Tables Of The Motion Of The Moon / By Ernest W. Brown ; With The Assistance Of Henry B. Hedrick

Tables Of The Motion Of The Moon / By Ernest W. Brown ; With The Assistance Of Henry B. Hedrick

New Haven Yale Univeristy Press 1919 3 Volumes. 4to (33.9 x 25.8 cm) Ex Libris. Original printed gray wrappers. Wear to ends of spine and along edges of covers; small label with letter and number marking near base of spine. The book plate for each volume has been removed from the front pastedown, most likely previous owner. Half title page embossed at top with small text "The Phillips Exeter Library, Exeter, NH" with repeat of label information from spine on verso.Vol III- Section IV- No other marks besides label on spine present. This is an uncut, original issue copy. The Collation: Vol. I- Section I xii (2), 140pp, Section II 39pp.; Vol.II & Section III- [ii], 223pp.; Vol. III- Section IV- [ii], 99 [2-blank]pp.;Section V- [ii], 56 pp.; Section VI- 102pp. The different sections cover Explanation of Tables (Sect.I), Arguments and Mean Longitudes (Sect.II), Table of Longitude (Sect. III), Table of Latitude (Sect. IV), Table of Parallax (Sect. V) and Planetary and other Pertubations and Auxillary Tables. This is a fine copy in original wrappers with only minor wear and age discoloration to covers. Very Good Original Wraps (Item ID: 0000496)


Brown, Ernest William (29 Nov. 1866-22 July 1938), mathematical astronomer, was born in Hull, England, the son of William Brown, a farmer and sometime lumber merchant, and Emma Martin. He was educated at the Hull and East Riding College, and upon winning a scholarship in mathematics in 1884 he entered Christ's College, University of Cambridge. He received his B.A. in 1887 having been ranked sixth in the Mathematical Tripos, and subsequently he became a Fellow of Christ's College from 1889 to 1895. "Brown received his M.A. in 1891, after which he came to the United States and to Haverford College in Haverford, Pennsylvania. There he was successively an instructor (1891-1893), professor of applied mathematics (1893-1900), and professor of mathematics (1900-1907). Brown was awarded a Cambridge Sc.D. in 1897 and won the John Couch Adams Prize in 1907 for his essay "Inequalities in the Motion of the Moon Due to the Direct Action of the Planets." In 1907 he accepted a position at Yale University as professor of mathematics. From 1921 to 1931 Brown was the Sterling Professor of Mathematics at Yale, and from 1931 until his retirement in 1932 he was the first Josiah Willard Gibbs Professor of Mathematics there. In 1903 in a poll conducted by American Men of Science of the leaders of science in America, he was ranked seventh out of eighty in mathematics.Brown's research began as a postgraduate student in Cambridge when his advisor, Sir George H. Darwin, suggested that he read the memoirs of the American mathematical astronomer George W. Hill on lunar theory. The perfection and practical implementation of Hill's ideas was to be Brown's lifelong work. Upon coming to the United States, Brown met Hill and Simon Newcomb, who encouraged his studies, and he subsequently produced his first book, An Introductory Treatise on the Lunar Theory (1896). This gave a critical examination of the previous theories, and was followed by five large papers, "Theory of the Motion of the Moon, Containing a New Calculation of the Coordinates of the Moon in Terms of the Time" (1897-1908), which contained Brown's new theoretical contributions. This contained equations containing some 2,000 terms, and perhaps five times that number of terms had to be examined to determine the significance of their values to higher order. Brown estimated that so far as the Moon is concerned Newton's law of gravitation was accurate to within 1/250,000/ of one percent.Having largely completed the theory, the next step was to construct tables containing explicit numerical values, and when Yale offered to subsidize this project, Brown moved from Haverford to New Haven. This project would last twelve years and would result in Brown's three-volume work in collaboration with Henry B. Hedrick, Tables of the Motion of the Moon (1919). In this work Brown and Hedrick exhibited values of the coefficients of longitude, latitude, and parallax accurate to within 1/100 of a second of arc. From 1923 until 1960, when computers came into use, these tables were used in computing the lunar ephemeris. While Brown's theory contained no serious errors or omissions, there remained fluctuations of the order of tens of seconds of arc over several centuries in the Moon's secular acceleration that required explanation. After much consideration, Brown suggested in his paper, "The Evidence for Changes in the Rate of Rotation of the Earth and their Geophysical Consequences (1926)," that these fluctuations are due to irregularities in the Earth's rotation. Confirmed by the independent work of Sir Harold Spencer Jones (1932, 1939), these irregularities were accepted as a cause, but not the full explanation, for the fluctuations.Brown's contribution to lunar theory became the undisputed basis of late twentieth-century understanding of the subject.Brown was much honored in his lifetime and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society (1898); a corresponding member in astronomy of the French Academy of Sciences (1921); a member of the National Academy of Sciences (1923); and a corresponding member of the Belgian Academy of Sciences, Letters, and Arts (1926). He was also president of the American Mathematical Society (1915-1916), the American Astronomical Society (1928-1931), and the American Society of Variable Star Observers (1934-1936). He was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1907, the Pontècoulant Medal of the French Academy of Sciences in 1910, the Royal Medal of the Royal Society in 1914, the Bruce Gold Medal of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in 1920, and the Watson Medal of the National Academy of Science in 1937."(American National Biography).

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