Results by Library of Congress Code
Books near "Galileo’s Telescope: A European Story", Library of Congress QB88.B8313

Geometry and Meaning
Dominic Widdows
CSLI, 2005
Library of Congress QA564.W53 2004  Dewey Decimal 516
From Pythagoras's harmonic sequence to Einstein's theory of relativity, geometric models of position, proximity, ratio, and the underlying properties of physical space have provided us with powerful ideas and accurate scientific tools. Currently, similar geometric models are being applied to another type of space—the conceptual space of information and meaning, where the contributions of Pythagoras and Einstein are a part of the landscape itself. The rich geometry of conceptual space can be glimpsed, for instance, in internet documents: while the documents themselves define a structure of visual layouts and pointtopoint links, search engines create an additional structure by matching keywords to nearby documents in a spatial arrangement of content. What the Geometry of Meaning provides is a muchneeded exploration of computational techniques to represent meaning and of the conceptual spaces on which these representations are founded.
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The Topological Imagination: Spheres, Edges, and Islands
Angus Fletcher
Harvard University Press, 2016
Library of Congress QA611.F495 2016  Dewey Decimal 514
Boldly original and boundary defining, The Topological Imagination clears a space for an intellectual encounter with the shape of human imagining. Joining two commonly opposed domains, literature and mathematics, Angus Fletcher maps the imagination’s everramifying contours and dimensions, and along the way compels us to reenvision our human existence on the most unusual sphere ever imagined, Earth.
Words and numbers are the twin powers that create value in our world. Poetry and other forms of creative literature stretch our ability to evaluate through the use of metaphors. In this sense, the literary imagination aligns with topology, the branch of mathematics that studies shape and space. Topology grasps the quality of geometries rather than their quantifiable measurements. It envisions how shapes can be bent, twisted, or stretched without losing contact with their original forms—one of the discoveries of the eighteenthcentury mathematician Leonhard Euler, whose Polyhedron Theorem demonstrated how shapes preserve “permanence in change,” like an aging though familiar face.
The mysterious dimensionality of our existence, Fletcher says, is connected to our inhabiting a world that also inhabits us. Theories of cyclical history reflect circulatory biological patterns; the daynight cycle shapes our adaptive, emergent patterns of thought; the topology of islands shapes the evolution of evolutionary theory. Connecting literature, philosophy, mathematics, and science, The Topological Imagination is an urgent and transformative work, and a profound invitation to thought.
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Dimension Theory in Dynamical Systems: Contemporary Views and Applications
Yakov B. Pesin
University of Chicago Press, 1997
Library of Congress QA611.3.P47 1997  Dewey Decimal 515.352
The principles of symmetry and selfsimilarity structure nature's most beautiful creations. For example, they are expressed in fractals, famous for their beautiful but complicated geometric structure, which is the subject of study in dimension theory. And in dynamics the presence of invariant fractals often results in unstable "turbulentlike" motions and is associated with "chaotic" behavior.
In this book, Yakov Pesin introduces a new area of research that has recently appeared in the interface between dimension theory and the theory of dynamical systems. Focusing on invariant fractals and their influence on stochastic properties of systems, Pesin provides a comprehensive and systematic treatment of modern dimension theory in dynamical systems, summarizes the current state of research, and describes the most important accomplishments of this field.
Pesin's synthesis of these subjects of broad current research interest will be appreciated both by advanced mathematicians and by a wide range of scientists who depend upon mathematical modeling of dynamical processes.
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Ratner's Theorems on Unipotent Flows
Dave Witte Morris
University of Chicago Press, 2005
Library of Congress QA611.5.M67 2005  Dewey Decimal 515.48
The theorems of Berkeley mathematician Marina Ratner have guided key advances in the understanding of dynamical systems. Unipotent flows are wellbehaved dynamical systems, and Ratner has shown that the closure of every orbit for such a flow is of a simple algebraic or geometric form. In Ratner's Theorems on Unipotent Flows, Dave Witte Morris provides both an elementary introduction to these theorems and an account of the proof of Ratner's measure classification theorem.
A collection of lecture notes aimed at graduate students, the first four chapters of Ratner's Theorems on Unipotent Flows can be read independently. The first chapter, intended for a fairly general audience, provides an introduction with examples that illustrate the theorems, some of their applications, and the main ideas involved in the proof. In the following chapters, Morris introduces entropy, ergodic theory, and the theory of algebraic groups. The book concludes with a proof of the measuretheoretic version of Ratner's Theorem. With new material that has never before been published in book form, Ratner's Theorems on Unipotent Flows helps bring these important theorems to a broader mathematical readership.
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A Concise Course in Algebraic Topology
J. P. May
University of Chicago Press, 1999
Library of Congress QA612.M387 1999  Dewey Decimal 514.2
Algebraic topology is a basic part of modern mathematics, and some knowledge of this area is indispensable for any advanced work relating to geometry, including topology itself, differential geometry, algebraic geometry, and Lie groups. This book provides a detailed treatment of algebraic topology both for teachers of the subject and for advanced graduate students in mathematics either specializing in this area or continuing on to other fields.
J. Peter May's approach reflects the enormous internal developments within algebraic topology over the past several decades, most of which are largely unknown to mathematicians in other fields. But he also retains the classical presentations of various topics where appropriate. Most chapters end with problems that further explore and refine the concepts presented. The final four chapters provide sketches of substantial areas of algebraic topology that are normally omitted from introductory texts, and the book concludes with a list of suggested readings for those interested in delving further into the field.
