Copernicus and the Solar System
When Copernicus claimed that Earth was not stationary at the centre of the universe, he brought about a total revolution in scientific thought. This is the story of that revolution.
But that wasn't all. The theory that moved heaven and earth also showed for the first time that a common-sense view of things isn't necessarily correct, and that mathematics - no matter how abstract it might seem - can and does reveal the true nature of the material world. No other single innovation could have had the same far-reaching consequences in sixteenth-century society, where pure knowledge was thought to rest only in surviving fragments of Ancient wisdom.
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. In this book, John Henry not only explains how these changes followed upon Copernicus's theory, but also reveals why, in the first place, Copernicus was led to such a seemingly outrageous and implausible idea as a swiftly moving Earth.
John Henry did a Ph.D. at the Open University and is now a Senior Lecturer at Edinburgh University. He mostly works on the history of interactions between science, medicine, magic and religion in the Renaissance period.