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The First Scientist: Anaximander and his legacy

by marcus
Tags: anaximander, legacy, scientist
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WhoWee
#37
Aug7-11, 11:16 PM
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Quote Quote by marcus View Post
In case of interest here is an excerpt of an online resource:
Timeline related to Greek Science and Technology
Thank you marcus - for this wonderful timeline.
marcus
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Aug7-11, 11:27 PM
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I'm glad you found it interesting! You might want to look at the source
http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/HistoricEvents.htm
but it is like drinking from a firehose. I edited selectively from it.
fuzzyfelt
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Aug8-11, 03:50 AM
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Very interesting, indeed. Thank you, Marcus.
WhoWee
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Aug8-11, 10:14 AM
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Quote Quote by marcus View Post
I'm glad you found it interesting! You might want to look at the source
http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/HistoricEvents.htm
but it is like drinking from a firehose. I edited selectively from it.
A firehose indeed.

From your link - a bibliography on publications related to Anaximander.
http://www.dirkcouprie.nl/Anaximander-bibliography.htm
marcus
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Aug19-11, 10:04 AM
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WhoWee, Fuzzyfelt, Apeiron, you might be interested in watching this short YouTube about the Antikythera device.
A scientist/historian/craftsman named Michael Wright made a lifesize working model. He operates the reconstructed device and explains it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eUibFQKJqI

Eclipses get predicted by a spiral dial. Planets go around at varying speeds and do their proper retrograde motion (as seen from the earth.) It's "high Greek science"--very neat.
WhoWee
#42
Aug20-11, 09:36 AM
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I didn't appreciate the complexity of the device until viewing this video.
marcus
#43
Aug21-11, 03:10 PM
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I want to appreciate how fast the Aegean science tradition developed after it got started around 600 BCE. Arithmetic is a lot easier for me, intuitively, going forward so I am going to repeat some of the earlier timeline starting the yearcount around 600 BCE.

According to Wkpd, Thales was born in 624 BCE so he would have been 24 years old in 600 BCE when I start the count. It impressed me to see how fast things took off after that. I'm going to call the yearcount "AET" for "Aegean explanatory tradition". If that's too long to say, just call it "Aegean time". Thales et al started a style of explanation (that we now call "natural") involving substances, material process and mechanisms instead of the Olympian pantheon. They used ideas like evaporation, condensation, celestial wheels, spheres, force, periodic motion, and they asked what causes stuff like rain thunder earthquakes lunar phases. They asked about proportions. Let's gauge how fast this developed once it got rolling.

I adapted this timeline from a German website and can't vouch for it in detail.


-200 AET (=800 BCE)
Phonetic Greek alphabet. The Ionian Greeks basically invented vowels, which the Phoenician alphabet they adopted did not have: Since Greek has fewer consonants than Phoenician, when applying the Phoenician alphabet they found they had some extra symbols left over. They assigned these unused Phoenician consonants to Greek vowell sounds.

-24 AET (=624 BCE)
Birth of Thales of Miletus, first documented searcher for systematic natural explanations.

-10 AET
Birth of Anaximander of Miletus (lived from -10 to 54 AET)

About 0 AET (=600 BCE)
Thales of Miletus (Θαλής ο Μιλήσιος ) arguing from the fact that wherever there is life, there is moisture, speculated that the basic stuff of nature is water, according to Aristotle. He brings Babylonian mathematical knowledge to Greece and uses geometry to solve problems such as calculating the height of pyramids and the distance of ships from the shore.

About 15 AET
Thales predicts a solar eclipse (probably thanks to Babylonian records, not to basic understanding, but anyway...)

About 40 AET
Anaximander (Αναξίμανδρος ο Μιλήσιος ) proposes that the Earth floats unsupported in space. The “author of the first geometrical model of the world...” Charles Kahn Anaximander and the Origins of Greek Cosmology. Proposed an explantation for rain: that it results from evaporation of water caused by the action of the sun. Proposed natural explanations for numerous other phenomena and suggested that land animals originated from sea life.

About 70 AET
Pythagoras (Πυθαγόρας ο Σάμιος; 30 to 110 AET ) discovered the dependence of musical intervals on the arithmetical ratios of the lengths of string at the same tension, 2:1 giving an octave, 3:2 the fifth, and 4:3 the fourth...Pythagoras proposed that sound is a vibration of air.

