Read e-book online Agnes Mary Clerke and the Rise of Astrophysics PDF

By M. T. Brück

ISBN-10: 0521808448

ISBN-13: 9780521808446

Born in eire within the mid-nineteenth century, Agnes Mary Clerke accomplished reputation because the writer of A heritage of Astronomy through the 19th century. via her quarter-century profession, she grew to become the major commentator on astronomy and astrophysics within the English-speaking global. This biography describes not just the lifestyles and paintings of this notable girl, but in addition chronicles the improvement of astronomy within the final many years of pre-Einstein technological know-how. alongside the way in which, it introduces the various nice figures in astronomy of that age, together with Huggins, Lockyer, Holden, and Pickering.

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In Reeve, who had in his youth lived in Switzerland, Germany and France, and was on intimate terms with literary and scientific figures in those countries and at home, Agnes Clerke found a most congenial associate. She also became a personal friend of Reeve and his wife; she and her sister and brother were their guests from time to time at their country home in Hampshire, and after Reeve’s death in 1895 it was she who wrote his notice, and that of his father, a physician, in the Dictionary of National Biography.

A. Proctor, and her friendly correspondent Edward Holden. Meantime, among Agnes Clerke’s Edinburgh Review articles were two of current scientific interest. One, ‘Volcanoes and volcanic action’ (April 1883) was an opportunity to describe the Vesuvius eruption of 23 April 1872 (which she had herself seen) as recorded by an expert eyewitness, Luigi Palmeiri of Naples Academy, whose account had been translated into English by the Irish geologist Robert Mallet in 1873. A range of other publications on allied topics, some historical, The History published included Humboldt’s Cosmos and Archibald Geike’s recent famous Textbook of Geology (1882).

Readers wondered who Miss Clerke might be and again drew the comparison with Mary Somerville. 8 Ball, already mentioned as a contemporary of Aubrey Clerke’s at Trinity College Dublin, was now Professor of Astronomy at his old university and director of the College’s Dunsink Observatory. His own The Story of the Heavens,9 a highly successful popular book for mass readership, was about to be published. Agnes Clerke’s book was of a different style. ‘Few men of science who use this book’, Ball wrote, ‘will think that it ought to be classed as a popular work in the ordinary acceptation.

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Agnes Mary Clerke and the Rise of Astrophysics by M. T. Brück

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