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The Shape and Size of the Earth : A Historical Journey from Homer to Artificial Satellites - Dino Boccaletti

The Shape and Size of the Earth

A Historical Journey from Homer to Artificial Satellites

Hardcover Published: 17th July 2018
ISBN: 9783319905921
Number Of Pages: 193

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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.

1 The Graeco-Roman World.- 1.1 Homer and Hesiod.- 1.2 The Ionic School.- 1.3 Pythagoras and the Pythagorean School succeeding Schools, the Atomists, Plato.- 1.4 Aristotle.- 1.5 Pytheas' travel and the early Greek geography.- 1.6 Eratosthenes' measurement of the Earth.- 1.7 The Graeco-Roman Civilization and the Decline of Science.- 1.7.1 Strabo of Amasia (Pontus).- 1.7.2 Ptolemy's Geography.- 1.7.3 Pomponius Mela and the Roman's Cosmography.- 2 The Roman world from the end of the republic to the end of the empire.- 2.1 The Caesar's Age.- 2.2 From the August's age to Diocletian's age.- 2.3 The Late Antiquity - The Decline of the Roman Empire.- 2.3.1 Lactance.- 2.3.2 St. Ambrose.- 2.3.3 St. Augustine.- 2.3.4The last Latin Encyclopedists of the Roman Empire.- 3 The Middle Ages.- 3.1 Boethius - The end of the Latin world and the beginning of the Middle Ages.- 3.2 The Christians Encyclopedists of the Early Middle Ages.- 3.2.1 Isidore of Seville.- 3.2.2 Bede the Venerable.- 3.3 The early Scholastics.- 3.4 The problem of the overcelestial waters in the Scholastics of the XII century.- 3.4.1 Abelard.- 3.4.2 The School of Chartres.- 3.4.3 Alexander of Neckam.- 3.5 On the shoulders of giants - the XIII century and the Aristotelian cosmos.- 3.5.1 Iohannes of Sacrobosco (or in English, John of Holywood).- 3.5.2 Robert Grosseteste.- 3.5.3 Bartholomew the Englishman (Bartholomaeus Anglicus).- 3.5.4 Albertus Magnus and Roger Bacon.- 3.5.5 Dante and the Questio de Aqua et Terra.- 3.6 The XIV century and the new interpretations of the Aristotles's theory of the natural world.- 3.6.1 Jean Buridan.- 4 From the age of the great transoceanic discoveries to the new measurements of the Earth .90.- 4.5 The translation of Ptolemy's Geography and the books that Columbus annotated.- 4.2 Jean Fernel and the new measure of the degree of the terrestrial meridian.- 4.3 Nicholas Copernicus and Christoph Clavius.- 4.4 Willebrord Snell and the first triangulation.- 4.5 Jean Picard and the beginning of the French triangulations.- 5 The Figure and the size of the Earth in the XVIII Century.- 5.1 The Observations of Richer at Cayenne and their consequences.- 5.2 Newton's and Huygens' theories of the Earth' shape.- 5.3 The Peru and Lapland Expeditions.- 5.4 Clairaut's Figure de la Terre.- 5.5 The Metre.- 6 From the French Revolution to the artificial Satellites - Epilogue.- The concept of Geoid.- The mathematical Model.- The satellitar Geodesy

ISBN: 9783319905921
ISBN-10: 3319905929
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 193
Published: 17th July 2018
Publisher: Springer International Publishing AG
Country of Publication: CH
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.48