About 90 AET
Almaeon of Crotona (Αλκμαίων ο Κροτωνιάτης ) a member of the Pythagorean medical circle, located the seat of perception in the brain, or enkephalos, and maintained that there were passages connecting the senses to the brain, a position he was said to have arrived at by dissections of the optic nerve.

About 100 AET
Water system built by Eupalinus (Ευπαλίνος ο Μεγαρεύς) on Samos, three-quarter-mile-long tunnel, 20 meter deep, started simultaneously at both ends. Herodotus consider this as one of the three greatest Greek constructions.
Theodorus of Samos credited with invention of ore smelting and casting, water level, lock and key, carpenter's square, and turning lathe.
Xenophanes examined fossils and speculated on the evolution of the earth.

About 135 AET
Hippasus ('Ιππασος ο Μεταποντίνος) writes of a "sphere of 12 pentagons", which must refer to a dodecahedron

About 150 AET
Anaxagoras of Athens taught that the moon shines with the light of the sun and so was able to explain the eclipses.

About 160 AET
Leucippus of Miletus said that the world consisted in the void and atoms, which are imperceptible individual particles that differ only in size, shape, and position...
Oenopides of Chios (Οινοπίδης ο Χίος) probably created the first three of what became Euclid's 'postulates' or assumptions...

About 160-170 AET
Hippocrates of Chios squared the lune, a major step toward squaring the circle, probably using the theorem that circles are to one another as the squares of their diameters. He writes the Elements which is the first compilation of the elements of geometry

About 175 AET
Theodorus of Cyrene (Θεόδωρος ο Κυρηναίος) shows that certain square roots are irrational. This had been shown earlier but it is not known by whom.

About 180 AET
Democritus of Abdera (Δημόκριτος ο Αβδηρίτης) developed Leucippus's atomic theory: Atoms vibrate when hitched together in solid bodies and exist in a space which is infinite in extent and in which each star is a sun and has its own world...

About 213 AET
Plato founds his Academy in Athens

About 225 AET
Archytas of Tarentum develops mechanics. He constructs (the first?) automaton.

About 230-240 AET
Eudoxus of Cnidus invented a model of twenty-seven concentric spheres by which he was able to calculate the sun's annual motions through the zodiac, the moon's motion including its wobble, and the planets' retrograde motion. He used what came much later to be called the 'exhaustion method' for area determination. This method involved inscribing polygons within circles, reducing the difference ad absurdum, and was wholly geometric since there was at that time no knowledge of an arithmetical continuum, at least among the Greeks.

About 260 AET
Aristaeus writes Five Books concerning Conic Sections.
Praxagoras of Cos discovers the difference between arteries and veins.

About 265 AET
Strato, experiments with falling bodies and levers.

About 270 AET
Heraclides of Pontus said that the earth turns daily on its axis "while the heavenly things were at rest..., considered the cosmos to be infinite..., [and] with the Pythagoreans, considered each planet to be a world with an earth-like body and with an atmosphere" (Dreyer 1906:123-125). He also suggested that Mercury and Venus have the sun at the center of their spheres.
Pytheas navigated the British Isles and the northern seas and upon returning home wrote about an island that he called Thule or Ultima Thule. Pytheas explained the tides as caused by the moon.
Aristotle, describes image projection in terms of the camera obscura.
Apparently about this time the diving bell used for work under water.

About 286 AET
The first reference to the pyroelectric effect by Theophrastus who noted that tourmaline becomes charged when heated.

290 AET
Birth of Aristarchus of Samos (lived 290-370 AET)

About 300 AET
Eukleides, better known as Euclid, published his Elements, a reorganized compilation of geometrical proofs including new proofs and a much earlier essay on the foundations of arithmetic. Elements conclude with the construction of Plato's five regular solids. Euclidean space has no natural edge, and is thus infinite. In his Optica, he noted that light travels in straight lines and described the law of reflection.
Dicaiarch of Messina (250-310 AET), Greek geographer introduces the notion of latitude and longitude in map-making.

About 310-340 AET
Aristarchus of Samos, in On the Sizes and Distances of the Sun and Moon, used trigonometry to estimate the size of the Moon and its distance by the Earth's shadow during a lunar eclipse. Inferred from observation that the Sun was much farther away than the Moon. Archimedes and others said that he maintained that the Moon revolved around the Earth and the Earth around the Sun which remained stationary like the stars.

