The Martyrs of Science: or, The lives of Galileo, Tycho Brahe, and Kepler

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9781514356777: The Martyrs of Science: or, The lives of Galileo, Tycho Brahe, and Kepler
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"A mere inference or theory must give way to a truth revealed; but a scientific truth must be maintained, however contradictory it may appear to the most cherished doctrines of religion."— Sir David Brewster

“If the distinguished author of this unpretending little volume had undertaken to write the history of the origin of Physical Astronomy, he could not have thrown his narrative into a more convenient or interesting form, than by writing the lives of Galileo, Tycho Brahe, and Kepler. These three names occupy by far the most conspicuous place in the annals of Astronomy, between those of Copernicus and Newton. By explaining the phenomena of the celestial motions, on the hypothesis of the immobility of the sun and the twofold motion of the earth, Copernicus made the first step towards the true theory of the universe; but he did not discard the eccentrics and epicycles of the ancient faith ; and the universally received dogma of antiquity—uniform motion in circular orbits —remained undisturbed. In order to proceed a step beyond the point at which Copernicus had arrived, observations of greater precision, and more distinct ideas respecting the laws of motion, were necessary. Tycho Brahe furnished the observations. Kepler, with infinite labour and sagacity, traced out their consequences, and proved from them that the planetary orbits are not circles but ellipses; and that the motions are not uniform, though regulated by a law remarkable for its simplicity and beauty. Galileo directed the telescope to the heavens; fortified the Copernican doctrine with new proofs; and, by the discovery of the laws of motion, prepared the way for the dynamical theories of Newton. In effecting this advance from formal to physical astronomy, no other individual contributed in any remarkable degree; hence the history of their labours includes that of the science itself, during one of the most interesting periods of its progress..... The work derives its interest from the vivid portraiture it places before us of the characters of men whose labours occupy a large space in the history of science, and whose endeavors to enlighten the world were attended with so many personal sacrifices. It is written in an agreeable style; it abounds with traits of good feeling and generous sympathy; and, what may be regarded as of importance in a popular work, it represents science and its pursuits under an attractive and dignified aspect.” -The Edinburgh Review, Or, Critical Journal, July 1844

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Sir David Brewster (11 December 1781 – 10 February 1868) was a Scottish physicist, mathematician, astronomer, inventor, writer, historian of science and university principal. Most noted for his contributions to the field of optics, he studied the double refraction by compression and discovered the photoelastic effect, which gave birth to the field of optical mineralogy. For his work, William Whewell dubbed him the "Father of modern experimental optics" and "the Johannes Kepler of Optics." He is well-recognized for being the inventor of the kaleidoscope and an improved version of the stereoscope applied to photography. He called it the "lenticular stereoscope", which was the first portable, 3D viewing device. He also invented the binocular camera, two types of polarimeters, the polyzonal lens and the lighthouse illuminator. A prominent figure in the popularization of science, he is considered one of the founders of the British Association, of which he would be elected President in 1849. In addition, he was the editor of the 18-volume Edinburgh Encyclopædia. (Wikipedia)

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9781347851999: The Martyrs Of Science: Or, The Lives Of Galileo, Tycho Brahe, And Kepler

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ISBN 10:  1347851992 ISBN 13:  9781347851999
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