A Concise History of Solar and Stellar Physics - download pdf or read online

By Jean-Louis Tassoul

ISBN-10: 069111711X

ISBN-13: 9780691117119

This e-book offers a entire assessment of the historical past of rules concerning the sunlight and the celebrities, from antiquity to trendy occasions. theoretical astrophysicists who've been energetic within the box because the early Sixties inform the tale in fluent prose. approximately half the publication covers lots of the theoretical examine performed from 1940 to the shut of the 20th century, a wide physique of labor that has up to now been little explored through historians.

the 1st bankruptcy, which outlines the interval from approximately 3000 B.C. to 1700 A.D., exhibits that at each level in heritage humans have had a specific figuring out of the sunlight and stars, and that this has always developed over the centuries. subsequent the authors systematically deal with the colossal mass of observations astronomy accrued from the early 17th century to the early 20th. the rest 4 chapters research the historical past 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 awesome advances via to the past due Sixties, and eventually, to newer theoretical paintings. meant usually for college kids and academics of astronomy, this booklet can also be an invaluable reference for practising astronomers and scientifically curious normal readers.

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Extra resources for A Concise History of Solar and Stellar Physics

Example text

Thus the earth became flat again; the heaven was no longer a sphere but a tent or tabernacle; and the sun did not pass under the earth during the night, but traveled laterally round its northern parts as if hidden by a wall. It was also widely believed that the sun, moon, and stars were moved in their orbits by angels, who had to carry on this work until the last day. Although this type of cosmology continued to flourish during the Middle Ages, some writers did study the works of the Greek philosophers, and they were not afraid to accept some of the teaching of antiquity.

Subsequently, the Dominican friar Albertus Magnus (c. 1200–1280), also known as Albert of Cologne, and the scholastic philosopher Albert of Saxony (c. 1316–1390) developed various arguments in defense of the idea that the sun illuminated the planets. Among other problems, they had to explain how the planets could appear visibly different and yet receive their light from the same source. Albert of Saxony coped with this problem by assuming that the solar light can penetrate the diaphanous planetary matter, each planet differing in its ability to absorb light.

Each of these planets is located, in turn, in a smaller vortex by which gravitational attraction is produced. Descartes made no attempt 19 From 1629 to 1649 Descartes was to remain almost permanently in Holland, making only three short visits to France during all this time. Most of his more important works were written and published in Holland, where he could profit from greater intellectual freedom. But even in this land of toleration he was to meet with enmity, the bitterest coming from the president of Utrecht University.

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


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