitude was quite di erent among mathemati8 . went ba k to Poin are.nds one of its last (quite improbable. still in the 1950's.31 on the basis of the ideas that.29 His on eption has been riti ized by Ruelle and Takens (and apparently by others)30.

. odi motion. I de ided to translate it into English and make it available more widely also be ause I . Furthermore quasi periodi motions although being. times of several orders of magnitude larger than the age of the Universe) to a regime in whi h su h times be ome so short to be observable on human s ales. Hopf et . then the o urren e of important variations of quantities su h as the radii of the orbits of the planets would be on eivable. whether a preassigned initial datum a tually undergoes a quasi periodi motion. This is the phenomenon of Arnold's di usion of whi h there exist quite a few examples: it is a phenomenon of wide interest. in the long run. onvergent for " small.thinks that a sudden transition. without using a omputer). is possible from a regime in whi h di usion times are super astronomi al in orresponden e of the interesting values of the parameters (i. For example if di usion was possible in the solar system. By the theorem of ontinuity of solutions of equations of motion with respe t to variations of initial data it follows that every motion an be simulated. by a quasi periodi motion. stri tly speaking. very ommon and almost dense in phase spa e probably do not onstitute an obsta le to the fa t that the not quasi periodi motions evolve very far. But obviously there remains the problem: (1) are there. reveal themselves to be not quasi periodi ? (2) if yes. 5. Kolmogorov's theorem does not dire tly apply. : : : . And the loser the smaller " is.e. has ir ulated widely and I still re eive requests of opies. at least for " small. from the points visited by the quasi periodi motions to whi h the initial data were lose. Sin e ele troni omputers be ame easily a essible it is easy for everybody to observe personally on omputer s reens the very omplex drawings generated by su h motions (as seen by Poin are. not intended for publi ation. as the intensity " of the perturbation in reases.34 Se . One annot say. in part. in every bounded part of the phase spa e ontained in a region in whi h the unperturbed motions are already quasi periodi .10) one 1 This is. for a long time as " ! 0. !n are the n angular velo ities of the motion of whi h we investigate the existen e it will happen that for the most part of the hoi es of the !i there a tually exists a quasi periodi motion with su h frequen ies and its equations an be onstru ted by means of a power series in ". but one an say that near it there are initial data that generate quasi periodi motions. therefore. The answer of Kolmogorov is that if !1 . The Italian text.33 The set of the initial data that generate quasi periodi motions has a omplement of measure that tends to zero as " ! 0. This is one of the entral themes of the present day resear h on the subje t. really. Birkho . a translation of the text of a onferen e at the University of Roma given around 1989. in the long run. for some reasons that we shall not attempt to analyze here. In systems simpler than the solar system (to whi h. with obvious (dramati ) onsequen es on the stability of the solar system.36 . initial data whi h follow motions that. is it possible that in the long run the motion of a system di ers substantially from that of the (abundant) quasi periodi motions that develop starting with initial data near it? The answer to these questions is aÆrmative: in many systems motions that are not quasi periodi do exist and be ome easily visible as " in reases. ir ulated in the form of a preprint sin e. In this last question the true problem is the evaluation of the time s ale on whi h the di usion in phase spa e ould be observable.

nally went into more detail in the part about Kepler. that I onsidered quite super.

1953. Therefore this preprint di ers from the previous.: The exa t s ien es in antiquity. see2 . Dover. Dreyer. Dover.it. 3 A general history of astronomy is in: J.: A history of astronomy. whi h might be of independent interest. 2 The original Italian text an be found and freely downloaded from http://ippar o. ial as presented in the original text. mainly (but not only) for the long new part (in footnote23 ) about Astronomia nova.infn. The . 4 For a simple introdu tion to the Ptolemai system see: Neugebauer. O. at the page \ 1994".roma1. 1969.

