The Shape and Size of the Earth

A Historical Journey from Homer to Artificial Satellites

Authors: Boccaletti, Dino

Free Preview
  • Provides a complete historical account of how the figure of the Earth has been measured, calculated and established ever more accurately
  • Offers a thorough treatment of disputes on the shape of the Earth in the Middle Ages
  • Explores the role of mathematics in the geodetic enterprises of the eighteenth century
see more benefits

Buy this book

eBook $109.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-90593-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $139.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-90592-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book describes in detail the various theories on the shape of the Earth from classical antiquity to the present day and examines how measurements of its form and dimensions have evolved throughout this period. The origins of the notion of the sphericity of the Earth are explained, dating back to Eratosthenes and beyond, and detailed attention is paid to the struggle to establish key discoveries as part of the cultural heritage of humanity. In this context, the roles played by the Catholic Church and the philosophers of the Middle Ages are scrutinized. Later contributions by such luminaries as Richer, Newton, Clairaut, Maupertuis, and Delambre are thoroughly reviewed, with exploration of the importance of mathematics in their geodetic enterprises. The culmination of progress in scientific research is the recognition that the reference figure is not a sphere but rather a geoid and that the earth’s shape is oblate. Today, satellite geodesy permits the solution of geodetic problems by means of precise measurements. Narrating this fascinating story from the very beginning not only casts light on our emerging understanding of the figure of the Earth but also offers profound insights into the broader evolution of human thought.

About the authors

Dino Boccaletti was Professor of Celestial Mechanics at the Sapienza University of Rome from 1987 until his retirement, and was previously Professor in the Institution of Mathematics at the university. In addition to his teaching and supervisory responsibilities, Prof. Boccaletti conducted research in the fields of Physics of Elementary Particles, Theoretical Astrophysics, Theory of Gravitational Waves, Stellar Dynamics, Celestial Mechanics, and Mathematical Physics. He has published a number of papers in leading journals, including Nature, Physical Review D, and Astronomy & Astrophysics, and has acted as reviewer for various scientific journals. He is co-author, with G. Pucacco, of the two-volume Springer book Theory of Orbits, which is used for advanced courses in Celestial Mechanics and Stellar Dynamics at universities across the world. Since his retirement, he has been interested in the history of science and, besides papers, he has published the book Galileo and the Equations of Motion.

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $109.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-90593-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $139.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-90592-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Loading...

Recommended for you

Loading...

Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Shape and Size of the Earth
Book Subtitle
A Historical Journey from Homer to Artificial Satellites
Authors
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-90593-8
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-90593-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-90592-1
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XV, 193
Number of Illustrations
16 b/w illustrations, 1 illustrations in colour
Topics