Early Physics and Astronomy: A Historical Introduction by Olaf Pedersen

By Olaf Pedersen

The publication is an introductory exposition of the advance of the actual and astronomical notions of the universe. It covers the interval from Greek antiquity to the Copernican revolution and the Renaissance, half the textual content being dedicated to medieval technology inside either the Aristotelian and the Archimedean traditions. The booklet is meant for a basic viewers attracted to highbrow and medical advancements, yet must also be valuable as a advisor to extra reports. therefore it has an in depth bibliography classifying a lot of the secondary literature at the topic, and in addition a sixty web page 'dictionary' of the entire scientists and philosophers pointed out within the textual content. This includes references to published versions of the assets and to a range of books and periodicals.

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Determination o f the stationary points on A p o llo n io s’s model. Vg, due to the motion o f P on the epicycle. r; the other is the vector perpendicular to TSi and with the value coj-TSi. The condition that is a stationary point is, that Vi + ^2 is a vector through T. From the similar triangles shaded in the figure w e then have, Ve _ C Si But CSx = r, Vg = cOe. r and = coj. TS. This gives the condition, TSi ^ ^ S iU coa' It should thus be possible to account for the second anomaly by a model o f the last type.

Secondly, Aristarchos must have supposed that the Earth has a diurnal rotation about its own axis. This is not confirmed in any surviving text, but because the diurnal rotation o f the Earth is the only hypothesis able to explain the apparent daily motion o f the heavens, it goes without saying that it must have been part o f Aristarchos’s theory. His system became, in time, a source o f inspiration to Copernicus, and the Greek astronomer may justly be named the Copernicus o f Antiquity. The Fate o f Heliocentric Astronomy O nly one ancient astronomer is known as a supporter o f the new theory.

Their distance from the centre is seen to be 18 radii. Between the atmosphere and the fixed stars the seven planets are moving. In the Timaios their order, reckoned from the Earth is: Moon, Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The later dialogues give a slightly different order; in the Republic the Sun, Venus, and Mercury are all supposed to have the same velocity and the same distance from the Earth. In Epinomis, a new sphere o f a fifth element called the ether is introduced between the air and the fire, which increases the dimensions o f the universe.

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