- 100

- 6

I understand that Hypatia proposed elliptic orbits.

I also understand she studied conic sections.

And, of course, one of the intersections of an inclined plane through a cone is elliptical.

So now my question: if she did propose elliptic orbits (not interested in who may also have done it), what motivated her? If it was a result of her study of conic sections, then what is it about conic sections that compelled her to extend it to planetary orbits?

With Kepler, et. al. we can see his three laws of planetary motion, etc, ounded in mathematics. But what drove Hypatia? All I can envision is a leap from conic sections to orbits, but I cannot see how she made the leap. Or was it just a lucky guess?

I also understand she studied conic sections.

And, of course, one of the intersections of an inclined plane through a cone is elliptical.

So now my question: if she did propose elliptic orbits (not interested in who may also have done it), what motivated her? If it was a result of her study of conic sections, then what is it about conic sections that compelled her to extend it to planetary orbits?

With Kepler, et. al. we can see his three laws of planetary motion, etc, ounded in mathematics. But what drove Hypatia? All I can envision is a leap from conic sections to orbits, but I cannot see how she made the leap. Or was it just a lucky guess?

Last edited: