By Jean-Louis Tassoul
This e-book offers a complete assessment of the historical past of rules concerning the solar and the celebrities, from antiquity to fashionable instances. theoretical astrophysicists who've been lively within the box because the early Nineteen Sixties inform the tale in fluent prose. approximately half the e-book covers many of the theoretical study performed from 1940 to the shut of the 20th century, a wide physique of labor that has so far been little explored by means of historians.
the 1st bankruptcy, which outlines the interval from approximately 3000 B.C. to 1700 A.D., exhibits that at each level in historical past people have had a specific figuring out of the sunlight and stars, and that this has always developed over the centuries. subsequent the authors systematically handle the great mass of observations astronomy accrued from the early 17th century to the early 20th. the remainder 4 chapters study the historical past of the sphere from the physicists standpoint, the emphasis being on theoretical paintings from the mid-1840s to the overdue 1990s--from thermodynamics to quantum mechanics, from nuclear physics and magnetohydrodynamics to the notable advances via to the overdue Nineteen Sixties, and eventually, to more moderen theoretical paintings. meant normally for college kids and academics of astronomy, this booklet can also be an invaluable reference for working towards astronomers and scientifically curious common readers.
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Extra info for A Concise History of Solar and Stellar Physics
11 It was not until the 1160s that a poor Latin translation of the Almagest was made in Sicily from Greek; soon afterward, in 1175, a better translation was made from Arabic to Latin by Gerard of Cremona (1114–1187) in Toledo, Spain. THE AGE OF MYTHS AND SPECULATIONS 17 half of the fifth century. Let us also mention the work of Johannes Scotus Erigena (c. ” Historians have disagreed about whether Erigena meant to claim that these four planets move on heliocentric orbits, or merely that they differ from chilly Saturn in that they are near the sun, are much akin to it, and traverse the same region of the heavens that it does.
Huntington Library, 1977). By permission of the Huntington Library. 20 CHAPTER 1 Moses Maimonides (1135–1204) embraces different patterns of interpretation of heavenly phenomena. His cosmology is basically Aristotelian, and he held that rotating spheres moved the planets by mechanical transmission of motion through contact. Movement of the spheres proceeded from another causation: Elaborating on the thought of his Muslim predecessors, Maimonides identified the separate intelligences of Aristotelianism moving the heavenly spheres with the angels of Scripture.
Of Cyrene, who was librarian of the Museum at Alexandria, we owe one of the first scientific estimates of the earth’s radius. He knew that at noon at the summer solstice the sun threw no shadow at Syene (near modern Aswan), while at the same hour at Alexandria the angular distance of the sun from the zenith was about 7◦ . 4 The measurement of the earth’s radius. sun, the points A and B Alexandria and Syene, respectively, the point O the center of the earth, and AZ the direction of the zenith, the angle SAZ is almost equal to the angle SOZ owing to the great distance of the sun, so that the arc AB is to the circumference of the earth in the proportion of 7◦ to 360◦ .
A Concise History of Solar and Stellar Physics by Jean-Louis Tassoul