A Concise History of Solar and Stellar Physics by Jean-Louis Tassoul

By Jean-Louis Tassoul

This booklet presents a entire review of the background of rules in regards to the solar and the celebs, from antiquity to trendy occasions. theoretical astrophysicists who've been lively within the box because the early Sixties inform the tale in fluent prose. approximately 1/2 the publication covers many of the theoretical study performed from 1940 to the shut of the 20th century, a wide physique of labor that has to this point been little explored through historians.

the 1st bankruptcy, which outlines the interval from approximately 3000 B.C. to 1700 A.D., indicates that at each level in background humans have had a specific realizing of the sunlight and stars, and that this has regularly developed over the centuries. subsequent the authors systematically handle the mammoth mass of observations astronomy amassed from the early 17th century to the early 20th. the remainder 4 chapters learn the heritage of the sector 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 outstanding advances via to the past due Nineteen Sixties, and at last, to newer theoretical paintings. meant typically for college students and lecturers of astronomy, this ebook can be an invaluable reference for training astronomers and scientifically curious common readers.

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Extra resources for A Concise History of Solar and Stellar Physics

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This type of cosmology, which has the virtue of simplicity and completeness, was commonly accepted until the seventeenth century. From S. K. : 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.

The rise of the Abbasid caliphate (750–1258) inaugurated the greatest period of Islamic rule, and Baghdad became the center of a brilliant civilization which spread over the entire Muslim world. Old Indian and Greek books were translated into Arabic during the eighth and ninth centuries. Ptolemy’s Almagest was translated into Arabic for the caliph al-Ma’mun (c. 786–833) in the late 820s, while large observatories were being built in Baghdad and Damascus. al-Battani (c. 858–929), perhaps the greatest Islamic astronomer, tested many of Ptolemy’s results, brought important ameliorations to them, and published improved tables of the sun and the moon.

The influence of Aristotle over medieval thought soon became almost supreme, and by the end of the thirteenth century most of his cosmological views, or supposed views, were firmly established in the Latin West, with Church approval. With the notable exception of Robert Grosseteste (c. 1175–1253), chancellor of Oxford University, and a few others who denied the existence of Aristotle’s fifth element, it was therefore widely accepted that the four elements—earth, water, air, and fire—filled the sublunar region of the sky, while the celestial region from the moon outward was composed exclusively of an extraordinary substance, a special ether or fifth element.

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