Download Galileo's Glassworks: The Telescope and the Mirror by Eileen Reeves PDF

By Eileen Reeves

The Dutch telescope and the Italian scientist Galileo have lengthy loved a sturdy connection within the well known mind--so a lot in order that it kind of feels this easy glass software remodeled a slightly modest middle-aged student into the daring icon of the Copernican Revolution. And but the extreme pace with which the telescope replaced the process Galileo's lifestyles and early smooth astronomy obscures the astronomer's personal apparently not on time come upon with the tool. This ebook considers the lapse among the telescope's construction within the Hague in 1608 and Galileo's alleged acquaintance with such information ten months later. In an inquiry into clinical and cultural historical past, Eileen Reeves explores basic questions of highbrow responsibility: what did Galileo comprehend of the discovery of the telescope, and whilst did he understand it? The checklist means that Galileo, like every of his friends, at first misunderstood the elemental layout of the telescope. In looking to clarify the distance among the telescope's emergence and the alleged date of the astronomer's acquaintance with it, Reeves explores how and why information regarding the telescope was once transmitted, suppressed, or misconstrued within the strategy. Her revised model of occasions, rejecting the standard factors of silence and idleness, is a revealing account of the function that misprision, errors, and preconception play within the development of technological know-how. alongside the best way, Reeves deals a revised chronology of Galileo's lifestyles in a serious interval and, extra usually, indicates how files ordinarily open air the scope of early glossy normal philosophy--medieval romances, trip literature, and idle speculations--relate to 2 the most important occasions within the heritage of technological know-how. (20071115)

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37 Medieval accounts of the mirrors associated with antiquity and the Far East competed with another optical instrument of legend- The Daily Mirror of Empire 27 ary capabilities, the one described around 1250 by the Franciscan Roger Bacon in his Letter on the Secret Works of Art and Nature. The fifth chapter of Friar Bacon’s work, which would first be published in Latin in Paris in 1542, translated to French in 1557, and to English in 1597, is devoted to both mirrors and some sort of magnifying lenses, the latter of which were ambiguously described as Glasses so cast, that things at hand may appear at distance, and things at distance, as hard at hand: yea so farre may the designe be driven, as the least letters may be read, and things reckoned at an incredible distance, yea starres shine in what place you please.

16 Fracastoro’s references to convex lenses in his astronomical work figured as a notable alternative to the usual insistence upon mirrors as the crucial feature of telescopic sight, and his recent biography, consulted by Cattaneo in the course of his sculpting, presented the panoramic views from Fracastoro’s villa to Verona, likewise fifteen miles away, in terms that were surely hyperbolic but entirely consonant with such vision. It is possible that Coccio imagined that the effect provided by his “glasses for seeing far” could in theory be produced by lenses.

In 1582 the Compendious Introduction to the First Part of Catoptrics was published by the otherwise unknown, and perhaps pseudonymous, Rafael Mirami, who identified himself as a Jewish physician and mathematician of Ferrara. 63 The fact that Benjamin The Daily Mirror of Empire 37 of Tudela’s Itinerary, a crucial account of the Pharos, had been published in Hebrew in Ferrara in 1555 perhaps explains Mirami’s rather casual tone and his willingness to conflate two different stories. It is also noteworthy that he portrayed the uses of the mirror in commercial rather than military terms, and chose not to insist on the spectacular distances at which the instrument might function: the device appears less the fabulous emblem of fallen empires than a useful tool for any mercantile state.

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