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1. Johannes Kepler: Giant of Faith
2. Johannes Kepler Life and Letters
3. The Harmony of the World (Memoirs
4. The Harmonies of the World
5. Johannes Kepler and the New Astronomy
6. Selections from Kepler's Astronomia
7. Kepler's Physical Astronomy (Princeton
8. Johannes Kepler: Discovering the
9. Heavenly Intrigue: Johannes Kepler,
10. Epitome of Copernican Astronomy
11. The Watershed: A Biography of
12. Kepler: A novel
13. The Musical Order of the World:
14. The Eye of Heaven: Ptolemy, Copernicus,
15. StudentInnen und Unternehmensgründung:
16. Heavenly Intrigue: Johannes Kepler,
17. Johannes Kepler: Discovering the
18. Stressreaktionen als Krankheitsfaktoren:
19. Einige Bedingungen fur Selbstorganisation
20. Kausalitat und okonomische Theorie

1. Johannes Kepler: Giant of Faith and Science (Sowers)
by John Hudson Tiner
Paperback: 207 Pages (1999-06-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.44
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Asin: 091513411X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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This giant of astronomy considered his studies to be a way of looking into God's creation. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant man, so-so book, mediocre depth
John Hudson Tiner's Johannes Kepler: Giant of Faith and Science is a biography that recounts Kepler's life in a simplistic and easy-to-follow way. The entire story is documented in major "chapters" of Kepler's life, and each event is described with commentary and dialogue between Kepler and the other prevalent characters. Not only are Kepler's scientific works covered, but his struggles with the church and society are also described.

Johannes Kepler was a giant of science as well as faith. One cannot understand the history of science without understand those who are behind in. In doing so, the author makes a valuable contribution to those wish to understand not only science but the interplay between science and society.

This book is a good elementary description of Kepler's life, but for someone who is looking for an in-depth and sophisticated opinion may find it lacking. However, it certainly is suitable for younger students or anyone just wanting a quick read. One thumb up :o)

5-0 out of 5 stars Science and faith blended in this man's life.
John Hudson Tiner dones a fine job of writing this easy reading book of Kepler's life.I cannot comment on how well he makes the subject matter easy to understand for the intended audience, since I am not experienced in that area, but I can tell it is a great book for high school and older -- a book written for young people that adults can read without feeling like it is written beneath them.One great feature of this book, and other books by Tiner in this series, is the fact that he explains scientific facts in such a way that those not familiar with them can gain an understanding of some of the contributions of this man to astronomy.Pictures, some from Kepler's works, throughout the book make the book even more valuable.

Any biography on Kepler is not true to the man if his faith and science are separated.Raised in a less than ideal family situation, Kepler lived in incredible times so far as the fighting over religious beliefs is concerned.Though he held firmly to and held dearly his own faith and gave up much because of it, he did not wish to become involved in the fighting over it.He also freely acknowledged that God gained glory from whatever scientific study he did.

Kepler's contribution to astonomy was immense.As an example, he was provided with much needed observational data from Tycho that allowed him to determine the orbital path of Mars (around the Sun).This opened the door to determine the orbital path of other heavenly bodies as well.At one point he was motivated to discover the truth about the heavenly bodies to help dispel the superstition that caused his own mother to be tried inappropriately as a witch.

This book provides a good starting point for learning about the life of Kepler.Such reading is wholesome and inspiring and good for teaching excellent values in life.To continue my study of Kepler, I am presently reading the book on him titled Kepler by Max Casper, Dover pub., 1993, a book clearly written for adults which includes much more detail.Tiner's book was a good preliminary for this latter book. ... Read more