It should 9 .gures of the text are taken from this volume: see p. S hiaparelli. Springer Verlag. 8 i. 9 Re ent is the volume on Coperni us: O. both of the Almagest and of the Planetary Hypothesis. Swerdlow: Mathemati al astronomy in Coperni us' de revolutionibus. 1975. the more an ient that I ould retrieve is in a memory of 1874 of G. vol. 7 Some ritiques to Ptolemy are in: R. The \book"37 also provides us with a very onvin ing dis ussion of the fraud (or \ rime") allegations brought against Ptolemy. S hiaparelli. Springer Verlag. 1984. is in: Neugebauer. part 2.e. Toomer.2. 10 The interpretation that the Fourier transform (and (9)) has in terms of deferent and epi y li al motions has been noted by many. p.: A history of an ient mathemati al astronomy. 5 A riti al and ommented version of Ptolemy's theory. Newton: The rime of Claudius Ptolemy. 1979. 1984. part I. is: Ptolemy's Almagest. tomo II. Springer{Verlag. Le sfere omo entri he di Eudosso. N. Bologna. 6 A re ent edition of the Almagest. edited by G. Press. no linear ombination of them with rational oeÆ ients an vanish unless all oeÆ ients vanish. 11. S ritti sulla storia dell' astronomia anti a. Neugebauer. 1. 1926. Zani helli. di Callippo e di Aristotele. 193{197. reprinted in G. John's Hopkins Univ. with omment. O.

Jupiter. and this should have been reported by Ptolemy. no tra e of an appli ation of the helio entri system to planets other than the Earth and the Sun. see14 p.15 to his determination of the distan e of the Moon to the Earth. Venus. the motions of the 8 lassi al planets (the Fixed Stars Sky. see for instan e the . requires a maximum of 24 = 3  8 independent \fundamental" frequen ies namely three for ea h planet: so that both in Ptolemy and in Coperni us there must be epi y les rotating at speeds multiple of the fundamental frequen ies or at least at speeds whi h are linear ombinations with integer oeÆ ients of the fundamental frequen ies: hen e the 43 frequen ies annot be rationally independent of ea h other. or alternatively not ounting the Sun and the Fixed Stars but regarding the Earth as having 6 degrees of freedom. Mars. Mer ury.time):16 a problem in whi h he had a strong interest as he dedi ated a book14. although it would be surprising that there was none. 18 Note that. For a riti al a ount of the Planetary Hypotheses see5 . strangely. Moon. Sun. Saturn not ounting the Earth (whose rigid motions are des ribed by those of the Fixed Stars). From the extant information about Aristar hus' theory there is. from Newtonian me hani s and from the dis ussion below. 299 and following.

ould be ounted di erently.: Astronomia nova. Prin eton University Press. 21 Stephenson. (t1). B. reprint of the fren h translation by J. 1989.: Kepler's physi al astronomy. J. see Fig. US government printing oÆ e. Peyroux. 22 It is interesting to ompare in detail the theory of Mars of Coperni us and that of Ptolemy (redu ed to a helio entri one). 1979. 20 Kepler.gure on Coperni us' Moon and note that the \number of epi y les" in Ptolemy's theory. issued by the National Almana OÆ e. Blan hard. Paris. 19 The astronomi al almana for the year 1989. 1994. The .

rst has a deferent of radius a on whi h a .

a se ond epi y le rotates at twi e the speed. on it. the starting on.rst epi y le of radius 32 ea ounter{rotates at equal speed and.

guration being the .

rst epi y le at aphelion and the se ond opposite to the aphelion of the .

ed. at average anomaly ` given by zC be stressed that the above \redu tion" of a quasi periodi motion to an epi y li series is not unique and other paths an be followed: this will be very lear by the examples below23 . in Italian I quote the olle tion printed by UTET dire ted by L. Barone. F. We .rst. Torino. Geymonat: N. 1979. Coperni us. In other words the position zC from the aphelion is. Opere. UTET. 11 The work of Coperni us and Newton an be easily found in English as there are plenty of reprints.

nd here in parti ular the so alled Commentariolus that presents the plan of the Coperni an work. while dedi ating the rest of his life to a omplete realization of the program sket hed in the Commentariolus (1530). Great were the diÆ ulties that he then met. as optimisti ally viewed by the young (and perhaps still naive) Coperni us himself before he really onfronted himself with a work of the dimensions of the Almagest. Nevertheless the operni an revolution appears already learly from this brief and illuminating work: here one . so that the De revolutionibus presents solutions quite more elaborate than those programmed in the quoted work.

