Measuring the Universe: Cosmic Dimensions from Aristarchus to Halley

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University of Chicago Press, Dec 15, 2010 - Science - 212 pages
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Measuring the Universe is the first history of the evolution of cosmic dimensions, from the work of Eratosthenes and Aristarchus in the third century B.C. to the efforts of Edmond Halley (1656—1742).

"Van Helden's authoritative treatment is concise and informative; he refers to numerous sources of information, draws on the discoveries of modern scholarship, and presents the first book-length treatment of this exceedingly important branch of science."—Edward Harrison, American Journal of Physics

"Van Helden writes well, with a flair for clear explanation. I warmly recommend this book."—Colin A. Ronan, Journal of the British Astronomical Association
 

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Contents

1 Shared Expectations
1
Aristarchus and Hipparchus
4
3 Ptolemy
15
4 The Ptolemaic System Enshrined
28
5 Copernicus and Tycho
41
6 Young Kepler
54
7 Galileo and the Telescope
65
8 Keplers Synthesis
77
10 From Horrocks to Riccioli
105
11 The Micrometer from Huygens to Flamsteed
118
12 Cassini Flamsteed and the New Measure
129
13 The New Consensus and Halleys Legacy
144
Measurement Theory and Speculation
160
Notes
165
Bibliography
187
Index
199

9 Gassendi Hortensius and the Transit of Mercury of 1631
95

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About the author (2010)

Albert Van Helden is professor of history at Rice University and the author of The Invention of the Telescope.

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