2. Johannes Kepler Life and Letters
by Carola Baumgardt
Paperback: 220 Pages (1953-01-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$13.50
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Asin: 0806530960
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3. The Harmony of the World (Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society)
by Johannes Kepler, E. J. Aiton, J. V. Field, A. M. Duncan
Hardcover: 549 Pages (1997-04-01)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$40.50
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Asin: 0871692090
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Johannes Kepler is remembered today chiefly for the 3 laws of planetary motion known after him. Rejecting the view of those who regarded astronomical hypotheses as mathematical fictions, Kepler sought to derive the true motions of the planets from physical causes. Yet he combined his search for physical causes with a vision of the world as a manifestation of divine harmony. This led him to consider the formal causes or archetypes underlying the world's construction. Kepler's favorite astronomical work, Harmony of the World (Harmonice mundi), was planned in 1599 as a sequel to the Mysterium cosmographicum, although it was not completed & published until 1619. In this vol., the translators have put the Harmony of the World into the kind of clear but earnest language which they suppose Kepler would have used if he had been writing today. Illus. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Quality book
The binding is held together very firmly and the translator's notes range from helpful to fascinating. This book is a "no brainer" must buy for students of 17th century German astronomy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Kepler's revolution in astronomy
Today's scientists of all disciplines would do well to study Kepler's original work.This is not only a seminal work in the history of astronomy, but a case study in the creative process of discovery.By rejecting empiricism and sense certainty, Kepler used his mental instruments, geometry and music, to investigate the harmony which orders all fundamental physical processes.The same mental processes which make humans unique must be coherent with the principles of creation and development of the universe as a whole.

5-0 out of 5 stars Kepler vs. Aristotle
This book is a thorough going treatment of the subject of Harmony. It contradicts Aristotle, who held science back for centuries because of his witting fraud upon the discoveries of Pythagoras, Thales, et al. Aristotle misrepresented the ideas concerning Music, Harmonics, Geometry as well as Astronomy, which Plato described in the Epinomis to be the fount of all knowledge. In this volume, Kepler proves that the pre-Aristotelean hypothesis of a helio-centric universe is correct, and provides the needed data to demonstrate that the planets arrange their orbits around the sun in the manner of a musical scale. Here one can understand the deeper meaning of Harmony, beyond what we hear in music. Kepler seeks out causes, in the musical domain, as well as in the astrophysical domain. Up to the time of this book, no one had solved the puzzle. This book is a work of genius.

3-0 out of 5 stars Brand New Item/Damaged Cover
I bought this book as brand new and was surprised when it was delivered with a weird sticky substance in various places on the cover.In trying to remove the substance I only caused more damage to the cover.My three diamond rating is due to Kepler being awesome, not Amazon.If you buy this book brand new make sure it is in mint condition or get a compensation from Amazon. ... Read more

4. The Harmonies of the World
by Johannes Kepler
Hardcover: 140 Pages (2009-04-30)
list price: US$24.99 -- used & new: US$24.17
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Asin: 0559128061
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Five of Johannes Kepler's great masterpiece on planetary motion is presented with an introduction by the ultimate authority on this topic, noted physicist and bestselling author Stephen Hawking. Modifying Copernicus's sun-centered model of the universe, Kepler's 1619 work went on to establish laws of planetary motion, forming the basis for Newton's discoveries some 60 years later. As part of our On the Shoulders of Giants series, this translation of the original edition of Kepler's monumental essay includes an insightful biography and a highly accessible summary putting into context the significance of Harmony of the World.

Black-and-white illustrations. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars historically important
For students of history, here is a reprint of one of Kepler's works. Centuries old. But noteworthy because before Newton came on the scene, Kepler's work was one of the high water marks of astronomy. Plus, the material in the book was useful to Newton, when he would apply his equations to explaining various of Kepler's observations.

