ASTR 340 Spring 2015 Great Astronomers and Their Original Publications (W)

Cross Listed as HSCI340, LEAD340
In this academic year of the study of the book, honoring the new library and the expansion of the Chapin Library of Rare Books, we study many of the greatest names in the history of astronomy, consider their biographies, assess their leadership roles in advancing science, and examine and handle their first-edition books and other publications. Our study includes the original books published as follows: 16th-century, Nicolaus Copernicus (heliocentric universe); Tycho Brahe (best pre-telescopic observations); 17th-century, Galileo (discoveries with his first astronomical telescope, 1610; sunspots, 1613; Dialogo, 1632), Johannes Kepler (laws of planetary motion, 1609, 1619), Johannes Hevelius and Elisabeth Hevelius (atlases of stars and of the Moon, 1647 and 1687), Isaac Newton (laws of universal gravitation and of motion, 1687); 18th-century, Edmond Halley (Miscellanea curiosa, eclipse maps, 1715, 1724); John Flamsteed and Margaret Flamsteed (Atlas Coelestis, 1729); William Herschel and Caroline Herschel (1781, 1798). In more recent centuries, the original works are articles: 20th-century: Albert Einstein (special relativity, 1905; general relativity, 1916); Marie Curie (radioactivity); Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin (hydrogen dominating stars, 1929), Edwin Hubble (Hubble's law, 1929); Vera Rubin (dark matter, 1970s); Jocelyn Bell (pulsar discovery, 1968); 21st-century: Wendy Freedman (Universe's expansion rate, 2000s). We will also read biographies and recent novels dealing with some of the above astronomers. With the collaboration of the librarians, we will visit not only the Chapin Library of Rare Books but also the rare-book library at the Clark Art Institute to see its works of astronomical interest.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation, two 5-page intermediate papers, and a final 15-page paper
Additional Info: not available for the Gaudino option
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Enrollment Preference: if over enrolled, preference by written paragraph of explanation of why student wants to take the course
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Divisional Attributes: Division III,Writing Intensive
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Enrollment Limit: 15
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Class Number: 3031
ASTR 340 - 01 (S) SEM Great Astronomers; Rare Books (W) Division 3: Science and MathematicsWriting Intensive Jay M. Pasachoff
W 1:10 PM-3:50 PM 3031
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