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History of Astronomy
Explorers of the Southern Sky
Explorers of the Southern Sky
Hardcover      ISBN: 0521365759

This book is both an indispensable reference on the history of astronomy in Australia, and a highly readable study of a scientific discipline in the context of emerging nationhood. It covers not only the science, but the individuals involved and the social and economic climate in which they worked. Starting from the ancient Aboriginal beliefs about the Sky World--the earliest known astronomy anywhere in the world--the authors lead us to the most exciting, high-tech, current and projected research being carried out at Australia's world-class astronomy facilities and universities. The authors cover all branches of astronomy--optical, infrared, X-ray, gamma-ray, microwave, gravitational wave and theoretical--and they include the contribution of amateur astronomers. The nontechnical language, many illustrations, and explanatory figures, ensure that this guide will appeal to a wide range of readers, including professional astronomers, historians of science, students, amateur astronomers and general readers.

Explorers of the Southern Sky: A History of Australian Astronomy
Explorers of the Southern Sky
A History of Australian Astronomy
Paperback      ISBN: 0521144914

This book is both an indispensable reference on the history of astronomy in Australia, and a highly readable study of a scientific discipline in the context of emerging nationhood. It covers not only the science, but the individuals involved and the social and economic climate in which they worked. Starting from the ancient Aboriginal beliefs about the Sky World--the earliest known astronomy anywhere in the world--the authors lead us to the most exciting, high-tech, current and projected research being carried out at Australia's world-class astronomy facilities and universities. The authors cover all branches of astronomy--optical, infrared, X-ray, gamma-ray, microwave, gravitational wave and theoretical--and they include the contribution of amateur astronomers. The nontechnical language, many illustrations, and explanatory figures, ensure that this guide will appeal to a wide range of readers, including professional astronomers, historians of science, students, amateur astronomers and general readers.

Exploring Ancient Skies: A Survey of Ancient and Cultural Astronomy
Exploring Ancient Skies
A Survey of Ancient and Cultural Astronomy
2nd Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 144197623x

Beginning with an overview of the field, this updated edition unites methods of archaeology and the insights of modern astronomy in an exploration of the science of astronomy as it was practiced in a number of cultures prior to the invention of the telescope.

The Eye of Heaven: Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler
The Eye of Heaven
Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler
Hardcover      ISBN: 0883188635

"Blurb & Contents" "I can think of few better ways of introducing students to the history of astronomy than by using The Eye of Heaven as a text....This is science at its best....Not only does Gingerich make you think, he also forces you back in time and makes you think as astronomers did then. Students need this inspiration." David Hughes, New Scientist Astronomer and historian Owen Gingerich provides a fascinating introduction to three giants of early astronomy: Ptolemy, Copernicus, and Kepler. In these collected essays, Gingerich examines the revolution in man's conception of the universe brought about by the shift from the earth-centered cosmos of Ptolemy to the sun-centered model of Copernicus.

Galileo and the Church: Political Inquisition or Critical Dialogue?
Galileo and the Church
Political Inquisition or Critical Dialogue?
Hardcover      ISBN: 0521344689

Historians of science have tended to view Galileo's trials as an example of the conflict between science and religion in the seventeenth century. This book questions the traditional grand narrative that opposes science and religion, and thus attempts to reconceptualize a key episode in the history of modern science. Feldhay offers a new interpretation of the debate between Galileo and the Church, viewing it as a dialogue rather than a conflict. The known contradictions between the documents of Galileo's trials are reread as expressions of the contradictory nature of the Counter Reformation Church. Torn between different cultural orientations (Dominican and Jesuit), the Church was unable to crystallize a coherent attitude towards Galileo's science.

Galileo on the World Systems: A New Abridged Translation and Guide
Galileo on the World Systems
A New Abridged Translation and Guide
Paperback      ISBN: 0520206460

Galileo's 1632 book, Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems, Ptolemaic and Copernican, comes alive for twentieth-century readers thanks to Maurice Finocchiaro's brilliant new translation and presentation. Condemned by the Inquisition for its heretical proposition that the earth revolves around the sun, Galileo's masterpiece takes the form of a debate, divided into four "days," among three highly articulate gentlemen.

Finocchiaro sets the stage with his introduction, which not only provides the human and historical framework for the Dialogue but also admits the reader gracefully into the basic non-Copernican understanding of the universe that would have been shared by Galileo's original audience. The translation of the Dialogue is abridged in order to highlight its essential content, and Finocchiaro gives titles to the various parts of the debate as a guide to the principal topics. By explicating his own critical reading of this text that is itself an exercise in critical reasoning on a gripping real-life controversy, he illuminates those universal, perennial activities of the human mind that make Galileo's book a living document. This is a concrete, hands-on introduction to critical thinking. The translation has been made from the Italian text provided in volume 7 of the Critical National Edition of Galileo's complete works edited by Antonio Favaro. The translator has also consulted the 1632 edition, as well as the other previous English translations, including California's 1967 version.