1. Bibliote a Apostoli a Vati ana. 205. not only for the personality of Aristar hus of Samos. 1968. Avez. II. 900. 17 See Ptolemy.5 p. the Planetary Hypotheses books to Ptolemy. C. the longitudinal position of the planet on the orbit as seen from the enter) it is zC = aei` + = ea + aei and from Fig. Springer Verlag. 13 Arnold. 1984. 15 Heath. Sternberg. together with the pre eding one10 ): S. I often wonder whether it is possible that this passage has been ontaminated by later ommentators. Heath: Aristar hus of Samos. Bo aletti pointed out to me this bibliographi note. is ea further away from the enter of the orbit. T. The an ient Coperni us. whose enter rotates at onstant speed around the equant point whi h. New York. missing in his work. Commentaires de Pappus et de Theon d'Alexandrie sur l'Almageste. Had it been the same as Coperni us' he ould have determined the sizes of the orbits (at least in prin iple as the ne essary parallax measurements were at the border of feasibility at the 3 1 2i` ae eae = 2 2 = ea + aei` (1 ie sin `) Ptolemy has the planet on an e entri ir le. Toomer.e. G. in turn. Hen e if  is the e entri anomaly (i. 1936. Nevertheless if one attributes. Benjamin. 16 Neugebauer assesses very lu idly Coperni us' ontribution: see4 p. the longitudinal position of the planet as seen from the equant point) is related to  by zT sin(` so that 10 ) = e sin ` !  =` 3 e sin ` + O(e ) . This ontains a very illuminating olle tion of translations of fragments from greek originals.nds the passage quoted in the text (p. annotee par A.: Ergodi problems of lassi al me hani s. Although ertainly not mu h later. A. New York. T. Rome. 1969. Dover. ed. then one is led to think that the passage is indeed original.J. V. entered ea away from the Sun. 1981. 1991. as it seems right to do.e. Benjamin. 14 It is interesting. 12 And for a detailed treatment. This is perhaps also proved by the fa t that Ptolemy does not seem to realize that the helio entri hypothesis would have allowed a lear determination of the average radii of the orbits. vol. to read the volume: T. see in parti ular (D.L.108 of the Italian edition).I. In turn this makes us wonder whi h exa tly was the famous helio entri hypothesis of Aristar hus and if it went beyond a mere qualitative hange of oordinates. In a way this and the argument that follows it is mu h too rough ompared to the level of the rest of the Almagest. Citta del Vati ano. also of the notion of average motion. (e) we see that the relation between the average anomaly ` (i. be ause it is already ommented by Theon of Alexandria in the se ond half of the fourth entury: however two enturies is a very long time for S ien e (if one thinks to what happened sin e Lapla e). Dover. See also Theon.. Celestial me hani s. ed.: The Almagest.: Greek Astronomy.

