Kepler, Galileo & Nostradamus in Color, on Google

To date, Google Books has scanned 50,000 books from the 16th and 17th cen­turies. And by work­ing with great Euro­pean libraries (Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty Library and the Nation­al Libraries of Flo­rence and Rome, to name a few), the Moun­tain View-based com­pa­ny expects to index hun­dreds of thou­sands of pre-1800 titles in the com­ing years.

Tra­di­tion­al­ly, most his­tor­i­cal texts have been scanned in black & white. But these new­fan­gled scans are being made in col­or, giv­ing read­ers any­where the chance to read old­er books “as they actu­al­ly appear” and to appre­ci­ate the “great flow­er­ing of exper­i­men­ta­tion in typog­ra­phy that took place in the 16th and 17th cen­turies.”

Some of the foun­da­tion­al texts now avail­able in col­or include Nos­tradamus’ Prog­nos­ti­ca­tion nou­velle et pre­dic­tion por­ten­teuse (1554), Johannes Kepler’s Epit­o­me Astrono­mi­ae Coper­ni­canae from 1635, and Galileo’s Sys­tema cos­micum from 1641. All texts can be viewed online, or down­loaded as a PDF (although the PDF’s lack col­or)…

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Google “Art Project” Brings Great Paint­ings & Muse­ums to You

Google Lit Trips

Google to Pro­vide Vir­tu­al Tours of 19 World Her­itage Sites

via Inside Google Books

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Comments (6)
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  • Zvi says:

     FYI, Galileo’s book is not enti­tled “Sys­tema Cos­micum”. It is real­ly the fourth part of “Dia­logue Con­cern­ing Two Chief World Sys­tems”

  • Zvi says:

     FYI, Galileo’s book is not enti­tled “Sys­tema Cos­micum”. It is real­ly the fourth part of “Dia­logue Con­cern­ing Two Chief World Sys­tems”

  • Peter L. Griffiths says:

    Galileo’s law of falling bod­ies v^2=d is the same as Kepler’s dis­tance law v^2=(1/r). The rea­son for this is that there are two ways of mea­sur­ing the same veloc­i­ty, dis­tance per unit time and time per unit dis­tance, with one mea­sure being the rec­i­p­ro­cal of the oth­er. In its ellip­ti­cal con­text r+d equals the major axis a con­stant.

  • Peter L. Griffiths says:

    Fur­ther to my pre­vi­ous com­ments, the con­nec­tion between Galileo’s v^2=d at the emp­ty focus end of the ellip­ti­cal orbit and Kepler’s v^2=1/r at the Sun focus end is math­e­mat­i­cal­ly very inter­est­ing and not at all straight for­ward. Kepler’s ver­sion can be adapt­ed for fur­ther research pur­pos­es by includ­ing a con­stat­nt V being the max­i­mum veloc­i­ty, then the vari­able veloc­i­ties can be expressed as V/#r where # is my nota­tion for square root. In this way the same veloc­i­ty aris­es on both the accel­er­at­ing side as well as the decel­er­at­ing side but in oppo­site direc­tions. As one of the prop­er­ties of all per­fect ellipses d is the dis­tance from the curve to the emp­ty focus, and r is the dis­tance from the curve to the Sun focus. d+r equals the major axis of the ellip­ti­cal orbit which I will call A. As a mat­ter of fur­ther math­e­mat­i­cal inter­est A/V equals #(r/d) +#(d/r). Just as the vari­able veloc­i­ties at the Sun focus end can be expressed as V/#r so the vari­able veloc­i­ties at the emp­ty focus end can be expressed accord­ing to Galileo’s for­mu­la as #d=v where d is the dis­tance from the emp­ty focus to either side of the ellip­ti­cal curve.

  • Peter L. Griffiths says:

    Kepler liked to base his math­e­mat­i­cal ideas on the ancient Greeks. This is par­tic­u­lar­ly evi­dent in his lit­tle known paper Con­cern­ing Con­ic Sec­tions, part of his book on Optics pub­lished in 1604. Kepler sup­posed that geo­met­ric shapes which were con­ic sec­tions would all have focus­es, a con­cept which he invent­ed and described as being con­struct­ed by pins and thread. At first Kepler failed to recog­nise that foci depend­ed on sym­me­try not con­ic sec­tions, and was there­fore com­plete­ly wrong about the con­nec­tion with con­ic sec­tions. A more sym­met­ri­cal shape would be cylin­dric sec­tion an expres­sion which Kepler nev­er uses. How­ev­er in 1618 Kepler at last found a con­struc­tive appli­ca­tion for the focus name­ly as the loca­tion of the Sun in the sym­met­ri­cal plan­e­tary orbits, giv­ing rise to Kepler’s dis­tance law which applies through­out the whole uni­verse.

  • Peter L. Griffiths says:

    A cylin­dric sec­tion has two foci (f) which relate to the half axes (a and b) as fol­lows f = a -(a^2 — b^2)^(0.5). Kepler recog­nised that this for­mu­la could prob­a­bly be con­struct­ed by pins and thread in his lit­tle known work of 1604. A slight­ly less accu­rate ver­sion of this for­mu­la can be used for ellipses. Very few astronomers seem to be aware that an axis can eas­i­ly be cal­cu­lat­ed if the oth­er axis and the focus are known.

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