Simple precession calculation for Mercury: A linearization approach

Michael J.W. Hall*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The additional perihelion precession of Mercury due to general relativity can be calculated by a method that is no more difficult than solving for the Newtonian orbit. This method relies on linearizing the relativistic orbit equation, is simpler than standard textbook methods, and is closely related to Newton's theorem on revolving orbits. The main result is accurate for all values of G M / c 2 for near-circular orbits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)857-860
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Physics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022


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