1.faithfully until the end of his work. and if ! is the angular velo ity with respe t to the equant point E this means (using the omplex numbers notation of Se . Kepler's theory di ers from both to order O(e2 ).e. to save the phenomena. If z denotes the position with respe t to the enter C in the plane of the orbit with x{axis along the apsidal line of Mars and  denotes the position with respe t to the Sun S (e entri by ea away from C ) and if  denotes the position on the deferent of the planet. to mat h distan es at quadrature. Before Ty ho (relative) di eren es of O(e2 ) ould not be appre iated experimentally: but their existen e was derived from the theories. His equant was set. for our purposes. where the above al ulation is performed for ` = 2 . The main one. whi h was not the ase at Ptolemy's time). or about 400 in distan e measurements (i. 16 in the original edition). a little loser to the enter (with respe t to the Ptolemai equant point) at distan e e0 a from the enter C of the deferent rather than at distan e ea. and an equant: he noted that a very good approximation of the longitudes followed if one abandoned Ptolemy's theory of the enter C of the orbit being half way between the Sun S and the equant E . on an e entri ir le that I will all the deferent. in longitude measurements and within O(e2 ). the differen e of the true anomalies or longitudes from the Sun position S ) is arg zzCT or zT = ea + aei` (1 ie sin `   1 e2 sin2 ` = O(e3 sin3 `) 2 e e i` + 1 ie sin ` However the di eren e in distan e is jzC j jzT j of the order O( 12 e2 sin2 `) so that Coperni us' epi y les are equivalent to Ptolemy's equant within O(e3 ). and used. was the (vituperated or. see below. Eq. one should alter by about 400 the average anomaly. by Kepler who dis ussed them at the beginning of his book in Ch. as in Coperni us and Ty ho) he tried to \imitate the an ients" by assigning to Mars an orbit. He . whi h means to delay the observations by about one day sin e Mars period is about 2 years (provided the distan es ould be measured a urately enough. or about 40 .e. see20 p. 23 (or p. more mildly. alled the e entri anomaly. simply riti ized) law that the \speed of the motion due to the Sun is inversely proportional to the distan e to the Sun". 4 with x{axis along the apsides line perihelion{aphelion) 1 2 2 3 e sin `) + O(e ) 2 and we see that the longitudinal di eren e (i.4. say. After as ertaining that the Earth and Mars orbits lie on planes through the Sun (rather than through the mean Sun. where the dis repan y is maximal.

rst derived a better theory for the longitudinal observations (whi h turned out eventually to agree with the omplete theory already to O(e3 )) and used it to .

in luding a lear te hni al analysis of the \vi arious hypothesis" (see37 . 367). p.nd the \ orre t" theory agreeing within O(e3 ) with the data for the distan e measurements (that had be ome possible. see16 . A key point to keep in mind in this footnote is that the resolution of the observations available to Ptolemy (and Coperni us) was of the order of 100 so that errors were in the order of tens of primes: this meant that one ould observe . 23 The following a ount of the work on the se ond Kepler's law attempts at providing a self ontained exposition whi h annot be regarded as a substitute for the series of papers in37 whi h impressively analyses various aspe ts of Astronomia Nova.20 . 311) and an interesting omputer analysis of some of Kepler's al ulations (see37 . p. The only point on whi h something not already ontained in37 or in21 (where omplementary areful and detailed analysis of Kepler's dis overies are presented and from where I derive most of what follows) is perhaps the analysis of Kepler's 1=r for e law. after Coperni us).

be ause the third order amounts to about 30 . see3 p. 385. as learly stressed in21 . However the observations of Ty ho were of the order of a few primes so that se ond order orre tions were learly observable. after Plinius). Another major point to keep in mind is.rst order orre tions in the e entri ity of Mars but the se ond order orre tions (of order e2 ' 10 2 or about 300 ) were barely non observable (the ensuing diÆ ulties in interpreting the data earned Mars the name of inobservabile sidus. that Kepler was the . unobservable star.

but he had very pre ise laws in mind whi h he kept following very arg 1 z = aei .rst to have (perhaps sin e Greek times) a physi al theory to he k: his language is not the one we have be ome a ustomed to after Newton. ` = !t 1 = ea + aei . that rotates uniformly around the equant E . (k1) The vi arious hypothesis: here the e entri ities are e = 45 0:4 and e0 = 34 0:4.  =` ar sin e0 sin ` = ` e 0 sin ` + O(e03 ). The ontinuous ir le is the a tual orbit. j j = a ((" + os  )2 + sin2  ) 2 = 1 = a (1 + e2 + 2e os  ) 2 whi h was alled the vi arious hypothesis. illustrated in Fig. The dashed ir les are the deferent ( entered at S ) and the epi y le ( entered at P0 ) while the planet is in P . The segment SP0 is parallel to CP (partially drawn) so that P CPap = P0 SPap is the e entri anomaly while P SPap is the true anomaly # and P EPap is the average anomaly `. (k1):  P0 P # Pph S `  C (k1) E Pap Fig. 11 .  4 times larger than real to make a learer pi ture.

