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  • Rv042t744?file=thumbnail
    Article
    Tenn, Joseph S.
    The determination of the speeds with which the stars are moving toward us or away from us (their radial velocities) began with an error. To explain why stars had different colors, Christian Doppler at the University of Prague proposed in 1842 that sta . . .
  • B2773w487?file=thumbnail
    Article
    Tenn, Joseph S.
    In 1875 the directorship of the Harvard College Observatory was offered to Simon Newcomb, the man widely considered to be the United States' leading astronomer. Newcomb declined the offer; one reason, he wrote in his autobiography years later, was the . . .
  • 1z40kt521?file=thumbnail
    Article
    Tenn, Joseph S.
    Henri Poincare is considered one of the greatest mathematicians of all time. Like Carl Gauss and Isaac Newton, he developed much of his mathematics in order to apply it in problems of astronomy and physics. He published more than five hundred research . . .
  • Rb68xc42m?file=thumbnail
    Article
    Tenn, Joseph S.
    In the 1880s George H. Darwin (son of the biologist) was the Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy at Cambridge University. Primarily interested in mathematical problems related to the tides and to the formation of the Earth and M . . .
  • Td96k328n?file=thumbnail
    Article
    Tenn, Joseph S.
    Those whose picture of nineteenth century Britain was formed by reading Charles Dickens may think that a poor lad's only hope was to discover that he was a long-lost heir to a rich nobleman. This picture is false; there were many roads to success for . . .
  • 707958427?file=thumbnail
    Article
    Tenn, Joseph S.
    As a boy he won scholarships to a leading university, where he specialized in mathematical astronomy. He finished his career as a director of his country's national observatory, where he had worked as a young assistant before becoming director of a sm . . .
  • F7623d29s?file=thumbnail
    Article
    Tenn, Joseph S.
    Arthur Stanley Eddington dominated theoretical astrophysics in the early decades of this century, and his influence continues. Just sine 1988, astronomer have published at least twenty papers with titles containing his name, with references to Eddingt . . .
  • 1c18dg60d?file=thumbnail
    Article
    Tenn, Joseph S.
    Readers of this series may recall that in the late nineteenth century Hermann Carl Vogel [Mercury, Nov/Dec 1990] obtained the first reliable measurements of radial velocities of stars--their speed toward us or away from us. It was Vogel's laboratory m . . .
  • Vx021f86f?file=thumbnail
    Article
    Tenn, Joseph S.
    Henri Deslandres was a six-year-old Parisian schoolboy when Gustav Kirchoff and Robert Bunsen in Heidelberg discovered that each gas emitted and absorbed its own characteristic set of wavelengths. A number of scientist, including Kirchoff himself, Nor . . .