Plus, another attraction of this book is the introduction by Hawking. So there are two great names on the same cover. For the layman in physics, here is a noted viewpoint of Kepler's accomplishments. ... Read more

5. Johannes Kepler and the New Astronomy (Oxford Portraits in Science)
by James R. Voelkel
Paperback: 144 Pages (2001-10-11)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$6.95
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Asin: 019515021X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) is remembered, along with Copernicus and Galileo, as one of the greatest Renaissance astronomers. A gifted analytical thinker, he made major contributions to physics, astronomy, and mathematics. Kepler was trained as a theologian, yet did not hesitate to challenge church doctrine and prevailing scientific beliefs by supporting the theory of a Sun-centered solar system. As Imperial Mathematician to the Holy Roman Emperor, he analyzed the precise observations of the heavens that his predecessor, the great astronomer Tycho Brahe, had recorded. The book follows the ingenious scientist along the difficult pathway from raw data to his monumental discovery--the three Laws of Planetary Motion. Kepler also made fundamental contributions to optical theory, including a correct description of the function of the eye and a new and improved telescope design. His unique Rudolfine Tables, universal calculations of planetary motion, were unprecedented in their accuracy. James Voelkel vividly describes these scientific achievements, providing enough background in astronomy and geometry so even beginners can follow Kepler's thinking and enjoy this book. Equally captivating is his account of Kepler's tumultuous life, plagued by misery, disease, war, and fervent religious persecution.

Oxford Portraits in Science is an ongoing series of scientific biographies for young adults. Written by top scholars and writers, each biography examines the personality of its subject as well as the thought process leading to his or her discoveries. These illustrated biographies combine accessible technical information with compelling personal stories to portray the scientists whose work has shaped our understanding of the natural world. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

after reading this book you can't help but feel for this man... the tremendous upheavels he went through always worried about religious persecution but escaping it because of his position at court... but it gives a genuine feel of 'escaping by the skin of one's teeth'

then his many moves from city to city, taking family with him, all the deaths of family including children he endured and always religiously devout, believing in God and not one creed or another, always putting his heart and soul into his labors...

a remarkable story or a pious, honest, hard working, brilliant man of his times... it would have been a deep honor to know this man

5-0 out of 5 stars Kepler's work made the heliocentric theory forever undeniable
Kepler is the middle third of the great triumvirate of physicists that led humanity from a point where little was known about planetary motion to where nearly all was known. The first was Galileo Galilei and the last was Isaac Newton. Kepler contributed the three laws of planetary motion that are now named after him. They are:

*) The planets follow elliptical orbits about the sun.
*) The line connecting the planet to the sun sweeps out equal areas over equal times.
*) The square of the period of an orbit divided by the cube of the mean distance is a constant.

While Copernicus published the first convincing heliocentric theory, it was Kepler who gave the theory a mathematical foundation based on the years of accurate observations made by Tycho Brahe. It was his work that convinced the learned world that the planets orbited the sun.
When reading the history of Kepler, it is astonishing that he managed to be successful. He suffered from poor health, petty jealousies, lack of income, the death of some of his children, major religious persecution, plague and a war that devastated central Europe. He lived in a time of major religious conflict as the Reformation had moved strongly forward and the Counter-Reformation was responding violently. Kepler was a Protestant and remained so under the real threat of banishment and even death. Approximately one third of the people in central Europe perished during the widespread destruction of the thirty years war, which went on around Kepler. He was once trapped in a city placed under siege by Protestant forces and when told he must convert to Catholicism or be banished, he chose to leave.
Through it all, Kepler continued his intellectual pursuits, sometimes down false paths, but through perseverance and dedication, he was able to solve the puzzle of planetary motion. This story is not so much about the physicist persona of Kepler, it is a tale of triumph over tremendous obstacles where the result was of great benefit to all of humanity.This is a good, direct story of Kepler, his life and the environment he toiled in. I strongly recommend it as a textbook about Kepler, the history of his times and how modern physics was developed. Very little background in physics is needed to understand the presentation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book about One of Astronomy's Greatest Men
This piece does a great job at showing how Kepler changed astronomy and how it changed him. ... Read more

