The Norton History of Astronomy and Cosmology (Norton History of Science)

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9780393036565: The Norton History of Astronomy and Cosmology (Norton History of Science)
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Traces the history of astronomy and the universe

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Comprehensive in scope, with massive detail, this latest volume in Norton's "History of Science" series (see also Peter Bowler's Norton History of Environmental Sciences and William Brock's Norton History of Chemistry, both LJ 7/93) surveys facts and ideas about the universe from prehistoric observations, ancient mythologies, and rational speculations to space exploration, radio astronomy, and modern cosmogony. Of special significance are the historical influences of geometry (circle and sphere) and astrology on early interpretations of an assumed finite and closed universe. Glaringly absent is any treatment of the bold cosmologist Giodano Bruno (1548-1600), who argued for an inhabited infinite universe. North focuses on recent advances in instruments (telescope, spectroscope, antenna, camera, rocket) and new theories in physics that have brought about remarkable discoveries in astronomy (quasars, pulsars, supernovae) and dynamic models in cosmology. Also highlighted are the contributions of Kepler, Galileo, Herschel, Hale, Hubble, and Hawking. Essentially an impressive introduction to the history of astronomy but not cosmology, this book is recommended for all academic and public science collections.
James Birx, Canisius Coll., Buffalo, N.Y.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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