Moving Heaven and Earth (Icon Science) (Paperback)
Copernicus and the Solar System
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When Nicolaus Copernicus claimed that the Earth was not stationary at the centre of the universe but circled the Sun, he brought about a total revolution in the sciences and consternation in the Church.
Copernicus’ theory demanded a new physics to explain motion and force, a new theory of space, and a completely new conception of the nature of our universe. He also showed for the first time that a common-sense view of things isn’t necessarily correct, and that mathematics can and does reveal the true nature of the material world.
As John Henry reveals, from his idea of a swiftly moving Earth Copernicus sowed the seed from which science has grown to be a dominant aspect of modern culture, fundamental in shaping our understanding of the workings of the cosmos.
John Henry is a senior lecturer in Science Studies at Edinburgh University. He is the author of Knowledge is Power.