The a tual orbit is a ir le with the horizontal segment as a diameter The hypothesis illustrated above an be ompared with the a tual (later) Kepler law p Then Kepler was assailed by the suspi ion that the dis repan ies in the distan es that he was .the deferent and the epi y le are drawn.

he assumed that what pro eeded at velo ity inversely proportional to the distan e from the Sun was the enter of an epi y le of radius ea. as e e0 is numeri ally ' 5e2 (from the data for e0 ): for instan e the y { oordinate was about 21 1 2 p. ` =  + e sin .nding were rather due to a defe tive theory of the Earth motion (whi h was needed to onvert terrestrial observation into solar ones): he was thus led to realize that the Earth too had an equant and he ould he k that the dis repan y between distan es theory and observations was not due to an erroneous theory of the Earth motion: introdu ing an equant for the Earth did not a e t sensibly the data for the Sun and Mars (this meant a large amount of he king. 101. Therefore the hypothesis was used by Kepler as a qui k means to ompute the longitudes until the very end of his resear h. at  = 2 . The relation between the longitude # orresponding to a theory in whi h the Sun is e entri by ea from the enter of the orbit and the equant is e0 a further away gives a longitude # as z = j j = a (1 + 2e os  + e2 ) 2 plus the dynami al law _ = onst: this gives both anomaly and distan e di ering from the vi arious hypothesis by O(e2 ): hen e still in ompatible with the observations (a tually worse than the vi arious hypothesis whi h at least gave orre tly the longitudes). The planet equations would be: = a ( os  + i 1 e2 sin  ). see Nevertheless the vi arious hypothesis gave very a urate longitudes. ` = !t so we see that the vi arious hypothesis gave an in orre t distan e Mars{Sun be ause of the di eren e of order O(e e0 ) + O(e3 ) = O(e2 ). The hypothesis was dis arded be ause. It is interesting to remark that a posteriori it is lear why the vi arious hypothesis worked so well. 46. 3  = ` e sin ` + O(e ). a year or so). the planet was rotating at rate _. the epi y le enter had anomaly  on a ir le of radius a around S and. 1 (e + e0 ) sin ` + (ee0 + e2 ) sin 2` + O(e3 ) 2 while the . Returning to Mars he tried to he k (again) his basi hypothesis that the velo ity was inversely proportional to the distan e from the Sun. So that the planet was a tually moving on a ir le of radius a around the e entri enter C with angular velo ity _ too. on it. The value of _ was determined by the Kepler original law  _ = onst. see21 p. it had be ome possible (see Se . II above) to measure distan es from the Sun and they were in orre tly predi ted by the hypothesis be ause the se ond order orre tions in the e entri ity were already visible (in the ase of Mars). 2 e higher than it should have. after Coperni us and Ty ho.

This provides an explanation of why the vi arious hyptothesis is so a urate for the longitudes. (k3): The . 11602. e 6= e0 with 0 1  and e = 45 e. see21 p. well out of observability. 44. As Kepler noted Ty ho's and his observations gave e + e0 = 2e = 0:18564 and e = 0:11332 very lose to 45 e = 0. e0 = 34 e) gives an agreement 2 (e + e ) = e 3 to order e ' 10 3 : this is a few primes. A realisti drawing of the vi arious hypothesis would be illustrated by Fig.  = ea + aei .nal theory gives # in terms of the ellipse e entri ity e as # z =` 5 2e sin ` + e2 sin 2` + O(e3 ) 4 therefore a \non bise ted" e entri ity (i. 1  P0 a P k3   Pph Pap S C Fig. (k2): #=` = aei .e.