Galileo on the World Systems is a remarkably nuanced interpretation of a classic work and will give readers the tools to understand and evaluate for themselves one of the most influential scientific books in Western civilization.

Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love
Galileo's Daughter
A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love
Paperback      ISBN: 0802779654

Inspired by a long fascination with Galileo, and by the remarkable surviving letters of his daughter Maria Celeste, a cloistered nun, Dava Sobel has crafted a biography that dramatically recolors the personality and accomplishments of a mythic figure whose early-seventeenth-century clash with Catholic doctrine continues to define the schism between science and religion-the man Albert Einstein called the father of modern physics-indeed of modern science altogether. It is also a stunning portrait of Galileo's daughter, a person hitherto lost to history, described by her father as a woman of exquisite mind, singular goodness, and most tenderly attached to me.

Moving between Galileo's grand public life and Maria Celeste's sequestered world, Sobel illuminates the Florence of the Medicis and the papal court in Rome during the pivotal era when humanity's perception of its place in the cosmos was about to be overturned. During that same time, while the bubonic plague wreaked its terrible devastation and the Thirty Years' War tipped fortunes across Europe, Galileo sought to reconcile the Heaven he revered as a good Catholic with the heavens he revealed through his telescope. Filled with human drama and scientific adventure, Galileo's Daughter is an unforgettable story.

Praise for Galileo's Daughter:

Sobel] shows herself a virtuoso at encapsulating the history and the politics of science. Her descriptions of Galileo's ideas...are pithy, vivid, and intelligible.-Wall Street Journal
Geons, Black Holes, and Quantum Foam: A Life in Physics
Geons, Black Holes, and Quantum Foam
A Life in Physics
Paperback      ISBN: 0393319911

He studied with Niels Bohr, taught Richard Feynman, and boned up on relativity with his friend and colleague Albert Einstein. John Archibald Wheeler's fascinating life brings us face to face with the central characters and discoveries of modern physics. He was the first American to learn of the discovery of nuclear fission, later coined the term "black hole," led a renaissance in gravitation physics, and helped to build Princeton University into a mecca for physicists. From nuclear physics, to quantum theory, to relativity and gravitation, Wheeler's work has set the trajectory of research for half a century. His career has brought him into contact with the most brilliant minds of his field; Fermi, Bethe, Rabi, Teller, Oppenheimer, and Wigner are among those he called colleagues and friends. In this rich autobiography, Wheeler reveals in fascinating detail the excitement of each discovery, the character of each colleague, and the underlying passion for knowledge that drives him still.

God's Two Books: Copernical Cosmology and Biblical Interpretation in Early Modern Science
God's Two Books
Copernical Cosmology and Biblical Interpretation in Early Modern Science
Hardcover      ISBN: 0268010455

How do we resolve conflicts when fundamental sources of knowledge and belief--such as science and theology--are involved? In God's Two Books, Kenneth Howell offers a historical analysis of how sixteenth- and seventeenth-century astronomers and theologians in Northern Protestant Europe used science and religion to challenge and support one another. Howell reveals that the cosmological schemes developed during this era remain monumental solutions to the enduring problem of how theological interpretation and empirical investigation interact with one another. "Writing history requires a constant shedding of our misconceptions about the past," says Howell. God's Two Books reshapes our understanding of the interaction of cosmological thought and biblical interpretation in the emerging astronomy of the Scientific Revolution by analyzing new texts and offering interpretations that cast old materials in a new light. The central argument of this compelling book is that the use of the Bible in early modern cosmology is considerably more complex and subtle than has previously been recognized. Drawing on the writings of Lutheran and Calvinist astronomers, natural philosophers, and theologians, Howell analyzes several underlying patterns of interpretation which affected how these historical figures viewed the mutual interaction of the books of nature and Scripture. He argues that while they differed on how the disciplines of astronomy, physics, and theology should relate to one another, most thinkers shared the common goal of finding and explaining the true system of the universe. Howell introduces the notion of a convergent realism to describe Protestant intellectuals' approach to incorporating empirical and theological perspectives into a holistic version of the universe. They believed the sacred page was relevant to cosmology but denied that the Bible had scientific content. At the same time, these thinkers argued that the theological truths expressed in the Bible were interwoven into nature in subtle, yet revealing, ways. Their resulting interpretations show continuity with Catholic thinkers and discard oversimplifications such as literal versus figurative hermeneutics or Copernican versus anti-Copernican cosmologies. Among Howell's many original contributions in this cogent study is a distinctive approach to Kepler's exegesis of nature and an introduction to the debate of many Calvinist thinkers who have previously received little attention.

History of Astronomy: An Encyclopedia
History of Astronomy
An Encyclopedia
Hardcover      ISBN: 081530322x

This Encyclopedia traces the history of the oldest science from the ancient world to the space age in over 300 entries by leading experts.