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Copernicus' Secret: How the Scientific…
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Copernicus' Secret: How the Scientific Revolution Began (edició 2007)

de Jack Repcheck (Autor)

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Nicolaus Copernicus gave the world perhaps the most important scientific insight of the modern age, the theory that the earth and the other planets revolve around the sun, and that the earth rotates on its axis every 24 hours--nearly everyone then believed that a perfectly still earth rested in the middle of the cosmos, where all the heavenly bodies revolved around it. A transcendent genius, Copernicus was also a flawed and conflicted person. During the tumultuous years of the early Reformation, he may have been sympathetic to the teachings of the Lutherans. Supremely confident intellectually, he hesitated to disseminate his work--in fact, he kept it a secret, and the manuscript containing his theory, which he refined for at least twenty years, remained "hidden among my things." It might never have been published if not for the enthusiasm of a young mathematician who journeyed hundreds of miles to meet him.--From publisher description.… (més)
Membre:thomasgun
Títol:Copernicus' Secret: How the Scientific Revolution Began
Autors:Jack Repcheck (Autor)
Informació:Simon & Schuster (2007), Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster Hardcover Ed, 256 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Copernicus' Secret: How the Scientific Revolution Began de Jack Repcheck

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Es mostren totes 4
An insight into the other players involved in the research and publication of "the sun is the center of the universe" theory. Overall a dry read, but some interesting passages. ( )
  lindap69 | Apr 5, 2013 |
I picked this one up at the planetarium gift shop mostly because of the title, I think. I knew about Copernicus, and that he was the discoverer of the sun-centered solar system. But when I got into the book, I realized that there was so much I didn't know about him.

Copernicus was born in modern-day Poland. After his father's death, his uncle, a bishop, took care of him and his brother and paid for their university education. It was there that Copernicus began to study astronomy for the first time. But he never really did what you would expect. He got a degree in canonical law, not astronomy, and returned to Poland to become a canon. He almost completely gave up astronomy, except for his own private studies, which he didn't publish. And he became the town doctor. I also found that he became a military hero after he saved his town of Warmia from invasion and negotiated the peace.

It wasn't until the second half of the book that we get to understand how Copernicus and his discoveries became public knowledge, all because of his friendship with a young Lutheran mathematician and scientist.

I think this book could have easily been twice as long, and would have been better. But for an overview of Copernicus, his background and his discoveries, it is a good place to begin. I liked the pictures and illustration, and the last chapters, which covered the astronomers who succeeded him. Recommended. 3.5 stars ( )
1 vota cmbohn | Apr 16, 2010 |
(posted on my blog: davenichols.net)

The story of Nicolaus Copernicus is one of the most interesting tales in all of science history. In Copernicus' Secret, Jack Repcheck takes a look at the man who wrote the book which set the stage for a fundamental revolution in science.

Repcheck's writing is at times tedious. There were moments when his narrative bogged down heavily in details of relationships, dry descriptions of locales, and subjective reporting of possible events (such as things that may have been said or experienced which are largely supposition by the author). There were stretches where I wasn't really enjoying the book.

But then, there were large sections of the book that were outstanding. The details of Copernicus's life, and those who influenced and were influenced by him, are vivid and presented along with a unique account of the religious and social upheaval going on in Reformation-era Poland. The relationship between Copernicus and Rheticus is told very well, despite the inclusion of occasional suppositions.

Overall, despite the weaknesses, this is a fine account of the life of a significant figure in history. The book is fairly brief, with text of less than 200 pages, and while it sometimes bogs in off-topic details, the overall presentation is informative and largely enjoyable. Three and one-half stars. ( )
1 vota IslandDave | Sep 15, 2009 |
Copernicus never wanted to publish his manuscript that offered mathematical proof for a heliocentric model of the universe (not to mention an earth that rotated on its axis once every 24 hours). Apparently he was loathe to be ridiculed.

This small and enjoyable volume gives details on the life of Copernicus and the efforts of his contemporaries to get him to publish his ground-breaking work. (Early on, he did publish a summary of what he had found, albeit without the supporting equations.)

Copernicus was in trouble a lot, but not because of his astronomy. He was a Canon of the Church, but put off taking vows to be a priest because it seemed he liked the company of women. Furthermore, he didn’t shun adherents of the Prostestant Reformation as his Bishop would have preferred. In fact, one of his last students, Rheticus, was from the hotbed of Lutheranism itself, the University of Wittenberg.

What makes this book so unexpectedly interesting is all the information it imparts on the beginnings of the Reformation, and how and why it was anathematized by the Catholic Church. We also learn how, for both religions, the practice of astrology had critical importance. And we get insights into the characters of Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon (drafter of the Augsburg Confession).

Speaking of confessions, I must admit I liked this book most for its religious history. And the combination of religious and scientific tumults: what could be bad? Very pleasant read.

(JAF) ( )
1 vota nbmars | Feb 28, 2008 |
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Nicolaus Copernicus gave the world perhaps the most important scientific insight of the modern age, the theory that the earth and the other planets revolve around the sun, and that the earth rotates on its axis every 24 hours--nearly everyone then believed that a perfectly still earth rested in the middle of the cosmos, where all the heavenly bodies revolved around it. A transcendent genius, Copernicus was also a flawed and conflicted person. During the tumultuous years of the early Reformation, he may have been sympathetic to the teachings of the Lutherans. Supremely confident intellectually, he hesitated to disseminate his work--in fact, he kept it a secret, and the manuscript containing his theory, which he refined for at least twenty years, remained "hidden among my things." It might never have been published if not for the enthusiasm of a young mathematician who journeyed hundreds of miles to meet him.--From publisher description.

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