Edmond Halley: Charting the Heavens and the Seas

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9780198500315: Edmond Halley: Charting the Heavens and the Seas
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Edmond Halley (1656-1742), MA, LLD, FRS, Capt. RN, Savillian Professor of Geometry and Astronomer Royal, stands pre-eminent among Oxford, English, and European scientists. A contemporary of Wren, Pepys, Hooke, Handel, Purcell, and Dryden, he was a schoolboy in London while the Great Fire raged, and was an active participant in the Enlightenment, an age of profound developments in all the arts and sciences. As a younger contemporary of Isaac Newton, he had a crucial part in the Newtonian revolution in the natural sciences. It was Halley who set the question that led Newton to write the Principia, and who edited, paid for, and reviewed it. In later years he applied the methods of the Principia widely in astronomy and geophysics. Now more widely known for his prediction of the return of "his" comet, Halley discovered the proper motion of stars, made important studies of the moon's motion, and his investigations of the Earth's magnetic field and of tides were unrialled for centuries. His prediction of the transit of Venus led to Cook's voyage to Tahiti. He was far more than an cloistered academic; his exploits as a naval captain led to perilous adventures, and he was also a notable servant of the State. Much material about his eventful career has come to light in recent years, making this a timely new account of the life, scientific interests, and continuing influence of this engaging and adventurous scholar. Sir Alan Cook has written a fascinating and illuminating account of Halley's life and science, making this a unique and highly readable biography of one of the key figures of his time.

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a masterly biography that can easily flesh out your imaginings. an erudite, thorough and extremely readable biography based on primary sources. Cook provides us with a masterly insight not only into Halley's science but also into the relationship between Halley and the society of the day. This book is very well illustrated and extremely well referenced. It is a worthy tribute to the life of this country's second greatest scientist. New Scientist

About the Author:

Alan Cook was Master of Selwyn College, Cambridge, and head of the Physics Department in Cambridge University.

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