The deferent is a ir le of radius a around S and the epi y le of radius e a is entered at P0 . (k1) with e entri ity e = 0:1.e. that the observed distan e of Mars from the enter of the deferent is b. for illustration purposes. (k2): Same as Fig. So one sees that the distan e from S is at aphelion or perihelion a (1  e) from S while at quadrature on the def- Fig. shorter than apand pre isely su h that ab = se # if sin # = e. only 12 . by han e as he reports. the planet is in P (k2) The su essful (among others) attempt was driven by the remark that one needed to lower the y { oordinate at quadrature by 12 e2 a (i. In fa t Kepler dis overs. E entri ity (e = 0:4) is mu h larger than the real value. or: b = a 1 e2 .rst attempt to establish the law _ = onst. to eliminate a \lunula" between the vi arious hypothesis orbit and the observed orbit). with anomaly  with respe t to S .

e. 32 ) it is just a. or thepdistan e to the enter C is apin the .erent (i. at e entri anomaly  = 2 .

\Therefore as if awakening from sleep" it follows that at a position with e entri anomaly  the planet y oordinate is lower (in the dire tion orthogonal to the apsides line) by a  sin  while the x{ oordinate is still a os  . Indeed the oordinates of the planet with p respe t to the Sun be ome x = e a + a os . Combining this with the basi dynami al law  _ = onst we dedu e that the motion is over an ellipse run at onstant area velo ity around S (not C ). as one readily he ks. The e entri anomaly  de. 125: hen e the orbit is an ellipse (with axes a and b = a 1 e2 and the distan e to the Sun is then easily omputed to be  = a (1 + e os  )). in the se ond b = a 1 e2 = a  a with  = 1 ases. y = a 1 e2 p sin  (rather than the previous y = a sin  ) so that  = x2 + y 2 = a (1 + e os  ). (see below). see21pp.rst ases and 1 e2 . Kepler's interpretation of the above relation was in the ontext of his attempt at a des ription of the motion \imitating the an ients".

21 ). The law  _ = onst was quite natural as he attributed the motion around the Sun as partly due to the Sun and partly to the planet: the latter (somewhat obs urely. unlike what happens in Kepler's onstru tion in whi h the deferent is entered at S and therefore the epi y le is mu h larger having a radius ea. 1 2   1 P (k4)  # Pph S C Pap The deferent is a ir le entered at the enter of the orbit C with radius 12 (a + b): the planet is not on the deferent but on a (very small) epi y le of diameter a b. if done with e = 0:1. approximately the Mars e entri ity. The Fabri ius' onstru tion. yet observable after Ty ho) amount a (1 1 e2 ) os  so that the distan e P S was  = a (1 + e os  ) (as one readily he ks). perhaps) was responsible for the epi y li ex ursion so that  _ would be the orre t variation of the e entri anomaly whi h had. a physi al meaning (this is not the ommon interpretation of Kepler3.nes the enter P 0 of an epi y le on a deferent ir le entered at S (not at C ) and with radius ea on whi h the planet should have traveled an angle  away from the P 0 S axis. but in fa t the a tual position P was really loser to the apsides line by the p(very small. therefore. Note that in Fabri ius' onstru tion the distan e of the ellipse to the deferent ir le is very small as the epi y le has radius O(e2 )a. makes us appre iate how subtle and re. If the enter of the epi y le is at e entri anomaly  the planet on the epi y le has traveled retrograde by 2 with respe t to the radius from C to the epi y le enter.

ned had to be the analysis of Kepler to dete t and understand the ellipse and the areal law. one get (of ourse) the same ellipse but one an see Kepler's epi y le while the Fabri ius' one is not visible on this s ale. If one draws on the s ale of this page the Fabri ius' pi ture and Kepler pi ture at quadrature. for insan e. The following .