313 AET
Birth of Archimedes (Αρχιμήδης ο Συρακούσιος; 313-388 AET)

324 NET
Birth of Eratosthenes of Cyrene (Ἐρατοσθένης ο Κυρηναίος; 324-405 AET)

About 330 AET
Greek inventor Ctesibius of Alexandria includes gearing in clepsydras

About 340-350 AET
Archimedes of Syracuse contributed numerous advances to science including the principle that a body immersed in fluid is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the displaced fluid and the calculation of the value of pi. "His method was to select definite and limited problems. He then formulated hypotheses which he either regarded, in the Euclidean manner, as self-evident axioms or could verify by simple experiments. The consequences of these he then deduced and experimentally verified" (Crombie 1952:278)...

About 355 AET
Callimachus of Cyrene, a scholar and librarian at the Library of Alexandria, "created for the first time a catalog of Greek literature covering 120,000 books, called the Pinakes or Tables."

About 360 AET
Eratosthenes calculated the diameter of the earth by measuring noontime shadows at sites 800 km. apart. Assuming the earth is a sphere, the measured angle between the sites is seven degrees and the circumference is about 50 times 800 km., or about 40,000 km.

About 370 AET
Eratosthenes develops his sieve method for finding all prime numbers.

About 375-390 AET
Apollonius of Perga writes Conics. He introduced probably first the terms 'parabola' and 'hyperbola,' curves formed when a plane intersects a conic section, and 'ellipse,' a closed curve formed when a plane intersects a cone.

Before 400 AET
Astrolabes were in use for taking the angular distance between any two objects, usually the elevation in the sky of planets.

In the early fifth century AET (i.e. the early 400s)
Diocles, in On Burning Mirrors, proved the focal property of a parabola and showed how the Sun's rays can be made to reflect a point by rotating a parabolic mirror (Toomer 1978).

About 466-473 AET
Hipparchus of Rhodes (Ιππαρχος ο Ρόδιος; c.410-480 AET) measured the year with great accuracy and built the first comprehensive star chart with 850 stars and a luminosity, or brightness, scale. He is credited with the discovery of the precession of the equinoxes, and [noted] that either of two geometrically constructed hypotheses could 'save the appearance' of the path that a planet follows: One shows the planets moving in eccentric circles and the other moving in epicycles carried by concentric circles (Duhem 1908:8).

This timeline is adapted from http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/HistoricEvents.htm I cannot vouch for it's accuracy. Some details would need to be checked. Corrections are welcome if anyone has some to suggest.
==========

Probably the best source for this whole development, especially the period 350-100 BCE (which would be Aegean years 250-500, through the time of Hipparchus in other words) is the book by Lucio Russo called The Forgotten Revolution.
marcus
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Aug22-11, 01:25 AM
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I just found the article on Anaximander at the IEP website. (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy).
http://www.iep.utm.edu/anaximan/

I knew about this, but when I tried to read it earlier the site was down. This time it was up. I really like it. Good source!

IEP has an article on Thales too. On scores of interesting people, in fact. At the top of every page there is an alphabet. Click on any letter and browse the names that begin with that letter.
fuzzyfelt
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Aug31-11, 12:17 PM
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Thank you, Marcus, this thread is a treat!
marcus
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Aug31-11, 01:20 PM
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Quote Quote by fuzzyfelt View Post
Thank you, Marcus, this thread is a treat!
Thanks to you, and WhoWee as well! It's a pleasure to share an interest like this with you.

Rovelli's new book just came out!
http://www.amazon.com/First-Scientis.../dp/1594161313
It already has one 5-star review, as I should know
Great book. Not only about a truly original scientific mind but also about the world of those independent coastal Ionian cities interconnected by sea (and in contact with older river-based civilizations.)
fuzzyfelt
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Aug31-11, 03:23 PM
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Quote Quote by marcus View Post
Thanks to you, and WhoWee as well! It's a pleasure to share an interest like this with you.

Rovelli's new book just came out!
http://www.amazon.com/First-Scientis.../dp/1594161313
It already has one 5-star review, as I should know
Great book. Not only about a truly original scientific mind but also about the world of those independent coastal Ionian cities interconnected by sea (and in contact with older river-based civilizations.)
Good news! I'm looking forward to reading it!
marcus
#48
Sep3-11, 09:38 AM
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I found more online source material about the Antikythera mechanism:
http://www.antikythera-mechanism.gr/...t-so-important

There is an FAQ maintained by "The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project". It gives the estimated date of construction as "150-100BC" which in my way of numbering the timeline of science starting from the time of Thales and Anaximander would be «450» to «500».
Look back at post #43 for a sample timeline. (I decided simple angle quotes were a better way to distinguish the year-number---rather than tagging with some abbreviation like "AET".
Or at least a convenient undistracting alternative.

