Search Results for: father of

Lisa commits the ‘father of’ sin

I have lived more than half of my life in Germany but one way that I maintain contact with my British roots is that I listen to two and a half hours of BBC Radio 4 on Sunday mornings. This … Continue reading

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The father of…

For a change today’s birthday boy is not an obscure mathematician or astronomer but a famous chemist, indeed the very ‘father of chemistry’ or if you prefer the ‘founder of modern chemistry’ Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier who was born on the … Continue reading

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Like father like son

Anybody who did physics at school has almost certainly at some point stumbled across Snell’s Law; this is a law in optics that states that for a light ray travelling from one medium into another the ratio of the sines … Continue reading

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Galileo’s the 12th most influential person in Western History – Really?

Somebody, who will remain nameless, drew my attention to a post on the Presidential Politics for America blog shortly before Christmas in order to provoke me. Anybody who knows me and my blogging will instantly recognise why I should feel … Continue reading

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Filed under History of Astronomy, History of Optics, History of science, Myths of Science, Renaissance Science

Cosmographer to a Grand Duke and a Pope

Egnatio Danti is not a name that is known outside the circle of Renaissance historians of science. If you mention his name people often think you are talking about Dante the Italian medieval poet. Even Wikipedia asks, “Did you mean … Continue reading

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Filed under History of Astronomy, History of Cartography, History of Mathematics, History of science, Renaissance Science

Conversations in a sixteenth century prison cell

Science writer Michael Brooks has thought up a delightful conceit for his latest book.* The narrative takes place in a sixteenth century prison cell in Bologna in the form of a conversation between a twenty-first century quantum physicist (the author) … Continue reading

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Filed under Book Reviews, Early Scientific Publishing, History of Astrology, History of Astronomy, History of Physics, Renaissance Science, Uncategorized

Isaac Beeckman – candle maker, hydro-engineer, schoolteacher, lens grinder, natural philosopher…

I first stumbled across Isaac Beeckman when I was learning about the early history of the telescope. In his Journal, about which more later, he wrote how Johannes Zachariassen, who was teaching him lens grinding, explained how he and his … Continue reading

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Bringing the heavens down to earth

The Frisian Protestant pastor and amateur astronomer, David Fabricius, was beaten to death by one of his parishioners on 7 May 1617. Because he corresponded with both Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler and was quite a significant figure in Early … Continue reading

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The problem with superlatives

I have on several occasions in the past written about the problems of the use of certain superlative terms in presentations of the history of science, in particular in popular ones, such as first, father of, founder of and the … Continue reading

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Measure for measure

The Brexit vote in the UK has produced a bizarre collection of desires of those Leavers eager to escape the poisonous grasp of the Brussels’ bureaucrats. At the top of their list is a return of the death penalty, a … Continue reading

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Filed under History of Mathematics, History of Navigation, History of science, Uncategorized