Jean-Louis Tassoul's A Concise History of Solar and Stellar Physics PDF

By Jean-Louis Tassoul

ISBN-10: 069111711X

ISBN-13: 9780691117119

This e-book presents a entire evaluate of the background of principles in regards to the sunlight and the celebs, from antiquity to trendy instances. theoretical astrophysicists who've been lively within the box because the early Nineteen Sixties inform the tale in fluent prose. approximately half the booklet covers many of the theoretical study performed from 1940 to the shut of the 20 th century, a wide physique of labor that has thus far 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 degree in background people have had a selected figuring out of the solar and stars, and that this has regularly advanced over the centuries. subsequent the authors systematically deal with the great mass of observations astronomy accrued from the early 17th century to the early 20th. the remainder 4 chapters learn the historical past of the sphere from the physicists standpoint, the emphasis being on theoretical paintings from the mid-1840s to the past due 1990s--from thermodynamics to quantum mechanics, from nuclear physics and magnetohydrodynamics to the amazing advances via to the overdue Sixties, and at last, to newer theoretical paintings. meant almost always for college students and lecturers of astronomy, this booklet can also be an invaluable reference for working towards astronomers and scientifically curious common readers.

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Example text

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.

The areas SP0 P1 , SP2 P3 , and SP4 P5 are equal. The path presented here is far more elliptical than those pursued by the planets, which are very much more nearly circular. ) Kepler announced his third law in 1619, ten years after he had given the first two. Not unexpectedly, his books were promptly banned and placed on the Roman Index of Prohibited Books. Although the geocentric system continued to command widespread support throughout the seventeenth century, heliocentrism with its Keplerian modifications was cautiously gaining acceptance.

Interest in the light source of the stars became manifest in the late sixteenth century, but again scholars were hardly of one mind. Some were convinced that the fixed stars received their light from the sun because they were not so far off that the sun’s light could not reach them. Others believed that the solar light was not the only source of stellar brightness but that each star might have a small amount of light within itself. Thomas Digges (1545/46–1595) and Giordano Bruno (1548–1600) were the first natural philosophers to break with these traditional views by interpreting the fixed stars as suns, and hence as self-luminous bodies.

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


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