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Your search for posts with tags containing History of Optics found 46 posts

Vision, Seeing Better, Seeing Further

In the normal blog post rotation, a book review should be due today. However, instead today’s post is a literature review, listing and describing books on the histories of the theories of vision, spectacles, and telescopes, with the latter coming first...
From: The Renaissance Mathematicus on 21 Sep 2022

The Wizard Earl’s mathematici 

In my recent post on the Oxford mathematician and astrologer Thomas Allen, I mentioned his association with Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland, who because of his strong interest in the sciences was known as the Wizard Earl. HENRY PERCY, 9TH...
From: The Renaissance Mathematicus on 3 Aug 2022

Renaissance science – XXIX

In theory the undergraduate course of study at medieval universities was based on the seven liberal arts, the trivium–grammar, rhetoric, logic–and the quadrivium–arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. What was actually taught at individual...
From: The Renaissance Mathematicus on 25 Feb 2022

STOMP. STOMP, STOMP … KEPLER DID WOT!

I really shouldn’t but the HISTSCI_HULK is twisting my arm and muttering dark threats, so here goes. A week ago, we took apart Vedang Sati’s post 10 Discoveries By Newton That Changed The World. When I copied it to my blog, I removed the links that...
From: The Renaissance Mathematicus on 17 Jan 2022

The astronomical librarian 

I’m continuing my look at the French mathematician astronomers of the seventeenth century with some of those, who were both members of Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc’s group of telescopic, astronomical observers, as well as Marin Mersenne’s informal Academia...
From: The Renaissance Mathematicus on 24 Nov 2021

Musical, mathematical Minim, Marin Mersenne 

In the seventeenth century, Marin Mersenne (1588–1648) was a very central and highly influential figure in the European intellectual and scientific communities; a man, who almost literally knew everybody and was known by everybody in those communities....
From: The Renaissance Mathematicus on 29 Sep 2021

I do wish people wouldn’t post things like this

I stumbled across the following image on Facebook, being reposted by people who should know better, and it awoke my inner HISTSCI_HULK: I shall only be commenting on the first three images, if anybody has any criticism of the other ones, they’re...
From: The Renaissance Mathematicus on 3 Sep 2021

Christmas Trilogy 2020 Part 2: Charles brightens up the theatre

There is a strong tendency in the present to view Charles Babbage as a one trick pony i.e., Babbage the computer pioneer. In reality he was a true polymath whose intellectual activities covered a very wide spectrum. Already as a student at Cambridge,...
From: The Renaissance Mathematicus on 26 Dec 2020

The emergence of modern astronomy – a complex mosaic: Part L

By the end of the eighteenth century, Newton’s version of the heliocentric theory was firmly established as the accepted model of the solar system. Whilst not yet totally accurate, a reasonable figure for the distance between the Earth and the Sun,...
From: The Renaissance Mathematicus on 2 Dec 2020

Microscopes & Submarines

The development of #histSTM in the early decades of the Dutch Republic, or Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, to give it its correct name, was quite extraordinary. Alongside the development of cartography and globe making, the most advanced in...
From: The Renaissance Mathematicus on 2 Sep 2020

A scientific Dutchman

For many decades the popular narrative version of the scientific revolution started in Poland/Germany with Copernicus moving on through Tycho in Denmark, Kepler in Germany/Austria, Galileo et al in Northern Italy, Descartes, Pascal, Mersenne etc., in...
From: The Renaissance Mathematicus on 20 Aug 2020

Giambattista della Porta the most polymathic of all Renaissance polymaths?

Giambattista della Porta (1535(?)–1615) is well known to historians of Renaissance science but for the general public he remains a largely unknown figure. If he is known at all,  he is often written off as an occultist, because of the title...
From: The Renaissance Mathematicus on 5 Aug 2020

The emergence of modern astronomy – a complex mosaic: Part XXXIX

The emergence of modern astronomy – a complex mosaic: Part XXXIX One of the most often repeated false statements in the history of science is that Isaac Newton discovered gravity. Of course he didn’t discovery it, it’s all around us....
From: The Renaissance Mathematicus on 1 Jul 2020

The emergence of modern astronomy – a complex mosaic: Part XXXIV

Without any doubt the biggest impact on the discussion of astronomy and cosmology at the beginning of the seventeenth century was made by the invention of the telescope in 1608 and the subsequent discoveries that were made by astronomers with the new...
From: The Renaissance Mathematicus on 22 Apr 2020

Annus mythologicus

Almost inevitably Newton’s so-called Annus mirabilis has become a social media meme during the current pandemic and the resulting quarantine. Not surprisingly Neil deGrasse Tyson has once again led the charge with the following on Twitter: When...
From: The Renaissance Mathematicus on 15 Apr 2020

Stylish writing is not necessarily good science

I have become somewhat infamous for writing #histSTM blog posts that are a predominately negative take on the scientific achievements of Galileo Galilei. In fact I think I probably made my breakthrough as a #histsci blogger with my notorious Extracting...
From: The Renaissance Mathematicus on 16 Jan 2020

The Royal Society really needs to work on its history of the telescope

One would think that the Royal Society being one of the eldest, but not the eldest as they like to claim, scientific societies in Europe when presenting themselves as purveyors of the history of science, would take the trouble to get their facts right....
From: The Renaissance Mathematicus on 30 Oct 2019

The emergence of modern astronomy – a complex mosaic: Part XX

It is not an exaggeration to say that the invention of telescope was a very major turning point in the general history of science and in particular the history of astronomy. Basic science is fundamentally empirical; people investigating the world make...
From: The Renaissance Mathematicus on 25 Sep 2019

The emergence of modern astronomy – a complex mosaic: Part XIX

Tycho and Kepler was one of the most important partnerships in the history of Early Modern science and a good counter example to those who mistakenly believe in the lone genius myth. Tycho the observational astronomer with an obsession for accuracy, who...
From: The Renaissance Mathematicus on 11 Sep 2019

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