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The Milky Way Galaxy and Statistical Cosmology, 1890-1924 - Erich Robert Paul

The Milky Way Galaxy and Statistical Cosmology, 1890-1924

Hardcover Published: 26th November 1993
ISBN: 9780521353632
Number Of Pages: 280

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Between the years 1890 and 1924, the dominant view of the Universe suggested a cosmology largely foreign to contemporary ideas. First, astronomers believed they had confirmed that the Sun was roughly in the center of our star system, the Milky Way Galaxy. Second, considerable evidence indicated that the size of the Galaxy was only about one-third the value now accepted by today's astronomers. Third, it was thought that interstellar space was completely transparent, that there was no absorbing material between the stars. Fourth, astronomers believed that the Universe was composed of numerous star systems comparable to the Milky Way Galaxy. The method that provided this picture and came to dominate cosmology was 'statistical' in nature, because it was based on the counts of stars and their positions, motions, brightnesses, and stellar spectra. Drawing on previously neglected archival material, Professor Paul describes the rise of this statistical cosmology in light of developments in nineteenth-century astronomy and explains how this cosmology set the stage for many of the most significant developments we associate with the astronomy of the twentieth century. Statistical astronomy was the crucial link that provided much of modern astronimical science with its foundation.

Industry Reviews

'Paul's book, which will fill an important gap in the history of astronomy, may become the standard reference on its subject matter for a pivotal era.' Richard Berendzen, Journal for the History of Astronomy

List of illustrations
Abbreviations of manuscript sources
The Nineteenth-Century Background
Statistical Cosmology, 1890-1924
Statistical Cosmology and the Second Astronomical Revolution: Appendices
Bibliographical notes
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521353632
ISBN-10: 0521353637
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 280
Published: 26th November 1993
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.11 x 14.73  x 2.29
Weight (kg): 0.57

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