(k4): Kepler's onstru tion of the ellipse. 3 ea C Fig. The e entri ity is e = 0:4 to make a learer drawing. The planet is in P and C 3 = b. C 1 = a and the enter of the epi yle is 2. The segment 23 is the proje tion on S 3 of the segment 31 and the segment SP is equal to S 3. The epi y le (dashed ir le) is no longer holding the planet but it determines its position. ir ums ribed ir le (drawn but not distinguishable on this s ale) and epi y les (both drawn but only Kepler's being visible) is a quite eloquent illustration.gure Fig. left. (k6) (representing at quadrature Fabri ius'. The planet is in P . The ellipse has very high e entri ity (e = 0:8!) to make visible the small epi y le. see3 p. E entri anomaly re koned at C and the angle 1 2 P is 2 ea os 2 S 3  # Pph (k5) P Pap (k6) Fig. and Kepler's (right) ellipses. of Kepler's ellipse. The anomaly  is the anomaly of the enter of the epi y le. (k5): Fabri ius' interpretation. 402-403. Motion veri.

Fig.es the law  _ = onst. epi y les and ellipses with e entri ity e = 0:1. On the drawing s ale one neither appre iates the di eren e between ellipse and the deferent ir les nor the epi y le in the . (k6): Fabri ius' (left) and Kepler's (right) deferents.

(k5): 13 .rst drawing. The solid line and dashed lines (indistinguishable in the pi ture) are respe tively the ellipse and the deferent An equivalent formulation is des ribed in Fig.

p.nova. 34 For Kolmogorov's theorem see: G. The eye of the Heaven. Ford. 25 Re ent is the reprint (e onomi ) of the lassi al English translation of E. Springer Verlag. 402403 (but it is simply impossible that Kepler had not known it immediately). 27 Fermi. S. G. Bowdit h: P. re enly reprinted by Blan hard. vol. D. 37 Gingeri h. reprinted in: Casati. A ademia dei Lin ei and Chi ago University Press. 38 Among the last few words of C.. I. 26 Poin are. Communi ations in mathemati al Physi s. D. Gauss. 24 Newton. 31 Ruelle. Theory of the motion of heavenly bodies moving about the Sun in oni se tions.: Prin ipia mathemati a. Lif hitz. Le ture Notes in Physi s...N. = onst. 1971. Ulam. Meiss. 1966. 343{344. 79{84. 1955. Torino. E. 1987. Dover 1971. No matter how auda ious the last on eptual jump. Dover 1979... Paris. useful to whoever wishes to realize the size of even the simplest astronomi al omputation and thus desires to appre iate the greatness of the Greeks astronomers' work: K. J.. O. M Kay. Hilger. Hamiltonian dynami al systems. 1979.: Note on erning our paper "On the nature of turbulen e". vol I. formally pointed out to Kepler by Fabri ius. su essive to the work of Lapla e. Fermi. 1987.J. Me ani a elementare. Kepler. Caesar as reported by Shakespeare. Coperni us. A ademia dei Lin ei and Chi ago University Press 1962. Pasta. J. de la Pla e: Celestial Me hani s. F. 24. Torino. 261{265. 1984.: Preservation of onditionally periodi movements with small hange in the Hamilton fun tion. Los Alamos report LA-1940. The dis overy of Neptune. 1971. reprinted in E. Takens. See also the appendix Q in the se ond Italian edition of34 . Fermi. is: M. 167. 33 Kolmogorov. is \ruined" by the very original Kepler law  _ = onst whi h implies that _ is not onstant. II.: Beweis dass ein me hanis hes normalsysteme im algemeinen quasi{ergodis h ist. 1993. Communi ations in Mathemati al Physi s. H. Colle ted papers. Colle ted papers. A. MIR. 29 Landau. F. J. In other words the epi y le enter moves on the deferent at speed _ while the planet moves at speed 2_ on the epi y le.: Me anique des uides. 1962. It is not even lear that Kepler himself thought so. 1985. Takens. 28 Fermi. Ptolemy. Chelsea. may look it is absolutely right and it identi. Springer{Verlag. 1965. Grosser.: Studies of nonlinear problems. L. Ameri an Institute of Physi s.e.. 36 A olle tion of modern but lassi al papers on the theory of quasi periodi and haoti motions an be found in: R. Bowdit h. E. 20. vol. UTET. Gallavotti: Elementary me hani s . a hasty on lusion to say the least. Physikalis he Zeits hrift. see3 p. This very Ptolemai interpretation of Kepler's ellipse. i. reprinted in E. 30 Ruelle. 93. 23. 1923. 32 A history of some important appli ations of the perturbation theory to the motion of the main planets.: Les methodes nouvelles de the me anique eleste. Boringhieri. ed. E. Mos a.: On the nature of turbulen e.. 35 A lassi al work on the theory of unperturbed Keplerian motions is the book of Gauss.: Sto hasti behavior in lassi al and quantum systems. 1971. E.

