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Logic and the scientific method

By |2018-05-31T11:49:22+00:00September 6th, 2017|Science|

An eclipse of the moon. You can see the curved shadow of the Earth. Once people have seen that something happens through observation, sooner or later it will occur to them to ask why it happens. And is there any way to prove that it will happen the same way every time? Sumerians developed advanced math to [...]

History of astronomy – Science and space

By |2018-05-18T08:57:38+00:00September 5th, 2017|Science|

A starry sky with the Milky Way galaxy(thanks to Bernd Nies) Early astronomy The very earliest people, as early as six million years ago, knew much more about the moon and the planets and the stars than most people do today. That's because they lived mainly outside, without electric lights blocking out the sky, and they saw every night how the moon and [...]

Renaissance Science in Europe

By |2017-08-07T21:36:38+00:00August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Science|

Copernicus, a Renaissance astronomer Starting in the 1200s AD, as Europe got richer, great universities got started there. In the later Middle Ages, West Asia and India suffered from the Mongol invasions. West Asian people were too poor to send their children to the old university at Baghdad. In the 1300s, the Black Death killed so many people in Egypt that the old university at Cairo also didn't have [...]

Who was Eratosthenes? Astronomy and math

By |2018-05-16T18:40:23+00:00July 18th, 2017|Africa, Egypt, Science|

Eratosthenes of Cyrene went to school here! A classroom at the University of Alexandria (al-Ahram 2004). Who was Eratosthenes of Cyrene? Eratosthenes of Cyrene was born about 276 BC in Cyrene (modern Libya). Chief librarian in Alexandria When he was still young he moved to Alexandria, in Egypt. He studied mathematics and astronomy at the University of Alexandria. [...]

Who was Aristarchus of Samos?

By |2018-04-23T14:19:32+00:00July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

A copy of Aristarchus of Samos' work on parchment from Constantinople, about 950 AD. It shows the relative sizes of the sun, the Earth, and the moon Aristarchus of Samos The astronomer Aristarchus, who was born on the Greek island of Samos around 310 BC, spent most of his life working at the University of [...]

Who was Archimedes? Eureka!

By |2018-04-23T13:58:51+00:00July 18th, 2017|History|

Syracuse, Sicily, with Mount Etna in the background Archimedes was born about 287 BC, so he was a little younger than Euclid. Archimedes' father was an astronomer. Because Archimedes was related to the tyrant who ruled Syracuse, on the island of Sicily, he lived his whole life in Sicily, except when he went to study at the University of [...]

Ancient Greek science – math, astronomy, medicine

By |2018-08-22T14:21:07+00:00July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

Ancient Greek science: Greek doctor letting blood out of a patient because he believes in the four humors When did Greek science get started? By about 600 BC, ancient Greek people were getting richer from trading between Egypt, West Asia, Carthage, and Europe. Now richer families could afford to send their boys to college. More boys got a good education and became scientists. Soon [...]

The sun in Greek astronomy

By |2018-04-23T14:13:14+00:00July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

The sun at sunset: The sun in Greek astronomy At first the Greeks imagined that the sun was the god Helios, or Apollo, driving his chariot around and around the earth. In the morning he began driving up in the sky, and then in the evening he drove back down again, and that was the sunset. At night the horses rested under [...]

The moon in Greek astronomy

By |2018-04-23T13:55:42+00:00July 18th, 2017|Greeks, History, Science|

The moon in ancient Greece - A photograph of the moon from space The goddess Artemis Early Greeks thought of the moon as the goddess Artemis. Where the Egyptians had thought of the moon as a man and the sun as a woman, the Greeks reversed that and thought of the moon as a woman. The moon in ancient [...]

Ancient Greek astronomy

By |2018-04-23T14:17:22+00:00July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

Eclipse of the sun The art of astrology, the study of the stars in order to predict future events, and to interpret people's characters, was already very advanced before the Greeks began to interest themselves in the stars. The Egyptians and especially the Mesopotamians had done a lot of scientific observations and had named the constellations of stars, and [...]