I noticed that the Anaximander book is selling in the Japanese market as well as more obvious English-speaking ones (Usa, UK,...)
http://www.amazon.co.jp/First-Scient.../dp/1594161313


ベストセラー商品ランキング: 洋書 - 508,077位 (洋書のベストセラーを見る)
780位 ─ 洋書 > History > Ancient > Greece
1428位 ─ 洋書 > History > Europe > Greece
8197位 ─ 洋書 > Science > History & Philosophy

It could be fun to try to figure this out. I think 洋書 means ENGLISH. So amazon Japan has a special category of English books and First Scientist is #508,077 just among the English books.
I think 位 means "-th" so 508,077位 means 508,077-th

And then you can see that its salesrank is 780-th among the
English>History>Ancient>Greece books.

It could be that they only HAVE 780 books in that category at Amazon.co.jp
so Rovelli's book could be at the tail end of the line in Japan. But it is interesting they even stock it. They seem to have a lot of English titles at Amazon Japan and a pretty good selection by my standards. More kind of educated reader stuff. which makes sense because the people who want the cruder pops would be buying books in Japanese rather than English.
[Edit: 10 hours later the rank hadn't changed much: 洋書 - 508,205位 ]
marcus
#49
Sep3-11, 03:50 PM
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The Antikythera Mechanism is extremely beautiful and wonderful. It was contructed on the island of Rhodes and looted by the Romans when they attacked and invaded the island. But their ship sank in a storm and they never got it back to Rome.

See these lovely YouTubes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eUibFQKJqI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqhuAnySPZ0
Additional information in this as well:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrfMFhrgOFc&feature=fvst

X-ray tomography was used to map the gear trains and it was only finally understood in 2008 what all the device calculated (moon phases, planet positions, probable eclipse years on a 63 year cycle, olympiads...)
According to Wkpd http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_mechanism
Pindar the Greek poet 119±40 in his 7th Olympic ode (Epode 3) gave high praise to Rhodian craftsmanship ... But that was long before the Antikythera device was constructed.
West of Crete is the island of Kythera where Venus is said to have arisen from the sea, and a small island next to Kythera is called Antikythera. The Roman loot ship sank there in a storm on its way back to Rome.
marcus
#50
Sep5-11, 11:30 AM
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http://www.libreriauniversitaria.it/.../9788861840751

Finally the Italian edition of Rovelli's book. I think Mondadori is Italy's largest publisher, so they may do an effective job of promotion. Get it reviewed in the media and so on. That could have some effect on the reception of the English version, I imagine.
It looks like it's now available. "Usually ships in 5 to 6 working days."

The title is different. I will give a rough translation of the publisher's description:
What is science? Anaximander's revolution.
"All human civiliizations have believed that the world consisted of Heaven above and Earth below. All but one. For the Greeks the Earth was a rock floating in space: beneath the Earth there was neither a supporting ground, nor turtles, nor the gigantic columns of which the Bible speaks.
How did the Greeks come to realize that the Earth is suspended in emptiness? Who first grasped this, and how?
The author gives us an account of Anaximander's extraordinary «scientific revolution», which Karl Popper has described as «one of the boldest, most revolutionary, and most important ideas in the entire history of human thought.» And an account of the conflict this opened up, which is still burning. Also of the nature of scientific thought, of its ability to criticize and rebel, of the force with which it subverts the order of things and our image of the world. And an account as well of how scientific knowledge can be, at the same time, extremely effective and «wrong», as the example of XX Century physics shows. To discuss Anaximander is to reflect on the meaning of the scientific revolution that began with Einstein."

Here is the Italian original:

Che cos'è la scienza? La rivoluzione di Anassimandro
di Rovelli Carlo
Tutte le civiltà umane hanno sempre pensato che il mondo fosse fatto di Cielo sopra e Terra sotto. Tutte, eccetto una. Per i Greci la Terra era un sasso che galleggia nello spazio; sotto la Terra non c'era altra terra, né tartarughe, né le gigantesche colonne di cui parla la Bibbia. Come hanno fatto i Greci a comprendere che la Terra è sospesa nel nulla? Chi lo ha capito e come? È di questa straordinaria «rivoluzione scientifica» di Anassimandro che l'autore ci parla, e che Karl Popper ha definito «una delle idee più audaci, rivoluzionarie e portentose dell'intera storia del pensiero umano". E del conflitto che ha aperto, che ancora brucia. E della natura del pensiero scientifico, della sua capacità critica e ribelle, della forza con cui sovverte l'ordine delle cose e la nostra immagine del mondo; di un sapere scientifico estremamente efficace e «sbagliato» al tempo stesso, come ci insegna la fisica del xx secolo. Parlare di Anassimandro è riflettere su cosa significhi la rivoluzione scientifica aperta da Einstein.

