By J. L. Heilbron
How does the physics we all know this present day - a hugely professionalised company, inextricably associated with govt and - hyperlink again to its origins as a liberal paintings in historic Greece? what's the direction that leads from the outdated philosophy of nature and its obstacle with humankind's position within the universe to trendy enormous overseas tasks that seek out primary debris and business laboratories that manufacture marvels?
J. L. Heilbron's attention-grabbing background of physics introduces us to Islamic astronomers and mathematicians, calculating the dimensions of the earth when their caliphs conquered a lot of it; to medieval scholar-theologians investigating mild; to Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton, measuring, and attempting to clarify, the universe. We stopover at the 'House of knowledge' in 9th-century Baghdad; Europe's first universities; the courts of the Renaissance; the clinical Revolution and the academies of the 18th century; the more and more specialized international of twentieth and twenty first century technology.
Highlighting the transferring dating among physics, philosophy, arithmetic, and expertise -- and the consequences for humankind's self-understanding -- Heilbron explores the altering position and objective of physics within the cultures and societies that experience nurtured it over the centuries.
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Extra info for Physics: a short history from quintessence to quarks
To save the “second anomaly,” retrogradation, during which a “superior” planet (Mars, Jupiter, or Saturn) appears to OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 8/9/2015, SPi PHYSICS: A SHORT HISTORY reverse directions periodically in its orbit around the Earth, the Almagest plants the planet on an “epicycle” turning at constant speed around its center, which rides on the planet’s eccentric (see Figure b). The combination also explained the change in brightness, provided that the motions were so tuned that retrogradation occurred in mysterious synchronization with the motion of the Sun.
Most of al-Bīrū nī’s writing concerns astronomy, geography, and geodesy. Although Ptolemaic in conception, his astronomy analyzes other views, for example, the possibility that the apparent motion of the stars arises from a rotation of the Earth. He gave an Indian as well as a Greek source for this idea and reported Ptolemy’s objections to it (bodies dropped from a tower would land west of its foot) and the response (all bodies on a rotating Earth would participate in its motion even when falling).
By an assumed principle of continuity, the proximity inhibits the motion. On the principle that longer radii are moved more easily through a given angle than shorter ones, the author delivers the law of the lever and deftly applies it to oars, rudders, sails, wheels, pulleys, capstans, wedges, tooth extractors, and nutcrackers. ” Two circles ﬁxed together concentrically roll horizontally. Although the larger lays down a longer path than the smaller, they stay together. Why? “It is strange . . ” The wonder rolled all the way to Galileo, who took many hints and problems from the Mechanica believing that they came from Aristotle.
Physics: a short history from quintessence to quarks by J. L. Heilbron