6. Selections from Kepler's Astronomia Nova
by Johannes Kepler
Paperback: 120 Pages (2004-01-31)
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Asin: 1888009284
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Johannes Kepler wrote Astronomia Nova (1609) in a singleminded drive to sweep away the ancient and medieval clutter of spheres and orbs and to establish a new truth in astronomy, based on physical causality. Thus a good part of the book is given over to a nontechnical discussion of how planets can be made to move through space by physical forces. This is the theme of the readings in the present module.The selection features, in the first place, the complete introduction to Astronomia Nova. In this influential essay Kepler gives us his views on the planetary systems debate, ranging over a wide assortment of topics including causes of motions, criteria for choosing one theory over another, gravity and the tides, and the proper relations between science and Scripture. This introduction was Kepler's most widely read work, appended to the Latin editions of Galileo's Dialogue, and translated into the vernacular.The Introduction is followed by a substantial selection of chapters presenting Kepler's new celestial physics. In Chapter 7, Kepler gives an engaging account of how he came to work on Mars, and why Mars was crucially important to his success. Chapters 33 and 34 will also be of general interest, as they sketch out the arguments for the sun's dynamic role in moving the planets. These chapters are easily understandable and contain no mathematics.For the more adventurous, there is a larger sequence that takes us from the basics of planetary motions all the way to Kepler's first two laws of planetary motion. These chapters occasionally require some basic geometry and the use of the sine function. The necessary astronomical information and terminology is provided in appendices and a glossary.In these ground-breaking chapters, the true Kepler emerges, not as a speculative mystic or a number-crunching drudge, but as a first-rate scientific thinker with a wonderfully engaging narrative style. ... Read more

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4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction
This is an excellent introduction to Kepler for people not confident in their ability to breeze through the more complex mathematical arguments of his "celestial physics."Kepler's own introduction is enough to enthrall any reader of history/philosophy of science.Anyone who has some geometry and ancient astronomy under their belts will see that he's a stunning mathematician.Even for this edition of selections, I advise having some familiarity with Euclid and Ptolemy.General familiarity (from Wikipedia, even) of Copernicus and Brahe would be very helpful to understand what he's arguing against.I suppose it would be possible to pick this up and read it without any of this other stuff, but I personally would've been lost without the undergirding of first year-and-a-half of the mathematics program at St. John's College.

After reading this I quickly put Kepler at the top of my "Must Read More" list.The editors and translator are very helpful and accommodating.

I recommend this to any mathematics/physics-lover looking for an introduction to Kepler's world.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for lovers of the history of science
I love using this as one of my required texts for the History and Philosophy of Science course I teach.It's great at introducing Kepler's work to first time readers and it also has primary sections from his work.What's best is that you can guide your students through these prime selections without having to lose them in mathematics.And if you are so inclined, and it's worth the try, there are some problems you can tackle and you only need a limited amount of geometry.

I also recommend it if you're just into the history of science.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
"My aim in the present work is chiefly to reform astronomical theory ... so that what we compute from the tables may correspond to the celestial phenomena. ... Meanwhile, although I place this goal first and pursue it cheerfully, I also ... inquire into celestial physics and the natural causes of the motions. ... Indeed, all things are so interconnected, involved, and intertwined with one another that after trying many different approaches to the reform of astronomical calculations ... none other could succeed than the one founded upon the motions physical causes themselves, which I establish in this work." (Introduction, pp. 4-5).

A decisive step towards this new physical theory is Kepler's proof in chapter 24 that the earth requires an equant, i.e. that the point with respect to which it moves uniformly is not the center of the orbital circle but rather a point close to it. The old theory, without the equant, had worked well for Ptolemy (sun instead of the earth, of course) and Copernicus, since it predicts the angular position very accurately. But Kepler shows that it fails to predict the distance between the earth and the sun. This distance at different times can be determined by observing the sun and Mars at times 687 days apart; this is the period of Mars, so we get a simple trigonometric calculation with both Mars and the sun as fixed points.

Thus the earth now has an equant just as the outer planets did for Ptolemy and Copernicus. "Further, there is nothing to prevent our believing the same of Venus and Mercury. Indeed, I now have a proof that this is the origin of the belief that the centers of these planets' eccentrics move around on a small annual circle. Therefore all planets have this [eccentric circle with an equant]." (Chapter 32, p. 52).