I found some more detail here, a kind of newsletter on the media dated end July:
http://www.italiannetwork.it/news.aspx?id=29101

I was puzzled by not being able to find a picture of the COVER of the Italian edition
=========================

If anyone is new to the discussion, the English version of the book is here:
http://www.amazon.com/First-Scientis...dp/1594161313/
marcus
#51
Sep6-11, 04:13 PM
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I put the Table of Contents in a compact form so it gives a kind of outline of the book in a glance. You can see how the book is divided about evenly between a revealing spotlight on the past and reflections on its significance for the present.
http://www.amazon.com/First-Scientis.../dp/1594161313
==The First Scientist TOC==

Introduction xi

1.The Sixth Century 1
Knowledge and Astronomy 4/ The Gods 15/ Miletus 18

2.Anaximander’s Contributions 29

3.Atmospheric Phenomena 37
Cosmological and Biological Naturalism 42

4.Earth Floats in SpaceSuspended in the Void 45

5.Invisible Entities and Natural Laws 61
Thales: Water 62/ Anaximenes: Compressing and Rarefying 64/ Anaximander: Apeiron 65/ The Idea of Natural Law: Anaximander, Pythagoras, and Plato 70

6.Rebellion Becomes Virtue 75

7.Writing, Democracy, and Cultural Crossbreeding 83
The Greek Alphabet 87 Science and Democracy 93 Cultural Crossbreeding 97

8.What Is Science? 103
The Crumbling of Nineteenth-Century Illusions 104/ Science Cannot be Reduced to Verifiable Predictions 107/ Exploring Forms of Thought About the World 111/ The Evolving Worldview 114/ The Rules of the Game and Commensurability 120/ Why is Science Reliable? 123/ In Praise of Uncertainty 125

9.Between Cultural Relativism and Absolute Thought 131

10.Can We Understand the World Without Gods? 143
The Conflict 147

11.Prescientific Thought 157
The Nature of Mythical-Religious Thought 159 The Different Functions of the Divine 170

Conclusion 179

Notes 183/Bibliography 191/Index 199/Illustration Credit 210/Acknowledgments 211
marcus
#52
Sep6-11, 05:14 PM
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A couple of posts ago I was curious about the Italian edition and found out some things by going to the publisher's (Mondadori) page.
http://www.libreriauniversitaria.it/.../9788861840751
http://www.amazon.it/scienza-rivoluz...5349193&sr=1-1
But couldn't find anything about the front cover. Now I see the front of the Italian edition is a long-exposure picture of the Northern sky, showing how the stars move in concentric circles around the pole-star. From which (though without benefit of photography ) Anaximander was able to deduce there was nothing under the earth to support it. This picture, which is emblematic or iconic of one of his greatest insights, happens to be featured on the back cover of the English edition. Since I have the English edition, I can show you the jacket and you can see the sky picture I mean.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf First Scientist cover.pdf (687.1 KB, 2 views)
marcus
#53
Sep13-11, 05:49 PM
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Part of the interest in The First Scientist is the urge to understand the consequences of the scientific revolution that started in Ionia around 600. It's effects permeate our life---they are everywhere.
One can also say that about the invention of agriculture or the first stone tools, but among the human initiatives we can date and assign to definite persons the SciTech tradition is possibly the one with most pervasive influence on life today.

So I keep coming back to the SciTech timeline---the sequence of thoughts and events that started around 600 BC which we take as our SciTech "Year One" = 1 ST. If you prefer, think of "ST" as standing for "since Thales".
To illustrate the year numbering convention used here: Columbus sailed the ocean blue in twentyhundred-ninetytwo (2092 ST) and the first demonstration of an electromagnet motor was in 2421 ST by Faraday.
Approximate lifespans will be shown here by midpoint (± halflife)
For instance, Faraday lived 2429±38, fewer digits to remember than with the alternative style b. 2391 and d. 2467.
Here't the latest version of the timeline:

