This course will trace the development of man’s understanding of motion and gravitation, starting with the earliest astronomical observations of pre-Greek civilizations, and culminating in the achievements of Isaac Newton. How did mankind progress from a state of total ignorance about the stars, planets, Sun, and Moon to our first scientific understanding of these bodies and the laws that govern their behavior? No prerequisites or background in physics are required.
Prerequisites: To enroll in this course students must have completed an an Objectivism course such as “Objectivism through Ayn Rand’s Fiction” or the “Objectivism Seminar”.
Auditing is a great choice for students who want to attend live lectures, ask questions, and participate in some discussions, but do not want to submit assignments.
A typical auditor is a busy professional or retiree, who finds our courses enriching and seeks to learn from our faculty as a hobby. You do not need to apply to audit, simply pay the tuition fee and you will be automatically enrolled in the course.
Graded students in this course are expected to attend lectures and discussion sections, and also to submit assignments to the faculty. Assignments will be graded and given feedback.
To enter this course as a graded student, you must be accepted into the graded program of Ayn Rand University and achieve the necessary prerequisites. Your annual tuition covers as many courses as you wish to take. Most accepted students are granted scholarships, which substantially defray their tuition cost.
When ancient man looked up at the night sky, he had no clue what he was seeing; the bright objects that circled the earth over days and seasons were a total mystery. How did mankind progress from that state of ignorance to our modern understanding of the stars, planets, Sun, and Moon—and to the laws of motion and gravitation that govern their behavior?
This course will trace the development of this understanding from the earliest astronomical observations of pre-Greek civilizations, up through the scientific revolution of the 17th century, and culminating in the unprecedented achievements of Isaac Newton.
Beginning with pre-scientific observational astronomy, we’ll explore the facts that were known to ancient civilizations about the motions of celestial bodies. We’ll then discuss the birth of science in Ancient Greece and the earliest astronomical models, developed by Eudoxus and Aristotle. We’ll cover the development of Greek and Hellenistic astronomy from Aristarchus and Eratosthenes through Hipparchus and Ptolemy. Finally, we’ll explore the Copernican revolution and the birth of modern science in the work of Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton.
No prerequisites or background in physics are required.
Course Prerequisites and Corequisites
To enroll in this course, you need to have completed an an Objectivism course (e.g., Objectivism through Ayn Rand’s Fiction or an Objectivism Seminar).
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