as Kepler proved immediately.ed the ellipse and the area law. regarding visibly this fa t as a .

i. is ompletely out of the Coperni an views and it re alls to mind the mysterious Ptolemai lunar onstru tions for whi h we have apparently no lue on how they were derived. It was possibly well known. 248{251 (or p. Although some omments on this would have helped a lot the readers. The law  _ = onst. interpreted as an error made by Kepler. possibly onfusing the speed on the deferent with the speed around the enter whi h is  #_ : the elementary relation 2 #_ = p  _ may explain why Kepler did not see the two laws in on i t. Other interpretations of  are in ompatible with the area law to . sin e Apollonius (?). This statement that is.nal proof of his hypothesis that the area law and the inverse proportionality of the speed to the distan e were absolutely orre t and in fa t identi al. ` the average anomaly and  the e entri anomaly then the equation of an ellipse in polar oordinates (.e. often.388. that in su h oordinates the area spanned by the radius  per unit time is 21 p  _ or. That  _ is the area law is worth noting expli itly as it is little remarked in the elementary dis ussions of the two body problem. it seems unlikely that he did not noti e that  _ is not proportional to the area velo ity unless the motion is on an ellipse with e entri anomaly  . #) with enter at the attra tion enter S an be written  = p=(1 e os #) = a (1+e os  ) with a the major semiaxis and p = a (1 e2 ). see3 p. as Kepler infers from his \physi al on eption" that \velo ity [on the deferent℄ is inversely proportional to the distan e from the Sun". If # denotes the true anomaly. parti ularly after Fabri ius' omments on the Ptolemai version of the ellipse. And an error on the part of Kepler in measuring the areas is obviously ex luded from what he writes: see20 p. 193{196 of the original edition). the area law.

Sin e the e entri ity of Mars is \large" and the measurements of Ty ho{Brahe allowed us even to see orre tions to the distan es of se ond order in the e entri ity it was possible to realize that _ was indeed inversely proportional to  so that ` =  + e sin  followed.rst order in the e entri ity. And the natural assumption that all planets (but the too lose Moon and perhaps the e entri Mer ury) veri.

but. after examining the methods and the ideas followed in Astronomia  _ I know that I am mortal and the reature of a day. We see that although the above Kepler approa h is very original ompared to Ptolemy's and Coperni us' the on lusion in3 p. I take my ." seems.ed the same laws was easily he ked (by Kepler) to be fully onsistent with the data known at the time for the major planets. side by side with Zeus himself. as the prin iple of ir ular motion had been abandoned.393 that \the dis overy of the ellipti orbit of Mars was an absolutely new departure. my feet no longer tou h the Earth.. but when I sear h out the massed wheeling ir les of the stars..

the food of Gods: (Ptolemy: see37 ). 14 .ll of ambrosia.

infn.roma1. Italy email: gallavottiroma1.Giovanni Gallavotti Dipartimento di Fisi a Universita di Roma \La Sapienza" P.it A knowledgments: I am grateful to I. Vardi for pointing out the referen e37 .it web: http://ippar o.infn. 00185 Roma. Partial .le Moro 2.

nan ial support from IHES is gratefully a knowledged. REVTEX 15 .

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