A Source Book in Physics by William Francis Magie

By William Francis Magie

This is often the reprint of a well known and worthwhile paintings that has been out of print and generally hunted for a couple of years. A quantity within the sequence of Source Books within the background of the Sciences, it includes decisions from the writings of the nice physicists from the sixteenth during the nineteenth century--such figures as Galileo and Newton, Franklin and Faraday, Rowland, Hertz, and the Curies--making on hand to the scholar in English translation their most vital contributions, defined of their personal phrases, including biographical and explanatory notes by means of the editor.

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Traditional craftsmen were persuaded to make the much needed precision instruments in collaboration with the astronomers themselves. A turning point in history does not look for precedents. Jai Singh’s India, on the other hand, had no use for astronomy, modern or medieval. Astronomy here was no more than a pastime and was therefore geared to the available technology. When Jai Singh could not get the desired brass instrument made, he tamely gave in and fell back on masonry, in keeping with the long Indian tradition of building imposing palaces, temples and mosques, although his instruments are less precise than Ulugh Beg’s.

Later, in the Mogul era, Emperor Akbar’s court boasted of the great music maestro Tansen. There were numerous artists in the courts of Rajput kings and the Mogul emperors. But there is not a single case of a scientist enjoying royal patronage. Complacency and Fewer Demands A lack of patronage, however, was not the only cause for India’s decline in scientific endeavours. In Europe, the climate can be harsh, with extra effort needed for survival in the bitter winters. Such needs generate demands, and demands prompt searches for meeting them.

The Madras Observatory had by then already become redundant as far as utilitarian astronomy was concerned. When observatories were built in South Africa and Australia, even the British astronomers lost interest. Norman Robert Pogson’s (1829-91) uninterrupted thirty-year stint from 1861 until his death is a tragic testimony to the wasted opportunities at Madras. He was the first astronomer at Madras who did not have any surveying connection. His own neurosis was matched by the Astronomer Royal’s imperiousness.

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