Archimedes

A History of Physical Theories of Comets, From Aristotle to Whipple

Authors: Heidarzadeh, Tofigh

  • A comprehensive history of physical theories of comets from 300 BC to the appearance of modern theory of comets in the1950s
  • Discusses the details of major theories of comets based on primary sources
  • Illustrates the interaction between observational and mathematical astronomy, and the physical sciences in defining the properties of comets
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eBook $269.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4020-8323-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $339.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4020-8322-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $339.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-90-481-7842-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

The book describes the major physical theories of comets in the past two millennia. It demonstrates the evolution of ideas about the nature, position, motion and physical constitution of comets from Aristotle to Whipple. Unlike the available works on the history of comets, which either illustrate relatively short periods in the history of physical cometology or portray a landscape view without adequate details, the present study focuses on details of each theory. It also investigates the interaction between observational and mathematical astronomy, and the physical sciences in defining the properties of comets.

            Ideas about the astrological aspects of comets are not considered in this study. Also, topics concerning the motion of comets are explained to the extent that is helpful in illustrating their physical properties. Although the present study is mainly focused on the physical theories of comets, its results will be relevant to studies in the history of geology, planetary science, and astrology. On the other hand, those results may initiate new studies about educational practices for physics and astronomy in post-Newtonian Europe, the ways that different parts of Newton's physical, astronomical and cosmological ideas evolved after him. Also, the debates about the constitution and chemical properties of comets in the post-Laplacian era may trigger new researches about possible influence of cometary studies on the foundation of astrophysics.  

Reviews

From the reviews:

Until very recently, comets have been consistently misunderstood and often considered as flaming apparitions thrown at a sinful Earth from the right hand of an avenging God. Today they are considered as icy remnants of the solar system formation process - but still capable of striking Earth. Dr. Heidarzadeh has provided a comprehensive, scholarly and yet interesting history as to how comets have been perceived from ancient times through the mid twentieth century. It is highly recommended for scientists and layman alike."

Donald K. Yeomans, Senior Research Scientist at the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion LaboratoryHeidarzadeh's book offers a comprehensive, scholarly survey of physical theories of comets from antiquity to the present day. He offers considerable new detail on Newton's theories and their reception, a topic that has received surprisingly little attention. And he also covers the crucial period in which Laplace and his contemporaries reduced comets from the size of planets to near the size we believe they are today. This is a remarkable trove of information to find in a single book, and it will be invaluable to anyone interested in the history of the physical sciences and especially the history of astronomy and cosmology. -- Peter Barker, University of Oklahoma

“Tofigh Heidarzadeh covers over two thousand years of cometary theory in this book. … does a fine job of examining how theories about the natural world combined with theories about comets … . this book is a valuable and original addition to the literature on the history of astronomy. It provides useful images and tables and Heidarzadeh’s descriptions … are detailed and clear. His book … will appeal to both the specialist and to those new to the topic.” (Elizabeth Burns, Journal for the History of Astronomy, Vol. xli, August, 2010)


 


Table of contents (8 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $269.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4020-8323-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $339.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4020-8322-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $339.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-90-481-7842-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
A History of Physical Theories of Comets, From Aristotle to Whipple
Authors
Series Title
Archimedes
Series Volume
19
Copyright
2008
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
eBook ISBN
978-1-4020-8323-5
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4020-8323-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-4020-8322-8
Softcover ISBN
978-90-481-7842-1
Series ISSN
1385-0180
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 278
Topics