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More Concise Algebraic Topology: Localization, Completion, and Model Categories
J. P. May and K. Ponto
University of Chicago Press, 2011
Library of Congress QA612.M388 2012  Dewey Decimal 514.2
With firm foundations dating only from the 1950s, algebraic topology is a relatively young area of mathematics. There are very few textbooks that treat fundamental topics beyond a first course, and many topics now essential to the field are not treated in any textbook. J. Peter May’s A Concise Course in Algebraic Topology addresses the standard first course material, such as fundamental groups, covering spaces, the basics of homotopy theory, and homology and cohomology. In this sequel, May and his coauthor, Kathleen Ponto, cover topics that are essential for algebraic topologists and others interested in algebraic topology, but that are not treated in standard texts. They focus on the localization and completion of topological spaces, model categories, and Hopf algebras.
The first half of the book sets out the basic theory of localization and completion of nilpotent spaces, using the most elementary treatment the authors know of. It makes no use of simplicial techniques or model categories, and it provides full details of other necessary preliminaries. With these topics as motivation, most of the second half of the book sets out the theory of model categories, which is the central organizing framework for homotopical algebra in general. Examples from topology and homological algebra are treated in parallel. A short last part develops the basic theory of bialgebras and Hopf algebras.
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Stable Homotopy and Generalised Homology
J. F. Adams
University of Chicago Press, 1974
Library of Congress QA612.7.A3  Dewey Decimal 514.24
J. Frank Adams, the founder of stable homotopy theory, gave a lecture series at the University of Chicago in 1967, 1970, and 1971, the wellwritten notes of which are published in this classic in algebraic topology. The three series focused on Novikov's work on operations in complex cobordism, Quillen's work on formal groups and complex cobordism, and stable homotopy and generalized homology. Adams's exposition of the first two topics played a vital role in setting the stage for modern work on periodicity phenomena in stable homotopy theory. His exposition on the third topic occupies the bulk of the book and gives his definitive treatment of the Adams spectral sequence along with many detailed examples and calculations in KUtheory that help give a feel for the subject.
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Unstable Modules over the Steenrod Algebra and Sullivan's Fixed Point Set Conjecture
Lionel Schwartz
University of Chicago Press, 1994
Library of Congress QA612.782.S39 1994  Dewey Decimal 512.55
A comprehensive account of one of the main directions of algebraic topology, this book focuses on the Sullivan conjecture and its generalizations and applications. Lionel Schwartz collects here for the first time some of the most innovative work on the theory of modules over the Steenrod algebra, including ideas on the Segal conjecture, work from the late 1970s by Adams and Wilkerson, and topics in algebraic group representation theory.
This coursetested book provides a valuable reference for algebraic topologists and includes foundational material essential for graduate study.
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Geometry, Rigidity, and Group Actions
Edited by Benson Farb and David Fisher
University of Chicago Press, 2011
Library of Congress QA613.G465 2011  Dewey Decimal 516.11
The study of group actions is more than a hundred years old but remains to this day a vibrant and widely studied topic in a variety of mathematic fields. A central development in the last fifty years is the phenomenon of rigidity, whereby one can classify actions of certain groups, such as lattices in semisimple Lie groups. This provides a way to classify all possible symmetries of important spaces and all spaces admitting given symmetries. Paradigmatic results can be found in the seminal work of George Mostow, Gergory Margulis, and Robert J. Zimmer, among others.
The papers in Geometry, Rigidity, and Group Actions explore the role of group actions and rigidity in several areas of mathematics, including ergodic theory, dynamics, geometry, topology, and the algebraic properties of representation varieties. In some cases, the dynamics of the possible group actions are the principal focus of inquiry. In other cases, the dynamics of group actions are a tool for proving theorems about algebra, geometry, or topology. This volume contains surveys of some of the main directions in the field, as well as research articles on topics of current interest.
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Groups of Circle Diffeomorphisms
Andrés Navas
University of Chicago Press, 2011
Library of Congress QA613.N393 2011  Dewey Decimal 514.72
In recent years scholars from a variety of branches of mathematics have made several significant developments in the theory of group actions. Groups of Circle Diffeomorphisms systematically explores group actions on the simplest closed manifold, the circle. As the group of circle diffeomorphisms is an important subject in modern mathematics, this book will be of interest to those doing research in group theory, dynamical systems, low dimensional geometry and topology, and foliation theory. The book is mostly selfcontained and also includes numerous complementary exercises, making it an excellent textbook for undergraduate and graduate students.
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The Topological Classification of Stratified Spaces
Shmuel Weinberger
University of Chicago Press, 1994
Library of Congress QA613.2.W45 1994  Dewey Decimal 514.32
This book provides the theory for stratified spaces, along with important examples and applications, that is analogous to the surgery theory for manifolds. In the first expository account of this field, Weinberger provides topologists with a new way of looking at the classification theory of singular spaces with his original results.
Divided into three parts, the book begins with an overview of modern highdimensional manifold theory. Rather than including complete proofs of all theorems, Weinberger demonstrates key constructions, gives convenient formulations, and shows the usefulness of the technology. Part II offers the parallel theory for stratified spaces. Here, the topological category is most completely developed using the methods of "controlled topology." Many examples illustrating the topological invariance and noninvariance of obstructions and characteristic classes are provided. Applications for embeddings and immersions of manifolds, for the geometry of group actions, for algebraic varieties, and for rigidity theorems are found in Part III.
