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NICOLAUS COPERNICUS
NICOLAUS COPERNICUS
Poland (1473 - 1543)
Nicolaus Copernicus was the first astronomer to formulate a scientifically based heliocentric cosmology that displaced the Earth from the center of the universe. His epochal book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), is often regarded as the starting point of modern astronomy and the defining epiphany that began the Scientific Revolution.
 

Disfrute estos perspicaces y educacionales videoclips obtenidos de más de 70 horas de entrevistas con las más notables figuras en astronomía tomadas durante la filmación del documental 400 Años del Telescopio.

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Richard Green

Human curiosity and Galileo
Richard Green - Large Binocular Telescope (LBT)

Somehow as human beings we are innately curious. We really want to understand more and more about the world we live in and our place in the broader universe in which this planet, sun and solar system sits.

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Richard Green

International partnership of the LBT
Richard Green - Large Binocular Telescope (LBT)

This is an extraordinary international partnership that has conceived and financed and made successful this telescope project.

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Richard Green

Reflections on the International Year of Astronomy
Richard Green - Large Binocular Telescope (LBT)

I hope they realize that we are beings that were wired to live on a planet that has a dark night, and that if we don’t protect that darkness and allow us, and children and grandchildren to at least experience it in special places, if not everywhere we live, then we will have lost a critical aspect of our being here.

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Richard Green

Survey astronomy
Richard Green - Large Binocular Telescope (LBT)

So a very promising line of investigation, which is already going forward is looking at the sound waves that rattled through the universe in its earliest moments and then got frozen in the matter when the radiation was allowed to free-stream and the matter was interacting with itself.

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Richard Green

Why the challenge of building the LBT?
Richard Green - Large Binocular Telescope (LBT)

It is all about the science. The astronomers are eager to find out about how planet systems were formed around stars. They want to probe into the hearts of galaxies and see the regions right around the black hole that's accreting material and ultimately shining away as a quasar.

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Richard Hills

Aperture synthesis and resolution
Richard Hills - ESO, Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA)

If you want to get the same resolution as you would get from an optical telescope, you need to have your radio dish hundreds of meters, maybe even kilometers across.

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Richard Hills

Interference and sound waves
Richard Hills - ESO, Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA)

Interference is something we’re quite familiar with these days because we get to use noise-canceling headphones.

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Richard Hills

Interferometry
Richard Hills - ESO, Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA)

This process of combining the signals together from different telescopes is called interferometry.

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Richard Hills

IYA greeting
Richard Hills - ESO, Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA)

So 2009 is going to be the International Year of Astronomy. And that’s, of course, because it’s four hundred years since the invention of the telescope.

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Richard Hills

Newton's theory of light
Richard Hills - ESO, Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA)

Newton’s theory of light was that it was made of little particles, but later development showed that light could be thought of as waves, and the wavelength of the waves that gives rise to the different colors.

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Richard Hills

Introduction to radio telescopes
Richard Hills - ESO, Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA)

Well, here we’ve got radio telescopes, so these are telescopes designed to pick up radio waves coming from distant objects in the universe and they’re reflecting telescopes because the great thing about Newton’s design of the telescope where the reflector gathers all the different colors in the same way and that goes right out to radio wavelengths.

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Richard Hills

Waves and wavelengths
Richard Hills - ESO, Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA)

We’re all familiar with waves on the ocean and the idea of rollers coming in on the seashore. And the wavelength of a wave is the spacing between troughs and the crests in the waves.

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Richard Hills

Why I became an astronomer
Richard Hills - ESO, Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA)

That just made me realize that with really quite simple pieces of apparatus you could do exciting things and find out stuff that was way outside our ordinary experience.

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Mike Holstine

Specifications of the Green Bank Telescope (GBT)
Mike Holstine - NRAO, Green Bank

The GBT is a spectacular structure. It is the largest, fully steerable radio telescope on the planet. It is one of the largest moving structures on land.

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Mike Holstine

History of the Green Bank Telescope (GBT)
Mike Holstine - NRAO, Green Bank

The GBT came about because we had a 300-foot telescope, a 300-foot transit telescope here at Green Bank which at one time was the second largest moveable telescope on the planet.

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Robert Iliffe

The aftermath of Newton's publication
Robert Iliffe - University of Sussex

What’s interesting is that in a very short period of time he goes from being this most private man to being the most public of men in the 1690s, and that is because in 1687 he published the greatest scientific work of all time, the Principia Mathematica.

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Robert Iliffe

Challenges in the evolution of the telescope
Robert Iliffe - University of Sussex

There are two things that make the evolution of telescopes difficult. One is spherical aberration.

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Robert Iliffe

Light as a topic of study
Robert Iliffe - University of Sussex

Light is one of the things that many people are writing about and discussing at the time, particularly after Descartes’ work in the late 1630s, and there’s the possibility, that’s important for natural philosophers and astronomers, that you can see further with use of telescopes if you’re an astronomer, or that you can see smaller and smaller things if you’re a natural philosopher with the use of microscopes.

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Robert Iliffe

Motivations of Newton's studies
Robert Iliffe - University of Sussex

The motivations are things that I think we won’t recover, but we know from an early age he was a loner, he read books that told you how to build things and make things, and mix colors, and he’s fascinated by mixing colors from a very early age.

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Robert Iliffe

Newton and his attitude
Robert Iliffe - University of Sussex

What Newton has is a great deal of anger, a great deal of talent, and a great deal of ambition, coupled with a great deal of arrogance. When that is put into his framework, his University framework as a young student, its effects are that he wants to compete with everyone else who has ever written in mathematics or natural philosophy.

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Robert Iliffe

Newton and religion
Robert Iliffe - University of Sussex

In the 1660s we know that Newton is a devout person, but he doesn’t really engage in serious theological study until the early 1670s, and we know that very quickly he became a heretic.

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Robert Iliffe

Newton, born in a time of revolution
Robert Iliffe - University of Sussex

Newton was born at a time of great revolution, both politically in England and also in terms of science across Europe.

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Robert Iliffe

Newton creates the reflecting mirror
Robert Iliffe - University of Sussex

There are other people at the time who are trying to build a reflecting telescope, but what Newton’s discovery of the differential refrangibility of colored rays shows to him is that there is a practical possibility of building a reflecting telescope, and he has the ability to do it. He knows how he can do it.

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Robert Iliffe

Newton's mathematics
Robert Iliffe - University of Sussex

In 1669, Newton wrote a remarkable tract called On Analysis which put him at the forefront of all mathematicians – he was obviously the greatest mathematician by that time who had ever lived, although very few people were aware of this.

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Robert Iliffe

Newton's reflecting telescope
Robert Iliffe - University of Sussex

We know that Newton did his experiments on prisms in the middle of the 1660s, and we know that in about 1668 he decides that he can do what some of his contemporaries are trying to do and create a telescope that is based on reflection, using a mirror, rather than refraction using a lens. And in 1668 he successfully creates the very first usable reflecting telescope in the world.

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