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Measuring the Universe

Cosmic Dimensions from Aristarchus to Halley

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

212 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1985

History of Science

Physical Sciences: History and Philosophy of Physical Sciences

Table of Contents

1. Shared Expectations
2. The Beginnings: Aristarchus and Hipparchus
3. Ptolemy
4. The Ptolemaic System Enshrined
5. Copernicus and Tycho
6. Young Kepler
7. Galileo and the Telescope
8. Kepler’s Synthesis
9. Gassendi, Hortensius, and the Transit of Mercury of 1631
10. From Horrocks to Riccioli
11. The Micrometer from Huygens to Flamsteed
12. Cassini, Flamsteed, and the New Measure
13. The New Consensus and Halley’s Legacy
14. Conclusion: Measurement, Theory, and Speculation

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