By David H. Clark

ISBN-10: 0813534046

ISBN-13: 9780813534046

People have consistently considered the heavens with ask yourself and awe. The skies have encouraged mirrored image at the vastness of house, the sweetness of production, and humankind’s function within the universe. in exactly over 100 years, technology has moved from nearly overall lack of knowledge in regards to the genuine distances to the celebs and Earth’s position within the Galaxy to our current wisdom concerning the huge, immense dimension, mass, and age of the universe. we're attaining the boundaries of remark, and consequently the bounds of human figuring out. past lies purely our mind's eye, seeded by means of the theories of physics.
In Measuring the Cosmos, technology writers David and Matthew Clark inform the tales of either the well known and the unsung heroes who performed key roles in those discoveries. those actual money owed show targets, conflicts, mess ups, in addition to successes, because the extraordinary scale and age of the universe have been eventually confirmed. Few components of medical study have witnessed such drama within the type of ego clashes, precedence claims, or failed (or even falsified) theories as that due to makes an attempt to degree the universe.
Besides giving credits the place lengthy past due, Measuring the Cosmos explains the technological know-how at the back of those achievements in obtainable language absolute to attract astronomers, technological know-how buffs, and historians.

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Extra resources for Measuring the Cosmos: How Scientists Discovered the Dimensions of the Universe

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This estimate for the Moon is remarkably accurate, but he underestimated the distance to the Sun by a significant margin. These calculations show that Hipparchus had gained some understanding of the vast size of the solar system. However, it would take more modern techniques to understand the vast distances to the stars. Hipparchus’s career is a clear contradiction of the generalization that Greek thinkers were concerned mainly with theory to the exclusion of experiment and measurement. This misunderstanding has developed from an analysis that has placed too much weight on Plato’s epistemology and not enough on the works of Aristotle and his successors.

Aristarchus’s theory was that the Sun and the stars are fixed bodies. He placed the Sun at the center of the universe, while the stars were located on a distant outer sphere. Earth and the other planets revolved around the Sun in circular orbits. Aristarchus’s contemporaries and successors, such as Hipparchus, the greatest of all the Alexandrian astronomers, nearly all rejected his theory. His only supporter, says Plutarch, was Seleucus of Seleucia on the Tigris. Archimedes describes the Greek scholars’ objection as being that there was no observable change in the apparent position of the stars, such as one would expect if the Earth moved around the Sun.

This quality of reasoning shows the progress that had been made over the first hundred years of Greek cosmology and marks Anaxagoras as a rational scientist. However, Anaxagoras also agreed with Anaximenes that it was reasonable to assume that other dark heavenly bodies existed which, although invisible to us, sometimes obscured the Moon to cause eclipses. Anaxagoras clearly also developed detailed theories to explain the origin of the universe. ” The rotary movement of this vortex began at a single point and progressively spread through wider and wider circles.

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Measuring the Cosmos: How Scientists Discovered the Dimensions of the Universe by David H. Clark

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