Parallax : The Race to Measure the Cosmos (Reprint)

Parallax : The Race to Measure the Cosmos (Reprint)

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  • 製本 Paperback:紙装版/ペーパーバック版
  • 言語 ENG,ENG
  • 商品コード 9780805071337
  • DDC分類 520

Full Description


How can we measure the distance to a star? Beginning in ancient Greece, history's greatest scientific minds applied themselves to the problem in vain. Not until the nineteenth century would three men, armed with the best telescopes of their age, race to conquer this astronomical Everest. Parallax tells the fast-moving story of their contest, which ended in a dead heat. Against a sweeping backdrop filled with kidnappings, dramatic rescue, swordplay, madness, and bitter rivalry, Alan W. Hirshfeld brings to life the heroes -- and heroines -- of this remarkable chapter in history. Characters include the destitute boy plucked from a collapsed building who grew up to become the world's greatest telescope maker; the hot-tempered Dane whose nose was lopped off in a duel over mathematics; a merchant's apprentice forced to choose between the lure of money and his passion for astronomy; and the musician who astounded the world by discovering a new planet from his own backyard. Generously illustrated with period engravings and paintings, Parallax is an unforgettable ride through time and space.

Table of Contents

Introduction                                       xi
Part 1
Reinventing the Cosmos 1 (18)
The Circle Game 19 (14)
What If the Sun Be Center to the World? 33 (16)
Crossed Eyes and Wobbling Stars 49 (26)
Part 2
The heavens Erupt 75 (20)
The Turbulent Lens 95 (18)
The Wrangler of Pisa 113(22)
The Archimedean Engine 135(16)
A Coal Celler with a View 151(20)
Double Vision 171(22)
Part 3
Dismal Swamp 193(14)
The Twice-Built Telescope 207(16)
Quest for Precision 223(12)
So Many Grasshoppers 235(10)
The Star in the Lyre 245(12)
The Subtle Weave 257(12)
Epilogue A Drink from the Well 269(13)
Acknowledgments 282(2)
Notes and Further Reading 284(21)
Index 305