This volume will be of interest to topologists, as well as mathematicians in other fields such as differential geometry, operator theory, and algebraic geometry.
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Mathematics and the Unexpected
Ivar Ekeland
University of Chicago Press, 1988
Library of Congress QA614.58.E3413 1988  Dewey Decimal 514.7
"Not the least unexpected thing about Mathematics and the Unexpected is that a real mathematician should write not just a literate work, but a literary one."—Ian Stewart, New Scientist
"In this brief, elegant treatise, assessable to anyone who likes to think, Ivar Ekelund explains some philosophical implications of recent mathematics. He examines randomness, the geometry involved in making predictions, and why general trends are easy to project (it will snow in January) but particulars are practically impossible (it will snow from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the 21st)."—Village Voice
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Solved Problems in Dynamical Systems and Control
J. TenreiroMachado
The Institution of Engineering and Technology, 2017
Library of Congress QA614.8.M23 2016  Dewey Decimal 515.39
This book presents a collection of exercises on dynamical systems, modelling and control. Each topic covered includes a summary of the theoretical background, problems with solutions, and further exercises.
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Geometry of Grief: Reflections on Mathematics, Loss, and Life
Michael Frame
University of Chicago Press, 2021
Library of Congress QA614.86.F796 2021  Dewey Decimal 514.742
In this profound and hopeful book, a mathematician and celebrated teacher shows how mathematics may help all of us—even the mathaverse—to understand and cope with grief.
We all know the euphoria of intellectual epiphany—the thrill of sudden understanding. But coupled with that excitement is a sense of loss: a moment of epiphany can never be repeated. In Geometry of Grief, mathematician Michael Frame draws on a career’s worth of insight—including his work with a pioneer of fractal geometry Benoit Mandelbrot—and a gift for rendering the complex accessible as he delves into this twinning of understanding and loss. Grief, Frame reveals, can be a moment of possibility.
Frame investigates grief as a response to an irrevocable change in circumstance. This reframing allows us to see parallels between the loss of a loved one or a career and the loss of the elation of first understanding a tricky concept. From this foundation, Frame builds a geometric model of mental states. An object that is fractal, for example, has symmetry of magnification: magnify a picture of a mountain or a fern leaf—both fractal—and we see echoes of the original shape. Similarly, nested inside great loss are smaller losses. By manipulating this geometry, Frame shows us, we may be able to redirect our thinking in ways that help reduce our pain. Small‐scale losses, in essence, provide laboratories to learn how to meet largescale losses.
Interweaving original illustrations, clear introductions to advanced topics in geometry, and wisdom gleaned from his own experience with illness and others’ remarkable responses to devastating loss, Frame’s poetic book is a journey through the beautiful complexities of mathematics and life. With both human sympathy and geometrical elegance, it helps us to see how a geometry of grief can open a pathway for bold action.
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Exterior Differential Systems and EulerLagrange Partial Differential Equations
Robert Bryant, Phillip Griffiths, and Daniel Grossman
University of Chicago Press, 2003
Library of Congress QA649.B744 2003  Dewey Decimal 516.36
In Exterior Differential Systems, the authors present the results of their ongoing development of a theory of the geometry of differential equations, focusing especially on Lagrangians and PoincaréCartan forms. They also cover certain aspects of the theory of exterior differential systems, which provides the language and techniques for the entire study. Because it plays a central role in uncovering geometric properties of differential equations, the method of equivalence is particularly emphasized. In addition, the authors discuss conformally invariant systems at length, including results on the classification and application of symmetries and conservation laws. The book also covers the Second Variation, EulerLagrange PDE systems, and higherorder conservation laws.
This timely synthesis of partial differential equations and differential geometry will be of fundamental importance to both students and experienced researchers working in geometric analysis.
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Geometry of Nonpositively Curved Manifolds
Patrick B. Eberlein
University of Chicago Press, 1997
Library of Congress QA649.E24 1996  Dewey Decimal 516.362
Starting from the foundations, the author presents an almost entirely
selfcontained treatment of differentiable spaces of nonpositive
curvature, focusing on the symmetric spaces in which every geodesic lies
in a flat Euclidean space of dimension at least two. The book builds to
a discussion of the Mostow Rigidity Theorem and its generalizations, and
concludes by exploring the relationship in nonpositively curved spaces
between geometric and algebraic properties of the fundamental group.
This introduction to the geometry of symmetric spaces of noncompact
type will serve as an excellent guide for graduate students new to the
material, and will also be a useful reference text for mathematicians
already familiar with the subject.
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Mechanism: A Visual, Lexical, and Conceptual History
Domenico Bertoloni Meli
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019
Library of Congress QA802.B47 2019  Dewey Decimal 620.1
The mechanical philosophy first emerged as a leading player on the intellectual scene in the early modern period—seeking to explain all natural phenomena through the physics of matter and motion—and the term mechanism was coined. Over time, natural phenomena came to be understood through machine analogies and explanations and the very word mechanism, a suggestive and ambiguous expression, took on a host of different meanings. Emphasizing the important role of key ancient and early modern protagonists, from Galen to Robert Boyle, this book offers a historical investigation of the term mechanism from the late Renaissance to the end of the seventeenth century, at a time when it was used rather frequently in complex debates about the nature of the notion of the soul. In this rich and detailed study, Domenico Bertoloni Meli focuses on strategies for discussing the notion of mechanism in historically sensitive ways; the relation between mechanism, visual representation, and anatomy; the usage and meaning of the term in early modern times; and Marcello Malpighi and the problems of fecundation and generation, among the most challenging topics to investigate from a mechanistic standpoint.
