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*From*: Brian Blais <bblais@bryant.edu>*Date*: Thu, 28 Oct 2010 06:00:16 -0400

Hello,

A student asked me this question in class yesterday, and I wasn't sure (haven't looked at the Principia in a long time, but always found the arguments a bit hard to follow). I imagine he could do it from a rough estimate of the mass of the Earth, mass of the Moon, and distance to the Moon. With the Moon's period you could get a value for G. Is this how he did it? I know that the direct measurement wasn't done until later, by Cavendish.

Further, did he have any way of estimating the distance to the Sun? I couldn't think of one that was available at his time, but he was more clever than I. :)

thanks,

bb

--

Brian Blais

bblais@bryant.edu

http://web.bryant.edu/~bblais

http://bblais.blogspot.com/

**Follow-Ups**:**Re: [Phys-l] How did Newton estimate the Gravitational constant?***From:*brian whatcott <betwys1@sbcglobal.net>

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**Re: [Phys-l] How did Newton estimate the Gravitational constant?***From:*Richard Grandy <rgrandy@rice.edu>

**Re: [Phys-l] How did Newton estimate the Gravitational constant?***From:*John Denker <jsd@av8n.com>

**Re: [Phys-l] How did Newton estimate the Gravitational constant?***From:*Jack Uretsky <jlu@hep.anl.gov>

**Re: [Phys-l] How did Newton estimate the Gravitational constant?***From:*Bernard Cleyet <bernardcleyet@redshift.com>

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