Selections from Kepler's Astronomia Nova

ISBN-10: 1888009284

ISBN-13: 9781888009286

Edition: 2004

Authors: Johannes Kepler, William H. Donahue

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Description:

Johannes Kepler wrote Astronomia Nova (1609) in a single-minded drive to sweep away the ancient and medieval clutter of spheres and orbs and to establish a new truth in astronomy, based on physical causality. Thus a good part of the book is given over to a nontechnical discussion of how planets can be made to move through space by physical forces. This is the theme of the readings in the present module.
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Book details

List price: $9.95
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Green Lion Press
Publication date: 3/1/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 120
Size: 7.25" wide x 10.00" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.484
Language: English

Born in Wurttemburg, Germany, Johannes Kepler was the son of a soldier of fortune who eventually deserted his family. Kepler is widely known for his three laws of planetary motion. Kepler began to think about astronomy and planetary motion as a schoolteacher in Graz, Austria and published his first work, Mysterium Cosmographicum, in 1596. He became an apprentice to Tcho Brahe, whose collection of astronomical observations was the best of its kind. Kepler's work on Mars, in which he tried to fit a theory to the observations, led to his discovery that planetary motion is elliptical rather than circular. Kepler's life was somewhat chaotic as a result of the repeated harassment of Protestant teachers in predominantly Catholic Austria. Some of his ideas about cosmic harmonies, such as the theory that the spacing of planetary orbits is related to the five regular polyhedrons, were incorrect. Yet his basic approach of seeking a broad sense of order and harmony in the world led to the discovery of mathematical regularities involved in planetary motion, and ultimately, to the elegance of Sir Isaac Newton's laws of motion. Kepler's Somnium, a fictional account of a voyage to the moon, is cited by historians of rocketry as an early work of science fiction that might have stimulated interest in space travel.

Editor's Preface
About Johannes Kepler
Acknowledgements
Kepler's Introduction
Introduction to the celestial motions*
Physical implications of theories of circular motion
How I came to work on Mars
The earth, like other planets, moves nonuniformly
The Physical reality behind nonuniform motion
The power that moves the planets is in the sun
The sun is a magnet, and rotates in its space
How can the planetary powers make a circular orbit?
A way to calculate using the physical speed rule
The orbit is not a circle
The physics and mathematics of a noncircular orbit
Epilogue: What about the ellipse?
Geometrical Planetary Models
Technical Notes
Glossary
Bibliographical Note
About this series: Scientific Classics for Humanities Studies
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