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Before Voltaire: The French Origins of “Newtonian” Mechanics, 16801715
J.B. Shank
University of Chicago Press, 2017
Library of Congress QA802.S43 2018  Dewey Decimal 531.094409032
We have grown accustomed to the idea that scientific theories are embedded in their place and time. But in the case of the development of mathematical physics in eighteenthcentury France, the relationship was extremely close. In Before Voltaire, J.B. Shank shows that although the publication of Isaac Newton’s Principia in 1687 exerted strong influence, the development of calculusbased physics is better understood as an outcome that grew from French culture in general.
Before Voltaire explores how Newton’s ideas made their way not just through the realm of French science, but into the larger world of society and culture of which Principia was an intertwined part. Shank also details a history of the beginnings of calculusbased mathematical physics that integrates it into the larger intellectual currents in France at the time, including the Battle of the Ancients and the Moderns, the emergence of wider audiences for science, and the role of the newly reorganized Royal Academy of Sciences. The resulting book offers an unprecedented cultural history of one the most important and influential elements of Enlightenment science.
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Isaac Newton’s Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, Volumes 1 and 2: Facsimile of the Third Edition (1726) with Variant Readings
I. Bernard Cohen
Harvard University Press, 1972
Library of Congress QA803.A2 1972  Dewey Decimal 531
This edition of Isaac Newton’s Principia is the first edition that enables the reader to see at a glance the stages of evolution of the work from the completion of the manuscript draft of the first edition in 1685 to the publication of the third edition, authorized by Newton, in 1726.
A photographic reprint of this final version, the present edition exhibits on the same page the variant readings from the seven other texts. This design allows the reader to see all the changes that Newton introduced and to determine exactly how the last and definitive edition, published a few months before Newton’s death, grew from earlier versions.
A series of appendices provides additional material on the development of the Principia; the contributions of Roger Cotes and of Henry Pemberton; drafts of Newton’s preface to the third edition; a bibliography of the Principia, describing in detail the three substantive editions and all the known subsequent editions; an index of names mentioned in the third edition; and a complete table of contents of the third edition.
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Mechanical Vibration: Theory and Application
Haym Benaroya
Rutgers University Press, 2022
Library of Congress QA935.B36 2022  Dewey Decimal 620.3
The Fifth edition of this classic textbook includes a solutions manual. Extensive supplemental instructor resources are forthcoming in the Fall of 2022.
Mechanical Vibration: Theory and Application presents comprehensive coverage of the fundamental principles of mechanical vibration, including the theory of vibration, as well as discussions and examples of the applications of these principles to practical engineering problems. The book also addresses the effects of uncertainties in vibration analysis and design and develops passive and active methods for the control of vibration. Many example problems with solutions are provided. These examples as well as compelling case studies and stories of realworld applications of mechanical vibration have been carefully chosen and presented to help the reader gain a thorough understanding of the subject.
There is a solutions manual for instructors who adopt this book. Request a solutions manual here (https://www.rutgersuniversitypress.org/mechanicalvibration).
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Measuring the Universe: Cosmic Dimensions from Aristarchus to Halley
Albert Van Helden
University of Chicago Press, 1986
Library of Congress QB15.V33 1985  Dewey Decimal 523.1
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 booklength 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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Foundations of New World Cultural Astronomy: A Reader with Commentary
Anthony Aveni
University Press of Colorado, 2008
Library of Congress QB16.F69 2008  Dewey Decimal 520
Gazing into the black skies from the Anasazi observatory at Chimney Rock or the Castillo Pyramid in the Maya ruins of Chichén Itzá, a modern visitor might wonder what ancient stargazers looked for in the skies and what they saw. Once considered unresearchable, these questions now drive cultural astronomers who draw on written and unwritten records and a constellation of disciplines to reveal the wonders of ancient and contemporary astronomies.
Cultural astronomy, first called archaeoastronomy, has evolved at ferocious speed since its genesis in the 1960s, with seminal essays and powerful rebuttals published in farflung, specialized journals. Until now, only the most closely involved scholars could follow the intellectual fireworks. In Foundations of New World Cultural Astronomy, Anthony Aveni, one of cultural astronomy's founders and top scholars, offers a selection of the essays that built the field, from foundational works to contemporary scholarship.
Including four decades of research throughout the Americas by linguists, archaeologists, historians, ethnologists, astronomers, and engineers, this reader highlights the evolution of the field through thematic organization and pointcounterpoint articles. Aveni  an awardwinning author and former National Professor of the Year  serves up incisive commentary, background for the uninitiated, and suggested reading, questions, and essay topics. Students, readers, and scholars will relish this collection and its tour of a new field in which discoveries about ancient ways of looking at the skies cast light on our contemporary views.
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Darkness at Night: A Riddle of the Universe
Edward Harrison
Harvard University Press, 1987
Library of Congress QB28.H37 1987  Dewey Decimal 520.9
Why is the sky dark at night?
The answer to this ancient and celebrated riddle, says Edward Harrison, seems relatively simple: the sun has set and is now shining on the other side of the earth. But suppose we were space travelers and far from any star. Out in the depths of space the heavens would be dark, even darker than the sky seen from the earth on cloudless and moonless nights. For more than four centuries, astronomers and other investigators have pondered the enigma of a dark sky and proposed many provocative but incorrect answers. Darkness at Night eloquently describes the misleading trails of inquiry and strange ideas that have abounded in the quest for a solution.
