520 pages, 92 illus, 15 tabs
Developments in man's understanding have been closely linked to progress in the mathematical sciences. Whole new areas of mathematics, such as trigonometry, were developed to aid astronomical calculations, and on numerous occasions throughout history, breakthroughs in astronomy have only been possible because of progress in mathematics. This book describes the theories of planetary motion that have been developed through the ages, beginning with the homocentric spheres of Eudoxus and ending with Einstein's general theory of relativity.
'Linton presents the 4000 year history of astronomy from a refreshingly different viewpoint ... His treatment is thorough and clear, but not daunting.' New Scientist 'The homework requisite for the task Linton has undertaken is demanding, both in extent and depth. He has done it thoroughly and well.' Journal for the History of Astronomy
Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. Spheres and circles; 3. The Ptolemaic universe; 4. Developments in geocentric astronomy; 5. The heliocentric universe; 6. Tycho Brahe, Kepler and the ellipse; 7. Galileo, the telescope and Keplerian astronomy; 8. The universal theory of gravitation; 9. Celestial mechanics; 10. The asteroids and the outer planets; 11. New methods; 12. Mercury and relativity; References; Index.
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Christopher Linton is Head of the Mathematical Sciences Department at Loughborough University.