Uncentering the Earth : Copernicus and the revolutions of the heavenly spheres /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator: Vollmann, William T.
Format: Book
Language:English
Edition:First edition.
Imprint: New York : Norton, [2006]
Series:Great discoveries.
Subjects:
Retention:Retained for Eastern Academic Scholars' Trust (EAST) http://eastlibraries.org/retained-materials
Table of Contents:
  • List of Diagrams
  • Notes
  • Why the Universe Screams
  • Exegesis: Osiander's Preface and I.1-4
  • Once upon a time, beneath an unspotted sun
  • Provenance of the preface
  • Rev. I.1. What ought to be must be
  • Spherical finitude
  • I.2. The spherical Earth
  • Starry proofs
  • I.3. Proportioning water on the Earth
  • I.4. Eternal circles, circles around circles
  • The ecliptic and the Zodiac
  • The equinoxes
  • Ecliptic wriggles
  • A complaint against contrary movements
  • I.4 (cont'd). "We must however confess that the movements are circular"
  • On guard
  • What We Believed: Cosmology
  • Centeredness as inevitability
  • Twelve impieties
  • Ptolemy's justifications
  • Polish courtyards
  • The dead hand
  • Epicycles
  • Diagram of a water-mill
  • Equants
  • The parable of the Alphonsine Tables
  • One thing with many effects
  • Exegesis: I.5
  • What We Believed: Motion
  • Earth's appropriate position
  • Natural versus compulsory motion
  • Willed perfection
  • "Circular movement belongs to wholes and rectilinear to parts"
  • Stillness
  • Exegesis: I.5 (cont'd)-I.9
  • I.5. "Does the Earth have a circular movement?"
  • I.6. The geometry of heavenly immensity
  • I.7-9. Copernicus almost defines gravity
  • A digression on Neptune's atmosphere
  • A sub-digression on the Coriolis Effect
  • "Then what should we say about the clouds?"
  • I.9. Centering the sun
  • The Limits of Observation in 1543
  • How easy it used to be to save the appearances!
  • Foucault's pendulum
  • "Bequeathed like a legacy"
  • "Binoculars are usually needed"
  • Exegesis: I.10-14
  • I.10. Simplifying and rearranging the heavenly spheres
  • I.11. The Earth's three movements
  • I.12-14. Some theorems of plane and spherical geometry
  • Orbits of Venus
  • "In line with the Water-Bearer's testicles"
  • Parallax
  • Another perfect circle
  • "Then what will they say is contained in all this space?"
  • "An easier and more convenient demonstration"
  • "More complicated than the Ptolemaic system"
  • "But now the Telescope manifestly shows these horns"
  • Exegesis: Book II
  • II.1-2: Uncentering definitions
  • II.3-14: Tables and transformations
  • What We Believed: Scriptures
  • The parable of the lodestone
  • Exempt from re-examination
  • The status of the sun when Lot came to Zo'ar
  • "Aided by spiritual insight"
  • Twenty-four centuries since Creation
  • Axioms of Scriptural astronomy
  • The leaden square
  • "The Sun did run much more than 7,000 miles"
  • Exegesis: Book III
  • III.1-3: Spica's variables
  • III.3-4: The lost ellipse
  • III.5-26: Eccentrics, epicycles and an uncentered Earth
  • Silent to the End
  • "A pale, insignificant figure"
  • Postludes to an occultation
  • Fish days and meat days in Gynopolis
  • "Nobody shall have any proper pretext to suspect evil of me hereafter"
  • Safe at last
  • Exegesis: Book IV
  • IV.2-4: "I say that the lunar appearances agree"
  • IV.4-32: Distances, diameters, volumes
  • The Pillars of Hercules
  • "I doubt not that certain savants have taken great offense"
  • To the Eighth Circle
  • Herschel's looming universe
  • Exegesis: Book V
  • V.1-5: The Martian circles
  • V.4-36: Rescuing Mercury from injury and disparagement
  • Assessments
  • "Rotting in a coffer"
  • False supposition, true demonstration
  • Exegesis: Book VI
  • VI.1-8: Inclination, obliquation, deviation
  • VI.9: "Except that in the case of Mercury ..."
  • Simplicity
  • Astrologers' shameful recourse
  • Epilogue to Mercury's obliquation
  • Back to iron-grubbing
  • But the universe screamed
  • Burnings
  • The Medicean planets
  • Resolutely Copernican
  • "How great would have been thy joy"
  • "Newly emerging values still seeking intellectual justification"
  • "Safely back on a solid Earth"
  • Chronology
  • Glossary
  • Sources
  • Bibliography
  • Acknowledgments