In tracing this story of discovery—one of the most intriguing in the history of science—astronomer and physicist Harrison explores the concept of infinite space, the structure and age of the universe, the nature of light, and other subjects that once were so perplexing. He introduces a range of stellar intellects, from Democritus in the ancient world to Digges in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, followed by Kepler, Newton, Halley, Chéseaux, Olbers, Poe, Kelvin, and Bondi.
Harrison’s style is engaging, incisive yet poetic, and his strong grasp of history—from the Greeks to the twentieth century—adds perspective, depth, and scope to the narrative. Richly illustrated and annotated, this book will delight and enlighten both the casual reader and the serious inquirer.
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The Sun in the Church: Cathedrals as Solar Observatories
J. L. Heilbron
Harvard University Press, 1999
Library of Congress QB29.H33 1999  Dewey Decimal 520.94
Between 1650 and 1750, four Catholic churches were the best solar observatories in the world. Built to fix an unquestionable date for Easter, they also housed instruments that threw light on the disputed geometry of the solar system, and so, within sight of the altar, subverted Church doctrine about the order of the universe.
A tale of politically canny astronomers and cardinals with a taste for mathematics, The Sun in the Church tells how these observatories came to be, how they worked, and what they accomplished. It describes Galileo's political overreaching, his subsequent trial for heresy, and his slow and steady rehabilitation in the eyes of the Catholic Church. And it offers an enlightening perspective on astronomy, Church history, and religious architecture, as well as an analysis of measurements testing the limits of attainable accuracy, undertaken with rudimentary means and extraordinary zeal. Above all, the book illuminates the niches protected and financed by the Catholic Church in which science and mathematics thrived.
Superbly written, The Sun in the Church provides a magnificent corrective to longstanding oversimplified accounts of the hostility between science and religion.
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Novelties in the Heavens: Rhetoric and Science in the Copernican Controversy
Jean Dietz Moss
University of Chicago Press, 1993
Library of Congress QB29.M67 1993  Dewey Decimal 520.903
In this fascinating work, Jean Dietz Moss shows how the scientific revolution begun by Copernicus brought about another revolution as well—one in which rhetoric, previously used simply to explain scientific thought, became a tool for persuading a skeptical public of the superiority of the Copernican system.
Moss describes the nature of dialectical and rhetorical discourse in the period of the Copernican debate to shed new light on the argumentative strategies used by the participants. Against the background of Ptolemy's Almagest, she analyzes the gradual increase of rhetoric beginning with Copernicus's De Revolutionibus and Galileo's Siderius nuncius, through Galileo's debates with the Jesuits Scheiner and Grassi, to the most persuasive work of all, Galileo's Dialogue. The arguments of the Dominicans Bruno and Campanella, the testimony of Johannes Kepler, and the pleas of Scriptural exegetes and the speculations of John Wilkins furnish a counterpoint to the writings of Galileo, the centerpiece of this study.
The author places the controversy within its historical frame, creating a coherent narrative movement. She illuminates the reactions of key ecclesiastical and academic figures figures and the general public to the issues.
Blending history and rhetorical analysis, this first study to look at rhetoric as defined by sixteenth and seventeenthcentury participants is an original contribution to our understanding of the use of persuasion as an instrument of scientific debate.
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Secret Science: Spanish Cosmography and the New World
María M. Portuondo
University of Chicago Press, 2009
Library of Congress QB29.P67 2009
The discovery of the New World raised many questions for early modern scientists: What did these lands contain? Where did they lie in relation to Europe? Who lived there, and what were their inhabitants like? Imperial expansion necessitated changes in the way scientific knowledge was gathered, and Spanish cosmographers in particular were charged with turning their observations of the New World into a body of knowledge that could be used for governing the largest empire the world had ever known.
As María M. Portuondo here shows, this cosmographic knowledge had considerable strategic, defensive, and monetary value that royal scientists were charged with safeguarding from foreign and internal enemies. Cosmography was thus a secret science, but despite the limited dissemination of this body of knowledge, royal cosmographers applied alternative epistemologies and new methodologies that changed the discipline, and, in the process, how Europeans understood the natural world.
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The Heavens on Earth: Observatories and Astronomy in NineteenthCentury Science and Culture
David Aubin, Charlotte Bigg, and H. Otto Sibum, eds.
