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motion toward the central body ...

There is no evidence that, before the receipt of this letter, Newton ever had understood orbital motion in this way, but instead had always treated it as a balance between the opposing centrifugal and central forces. Thought of as a state of equilibrium between equal and opposite forces, circular motion appeared to be an argument against the principle of inertia and represented an obstacle to the correct understanding of the principles of dynamics. In his reply to Hooke, Newton declined to give his thoughts on the matter, instead choosing to discuss an experiment to prove the daily rotation of the Earth, which had been the main subject of Hooke's 1674 lecture.

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