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Lecture 7

Lecture 7 - Greek Philosophy (continued), Astronomy in the Middle Ages, Copernicus.doc

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York University
Natural Science
NATS 1745
Robin Metcalfe

Lecture 7 - Ancient Greece (continued), Middle Ages, Copernicus, Tycho Brahe Tuesday, January 28, 2014 1. Ancient Greece 2. Middle Ages 3. Copernicus 4. Tycho Brahe - Note: remember that the Ptolemaic model is a modified version of the Babylonian epicycle model (1) Features of the Ptolemaic model (contd.): ii. the connection of the planets’ motion to the Sun’s position iii. Two rules: (1) The epicycle of the inner planets rotate with the Sun (2) The lines connecting the outer planets to the center of their epicycles remain parallel to the Earth- Sun line 4. Ptolemy placed the planets in order of their decreasing apparent speed. The order of the planets was correct, but the Sun and Earth were incorrectly switched 5. By assuming no space between adjacent orbits, Ptolemy estimated the “Universe’s” size to be roughly 20 000 Earth radii (actual: 260 000). Despite the error, this proved the enormous distance to the stars th th (2) Astronomy in the Middle Ages (5 -15 C AD) 1. The Dark Ages (5 -7 C): As the Church became more involved in State affairs, knowledge of Astronomy declined due to: i. Study of the sky not emphasized in the Bible ii. Rejection of Ancient Greek ideas as contrary to Scripture iii. Loss of Ancient Greek texts (Latin became the official language of scholarship) th th th 2. 9-12 (9 -12 C): Islamic scholars continued from where the Ancient Greeks left off, as the Qur’an encourages knowledge of the sky for time-keeping 3. Interactions between Islamic scholars and Greek refugees led to translations of Greek texts into Arabic (e.g. The Almagest) 4. Islamic scholars created star catalogues in which the stars were renamed with Arabic descriptions. When these catalogues made their way into Europe, the Arabic star names persisted 5. Contact between Christian and Islamic scholars in Muslim Spain led to Latin translations of the Arabic versions of the Greek texts th 6. Regiomontanus (15 C): His Latin translation of The Almagest led Christian scholars to adopt the Aristotelian-Ptolemaic cosmology owing to it
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