Duke University Press, 2010
Library of Congress QB32.H43 2010  Dewey Decimal 520.9034
The Heavens on Earth explores the place of the observatory in nineteenthcentury science and culture. Astronomy was a core pursuit for observatories, but usually not the only one. It belonged to a larger group of “observatory sciences” that also included geodesy, meteorology, geomagnetism, and even parts of physics and statistics. These pursuits coexisted in the nineteenthcentury observatory; this collection surveys them as a coherent whole. Broadening the focus beyond the solitary astronomer at his telescope, it illuminates the observatory’s importance to technological, military, political, and colonial undertakings, as well as in advancing and popularizing the mathematical, physical, and cosmological sciences. The contributors examine “observatory techniques” developed and used not only in connection with observatories but also by instrument makers in their workshops, navy officers on ships, civil engineers in the field, and many others. These techniques included the calibration and coordination of precision instruments for making observations and taking measurements; methods of data acquisition and tabulation; and the production of maps, drawings, and photographs, as well as numerical, textual, and visual representations of the heavens and the earth. They also encompassed the social management of personnel within observatories, the coordination of international scientific collaborations, and interactions with dignitaries and the public. The state observatory occupied a particularly privileged place in the life of the city. With their imposing architecture and ancient traditions, state observatories served representative purposes for their patrons, whether as symbols of a monarch’s enlightened power, a nation’s industrial and scientific excellence, or republican progressive values. Focusing on observatory techniques in settings from Berlin, London, Paris, and Rome to Australia, Russia, Thailand, and the United States, The Heavens on Earth is a major contribution to the history of science. Contributors: David Aubin, Charlotte Bigg, Guy Boistel, Theresa Levitt, Massimo Mazzotti, Ole Molvig, Simon Schaffer, Martina Schiavon , H. Otto Sibum, Richard Staley, John Tresch, Simon Werrett, Sven Widmalm
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Observing by Hand: Sketching the Nebulae in the Nineteenth Century
Omar W. Nasim
University of Chicago Press, 2013
Library of Congress QB32.N37 2013  Dewey Decimal 523.1135
Today we are all familiar with the iconic pictures of the nebulae produced by the Hubble Space Telescope’s digital cameras. But there was a time, before the successful application of photography to the heavens, in which scientists had to rely on handmade drawings of these mysterious phenomena.
Observing by Hand sheds entirely new light on the ways in which the production and reception of handdrawn images of the nebulae in the nineteenth century contributed to astronomical observation. Omar W. Nasim investigates hundreds of unpublished observing books and paper records from six nineteenthcentury observers of the nebulae: Sir John Herschel; William Parsons, the third Earl of Rosse; William Lassell; Ebenezer Porter Mason; Ernst Wilhelm Leberecht Tempel; and George Phillips Bond. Nasim focuses on the ways in which these observers created and employed their drawings in datadriven procedures, from their choices of artistic materials and techniques to their practices and scientific observation. He examines the ways in which the act of drawing complemented the acts of seeing and knowing, as well as the ways that making pictures was connected to the production of scientific knowledge.
An impeccably researched, carefully crafted, and beautifully illustrated piece of historical work, Observing by Hand will delight historians of science, art, and the book, as well as astronomers and philosophers.
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Astronomy in India, 17841876
Joydeep Sen
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020
Library of Congress QB33.I4S46 2014  Dewey Decimal 520.95409033
Indian scientific achievements in the early twentieth century are well known, with a number of heralded individuals making globally recognized strides in the field of astrophysics. Covering the period from the foundation of the Asiatick Society in 1784 to the establishment of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science in 1876, Sen explores the relationship between Indian astronomers and the colonial British. He shows that from the midnineteenth century, Indians were not passive receivers of European knowledge, but active participants in modern scientific observational astronomy.
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American Astronomy: Community, Careers, and Power, 18591940
John Lankford
University of Chicago Press, 1997
Library of Congress QB33.U6L36 1997  Dewey Decimal 306.45
In this collective biography of the more than 1,200 individuals who engaged in astronomical
research, teaching, or practice in the United States between 1859 and 1940, John Lankford
paints a meticulously documented portrait of this community. He tallies the number with and
without doctorates, the number that taught in colleges or universities versus those involved in
industrial or government work, the number of women versus men, and so on. He also
addresses the crucial question of power within the community—what it meant, which
astronomers had it, and what they did with it.
Drawing on more than a decade of archival research, Lankford attends to the numbers in
concise tables and figures, and takes care to focus through biographical sketches on the
human beings his data represent. This dual approach convincingly illustrates how the changing
structure of a scientific community can alter both the career trajectories of its members and the
nature of the scientific research they choose to pursue.
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Vera Rubin: A Life
Jacqueline Mitton and Simon Mitton
Harvard University Press, 2021
Library of Congress QB34.5.M58 2021  Dewey Decimal 520.92
A Physics Today Best Book of the Year
The first biography of a pioneering scientist who made significant contributions to our understanding of dark matter and championed the advancement of women in science.
One of the great lingering mysteries of the universe is dark matter. Scientists are not sure what it is, but most believe it’s out there, and in abundance. The astronomer who finally convinced many of them was Vera Rubin. When Rubin died in 2016, she was regarded as one of the most influential astronomers of her era. Her research on the rotation of spiral galaxies was groundbreaking, and her observations contributed significantly to the confirmation of dark matter, a most notable achievement.
In Vera Rubin: A Life, prolific science writers Jacqueline Mitton and Simon Mitton provide a detailed, accessible overview of Rubin’s work, showing how she leveraged immense curiosity, profound intelligence, and novel technologies to help transform our understanding of the cosmos. But Rubin’s impact was not limited to her contributions to scientific knowledge. She also helped to transform scientific practice by promoting the careers of women researchers. Not content to be an inspiration, Rubin was a mentor and a champion. She advocated for hiring women faculty, inviting women speakers to major conferences, and honoring women with awards that were historically the exclusive province of men.
Rubin’s papers and correspondence yield vivid insights into her life and work, as she faced down gender discrimination and met the demands of family and research throughout a long and influential career. Deftly written, with both scientific experts and general readers in mind, Vera Rubin is a portrait of a woman with insatiable curiosity about the universe who never stopped asking questions and encouraging other women to do the same.