3 ST Solon lived 3±40.
16 ST Thales of Miletus lived 16±39; systematic natural explanations; calculated height of pyramids and distance of ships from the shore; predicted eclipse that occurred in 16 ST.
22 ST Anaximander of Miletus 22±32; Earth unsupported in space, “first geometrical model of the world...”; improved on Thales natural explanations. Nature governed by natural laws analogous to laws of a city?
70 ST Pythagoras of Samos (±40); mathematical formulation of natural laws.
137 ST Anaxagoras (±37); moon shines with the light of the sun, explaining phases and eclipses.
167 ST Socrates of Athens (±35)
218 ST Eudoxus of Cnidus (±28) detailed cosmic model with concentric spheres reproducing observed (e.g. retrograde) motions.
248 ST Aristotle (±31)
270 ST founding of the port city of Alexandria which became a hub of learning and scientific activity; among Mediterranean cities, second only to Rome in size and wealth.
300 ST publication (in Alexandria) of Euclid's Elements

302 ST Strato of Lampsacus (±32); performed physics experiments, noted the acceleration of falling bodies. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strato_of_Lampsacus
330 ST Aristarchus of Samos (±40); Inferred from observation that the Sun was much farther away than the Moon, and therefore much larger in actual size. Conceived the heliocentric model. According to Archimedes and others, he held that the Moon revolved around the Earth and the Earth around the Sun, which remained stationary like the stars.
351 ST Archimedes of Syracuse (±38) contributed numerous advances to science including the principle that a body immersed in fluid is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the displaced fluid. "His method was to select definite and limited problems. He then formulated hypotheses which he either regarded, in the Euclidean manner, as self-evident axioms or could verify by simple experiments. The consequences of these he then deduced and experimentally verified" [Crombie 1952, page 278]. Constructed cosmic models using gearwheels. For a later example which has survived, see:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eUibFQKJqI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqhuAnySPZ0
Additional information in this as well:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrfMFhrgOFc&feature=fvst
He also got some nice math results, for instance in solid geometry, and calculated the value of pi.
365 ST Eratosthenes of Cyrene (±40); calculated the circumference of the earth and basically got it right (accurate to within a couple of percent).
445 ST Hipparchus of Rhodes (±35) Besides much else, he determined that the distance to the moon was about 60 times the radius of the Earth.

Starting around 500 ST Roman expansion (the Macedonian Wars) disrupted the Hellenistic east Mediterranean. Learning survived in dumbed-down version from which, however, it was eventually able to be revived.
1415 ST Muhummad al-Khwarizmi (±35); Persian mathematician and astronomer, wrote a standard algebra text On Calculation by Completion and Balancing (al-Jabr wa'l Muqubalah = completion and balancing) and a book on "Indian" positional notation that introduced decimal numbers to Europe.
1690 ST Omar Khayyam (±42); Persian poet, mathematician, astronomer.
2092 ST Columbus' voyage
2200 ST Kepler (±30) Stated his first two laws in 2205: (i) Orbits are elliptical with sun at one focus (ii) Planet sweeps out area in its ellipse at a steady rate. Third (square-cube) law in 2218: If you square the number of years that a planet takes to orbit what you get is the cube of its average distance from the sun compared with that of the earth. If a planet takes 8 years to orbit then it must be 4 times farther than we are from the sun because 82=43.
2203 ST Galileo (±39); in 2210 observed Jovian moons with telescope, in 2232 published "Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems."
2275 ST roughly accurate measurement of the speed of light by Olaus Roemer at the Paris Observatory.
2388 ST Pierre-Simon Laplace (±39) "Celestial Mechanics" published in several volumes right around 2400. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre-Simon_Laplace
2429 ST Michael Faraday (±38); first demonstrated an electromagnet motor in 2421. Much more. The idea of a field. Intuiting molecular structure. One of three people whose pictures Albert Einstein had on the wall of his office at the IAS. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Faraday
2455 ST James Clerk Maxwell (±24) published "A dynamical theory of the electromagnetic field." in 2464. Another of Einstein's three portraits.
2505 ST Einstein's Wunderjahr.
2515 ST publication of the geometric theory of gravity.
2546 ST semiconductor solar cell patented by Russell Ohl (developed for practical application 2554 at Bell Labs) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photovoltaic_cell
2611 ST present :)

Feel welcome to suggest additions!
fuzzyfelt
#54
Sep14-11, 09:58 AM
PF Gold
fuzzyfelt's Avatar
P: 742
Very nice! The third on Einstein's wall was Newton?
(My ordered copy is still some weeks away.)


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