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Why earlier scientists could not guess about the gravitational force?

It’s rightly said that nature reveals its secrets to those who observe closely and think deeply. Newton is credited with the Universal law of gravitation, but Newton was not the only one who thought so.

Robert Hooke published his ideas about the “System of the World” in the 1660s, when he read to the Royal Society on 21 March 1666 a paper “On gravity”, “concerning the inflection of a direct motion into a curve by a supervening attractive principle”, and he published them again in somewhat developed form in 1674, as an addition to “An Attempt to Prove the Motion of the Earth from Observations”. Hooke announced in 1674 that he planned to “explain a System of the World differing in many particulars from any yet known”, based on three “Suppositions”: that “all Celestial Bodies whatsoever, have an attraction or gravitating power towards their own Centers” [and] “they do also attract all the other Celestial Bodies that are within the sphere of their activity”; that “all bodies whatsoever that are put into a direct and simple motion, will so continue to move forward in a straight line, till they are by some other effectual powers deflected and bent…”; and that “these attractive powers are so much the more powerful in operating, by how much the nearer the body wrought upon is to their own Centers”. Thus Hooke clearly postulated mutual attractions between the Sun and planets, in a way that increased with nearness to the attracting body, together with a principle of linear inertia. (Courtesy: Wikipedia]

Newton had his discussion with Sir Christopher Wren too.

Newton’s dignity was somewhat like The Pope (The one who cannot err). Everyone believed “What Newton says is right”

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