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A Man Who Loved the Stars
John A. Brashear
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1988
Library of Congress QB36.B85A3 1988  Dewey Decimal 522.20924
The inspiring story of a man whose avocation as a stargazer and vocation as a millwright led to his development of lenses, mirrors and other astronomical apparatus. John A. Brashear's technological advances were later employed by astronomers in the United States and Europe. Brashear also attracted the friendship and financial support of astronomer Samuel Lagley, railroad magnate William Thaw, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Carnegie, who gave him $20,000 for the construction of Allegheny Observatory in Pittsburgh. The inspiring story of a man whose avocation as a stargazer and vocation as a millwright led to his development of lenses, mirrors and other astronomical apparatus. John A. Brashear's technological advances were later employed by astronomers in the United States and Europe. Brashear also attracted the friendship and financial support of astronomer Samuel Lagley, railroad magnate William Thaw, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Carnegie, who gave him $20,000 for the construction of Allegheny Observatory in Pittsburgh.
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Chandra: A Biography of S. Chandrasekhar
Kameshwar C. Wali
University of Chicago Press, 1990
Library of Congress QB36.C46W35 1991  Dewey Decimal 523.01092
Chandra is an intimate portrait of a highly private and brilliant man, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, a Nobel laureate in physics who has been a major contributor to the theories of white dwarfs and black holes.
"Wali has given us a magnificent portrait of Chandra, full of life and color, with a deep understanding of the three cultures—Indian, British, and American—in which Chandra was successively immersed. . . . I wish I had the job of reviewing this book for the New York Times rather than for Physics Today. If the book is only read by physicists, then Wali's devoted labors were in vain."—Freeman Dyson, Physics Today
"An enthralling human document."—William McCrea, Times Higher Education Supplement
"A dramatic, exuberant biography of one of the century's great scientists."—Publishers Weekly
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Galileo, Courtier: The Practice of Science in the Culture of Absolutism
Mario Biagioli
University of Chicago Press, 1993
Library of Congress QB36.G2B54 1993  Dewey Decimal 509.409032
Informed by currents in sociology, cultural anthropology, and literary theory, Galileo, Courtier is neither a biography nor a conventional history of science. In the court of the Medicis and the Vatican, Galileo fashioned both his career and his science to the demands of patronage and its complex systems of wealth, power, and prestige. Biagioli argues that Galileo's courtly role was integral to his science—the questions he chose to examine, his methods, even his conclusions.
Galileo, Courtier is a fascinating cultural and social history of science highlighting the workings of power, patronage, and credibility in the development of science.
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Galileo's Muse: Renaissance Mathematics and the Arts
Mark Austin Peterson
Harvard University Press, 2011
Library of Congress QB36.G2P48 2011  Dewey Decimal 709.024
Mark Peterson makes an extraordinary claim in this fascinating book focused around the life and thought of Galileo: it was the mathematics of Renaissance arts, not Renaissance sciences, that became modern science. Galileo's Muse argues that painters, poets, musicians, and architects brought about a scientific revolution that eluded the philosopherscientists of the day, steeped as they were in a medieval cosmos and its underlying philosophy.
According to Peterson, the recovery of classical science owes much to the Renaissance artists who first turned to Greek sources for inspiration and instruction. Chapters devoted to their insights into mathematics, ranging from perspective in painting to tuning in music, are interspersed with chapters about Galileo's own life and work. Himself an artist turned scientist and an avid student of Hellenistic culture, Galileo pulled together the many threads of his artistic and classical education in designing unprecedented experiments to unlock the secrets of nature.
In the last chapter, Peterson draws our attention to the Oratio de Mathematicae laudibus of 1627, delivered by one of Galileo's students. This document, Peterson argues, was penned in part by Galileo himself, as an expression of his understanding of the universality of mathematics in art and nature. It is "entirely Galilean in so many details that even if it is derivative, it must represent his thought," Peterson writes. An intellectual adventure, Galileo’s Muse offers surprising ideas that will capture the imagination of anyone—scientist, mathematician, history buff, lover of literature, or artist—who cares about the humanistic roots of modern science.
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What Stars Are Made Of: The Life of Cecilia PayneGaposchkin
Donovan Moore
Harvard University Press, 2020
Library of Congress QB36.G372M66 2020  Dewey Decimal 520.62
A New Scientist Book of the Year A Physics Today Book of the Year A Science News Book of the Year
The history of science is replete with women getting little notice for their groundbreaking discoveries. Cecilia PayneGaposchkin, a tireless innovator who correctly theorized the substance of stars, was one of them.
It was not easy being a woman of ambition in early twentiethcentury England, much less one who wished to be a scientist. Cecilia PayneGaposchkin overcame prodigious obstacles to become a woman of many firsts: the first to receive a PhD in astronomy from Radcliffe College, the first promoted to full professor at Harvard, the first to head a department there. And, in what has been called “the most brilliant PhD thesis ever written in astronomy,” she was the first to describe what stars are made of.
PayneGaposchkin lived in a society that did not know what to make of a determined schoolgirl who wanted to know everything. She was derided in college and refused a degree. As a graduate student, she faced formidable skepticism. Revolutionary ideas rarely enjoy instantaneous acceptance, but the learned men of the astronomical community found hers especially hard to take seriously. Though welcomed at the Harvard College Observatory, she worked for years without recognition or status. Still, she accomplished what every scientist yearns for: discovery. She revealed the atomic composition of stars—only to be told that her conclusions were wrong by the very man who would later show her to be correct.
In What Stars Are Made Of, Donovan Moore brings this remarkable woman to life through extensive archival research, family interviews, and photographs. Moore retraces PayneGaposchkin’s steps with visits to cramped observatories and nighttime bicycle rides through the streets of Cambridge, England. The result is a story of devotion and tenacity that speaks powerfully to our own time.
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Making Stars Physical: The Astronomy of Sir John Herschel
Stephen Case
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018
Library of Congress QB36.H59C37 2018  Dewey Decimal 520.92
Making Stars Physical offers the first extensive look at the astronomical career of John Herschel, son of William Herschel and one of the leading scientific figures in Britain throughout much of the nineteenth century. Herschel’s astronomical career is usually relegated to a continuation of his father, William’s, sweeps for nebulae. However, as Stephen Case argues, John Herschel was pivotal in establishing the sidereal revolution his father had begun: a shift of attention from the planetary system to the study of nebulous regions in the heavens and speculations on the nature of the Milky Way and the sun’s position within it.
Through John Herschel’s astronomical career—in particular his work on constellation reform, double stars, and variable stars—the study of stellar objects became part of mainstream astronomy. He leveraged his mathematical expertise and his position within the scientific community to make sidereal astronomy accessible even to casual observers, allowing amateurs to make useful observations that could contribute to theories on the nature of stars. With this book, Case shows how Herschel’s work made the stars physical and laid the foundations for modern astrophysics.
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The Pursuit of Harmony: Kepler on Cosmos, Confession, and Community
Aviva Rothman
University of Chicago Press, 2017
Library of Congress QB36.K44R68 2017  Dewey Decimal 113
A committed Lutheran excommunicated from his own church, a friend to Catholics and Calvinists alike, a layman who called himself a “priest of God,” a Copernican in a world where Ptolemy still reigned, a man who argued at the same time for the superiority of one truth and the need for many truths to coexist—German astronomer Johannes Kepler was, to say the least, a complicated figure. With The Pursuit of Harmony, Aviva Rothman offers a new view of him and his achievements, one that presents them as a story of Kepler’s attempts to bring different, even opposing ideas and circumstances into harmony.
Harmony, Rothman shows, was both the intellectual bedrock for and the primary goal of Kepler’s disparate endeavors. But it was also an elusive goal amid the deteriorating conditions of his world, as the political order crumbled and religious war raged. In the face of that devastation, Kepler’s hopes for his theories changed: whereas he had originally looked for a unifying approach to truth, he began instead to emphasize harmony as the peaceful coexistence of different views, one that could be fueled by the fundamentally nonpartisan discipline of mathematics.
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The Man Who Painted the Universe: The Story of a Planetarium in the Heart of the North Woods
Ron Legro
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2015
Library of Congress QB36.K685L44 2015  Dewey Decimal 520.92
As a young boy Frank Kovac Jr. fell deeply in love with stargazing, painting glowinthedark constellations on his bedroom wall and inviting friends to an observatory he built in his Chicago backyard. As he reached adulthood, Kovac did not let go of his childhood dreams of reaching the stars. He began scheming to bring the universe home. While working at a paper mill as a young man, Kovac tirelessly built a 22foot rotating globe planetarium in the woods. Despite failures and collapses, the amateur astronomer singlehandedly built a North Woods treasure, painting more than 5,000 glowing stars—dot by dot in glowing paints. Today, Kovac and his unique planetarium take visitors to the stars every day.
The Man Who Painted the Universe: The Story of a Planetarium in the Heart of the North Woods introduces readers to the mildmannered astronomy enthusiast whose creativity, ingenuity, fervor, and endurance realized a dream of galactic proportions. The story of this stargazer from Wisconsin’s North Woods so inspired two newspapermen, authors Ron Legro and Avi Lank, that they sought to document the story of the Kovac Planetarium for a new generation of stargazers and dreamers.
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Gerard P. Kuiper and the Rise of Modern Planetary Science
Derek W. G. Sears
University of Arizona Press, 2019
Library of Congress QB36.K9S43 2019  Dewey Decimal 523.4092
Astronomer Gerard P. Kuiper ignored the traditional boundaries of his subject. Using telescopes and the laboratory, he made the solar system a familiar, intriguing place. “It is not astronomy,” complained his colleagues, and they were right. Kuiper had created a new discipline we now call planetary science.
Kuiper was an acclaimed astronomer of binary stars and white dwarfs when he accidentally discovered that Titan, the massive moon of Saturn, had an atmosphere. This turned our understanding of planetary atmospheres on its head, and it set Kuiper on a path of staggering discoveries: Pluto was not a planet, planets around other stars were common, some asteroids were primary while some were just fragments of bigger asteroids, some moons were primary and some were captured asteroids or comets, the atmosphere of Mars was carbon dioxide, and there were two new moons in the sky, one orbiting Uranus and one orbiting Neptune.
He produced a monumental photographic atlas of the Moon at a time when men were landing on our nearest neighbor, and he played an important part in that effort. He also created some of the world’s major observatories in Hawai‘i and Chile. However, most remarkable was that the keys to his success sprang from his wartime activities, which led him to new techniques. This would change everything.
Sears shows a brilliant but at times unpopular man who attracted as much dislike as acclaim. This indepth history includes some of the twentieth century’s most intriguing scientists, from Harold Urey to Carl Sagan, who worked with—and sometimes against—the father of modern planetary science. Now, as NASA and other space agencies explore the solar system, they take with them many of the ideas and concepts first described by Gerard P. Kuiper.
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