So the equant is no longer just some trick but in fact a universal principle, so we feel that it must have a deeper explanation. The key observation is that the equant (with bisected eccentricity) makes the planet's speed inversely proportional to its distance from the sun (chapter 32). This suggests that "the power that moves the planets resides in the body of the sun" (chapter 33).

Kepler thinks we should pretty much have seen this coming, considering the "worthiness of eminence of the sun" and the fact that "the source of the world's life ... is the same as the source of the light which forms the adornment of the entire machine, and which is also the source of the heat by which everything grows" (pp. 57-58). Indeed, the motive power's "very close kinship with light" is confirmed by its linear deterioration with distance, since it spreads over the circumference of a circle so to speak (p. 59). Of course one might argue that since light, and perhaps also the motive power, spreads in three dimensions, i.e. over the surface of a sphere, it should obey an inverse square law, but Kepler has already made up his mind on the linear law---"And this is true, both of the steelyard or lever, and of the motion of the planets: that the weakening of power is in the ratio of the distances" (p. 56)---so we stick to two dimensions and conclude that "in all respects and in all its attributes, the motive power from the sun coincides with light ... although this light of the sun cannot be the moving power itself" (p. 59).

The motive power instead appears to be of a magnetic nature. "The magnet, however, does not attract with all its parts, but has ... fibers ... extended throughout its length, so that if a little piece of iron is placed in a middle position between the heads of the magnet ... the magnet does not attract it but only directs it parallel to its own fibers. Thus it is credible that there is in the sun no force whatever attracting the planets ... but only a directing force, and consequently that it has circular fibers all set up in the same direction" (chapter 34, p. 69).

But what about the equants? This makes them look artificial and silly. Kepler has the answer: equants are nothing but a pale manifestation of a deeper principle, the law of equal areas (chapter 40). Ok, so equants are out. Now what about the orbits? Actually, circular orbits will have to be abandoned altogether, as Kepler proves in the case of Mars in chapter 44, essentially by switching the roles of Mars and the earth in the argument of chapter 24 above. Donahue notes:

"Interestingly, Kepler's working notes show that when he first made this comparison, he was sure there must be some error and made a note that he must give some thought to how to adjust the planetary positions to make the orbit circular. Several weeks later, when he was comparing the area law with an equant-based theory, he realised that his physical theory demanded an oval orbit. Only then did he trust the observational evidence!" (p. 85).

Ok, so now orbits are ellipses ("ovals"). But what physical principles could possibly explain that? How does the planet know in which direction to turn and at what speed to go if the orbit is so elaborate? "So then, Kepler, would you give each of the planets a pair of eyes? By no means, nor is this necessary, no more than that they need feet or wings in order to move." (sic, chapter 39, p. 75). The magnet analogy suggests a solution. The sun's motive power creates a circular stream, but the planets don't quite follow this stream because they themselves are "magnetic"---this is how the earth can make the moon move---and this interferes with the stream as if the planet held a slowly turning oar in the stream: sometimes it agrees with the stream, sometimes it counteracts it. Kepler does not intend to build a quantitative theory on these grounds, but only to illustrate that the phenomena can be explained by basic physical principles: "I will be satisfied if this magnetic example demonstrates the general possibility of the proposed mechanism." (chapter 57, p. 94). ... Read more

7. Kepler's Physical Astronomy (Princeton Paperback)
by Bruce Stephenson
Paperback: 232 Pages (1994-07-05)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$39.80
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Asin: 0691036527
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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From Hipparchus and Ptolemy in the ancient world, through Copernicus and Brahe in the sixteenth century, astronomers had used geometrical models to give a kinematic account of the movements of the sun, moon, and planets. Johannes Kepler revolutionized this most ancient of sciences by being the first to understand astronomy as a part of physics. By closely and clearly analyzing the texts of Kepler's great astronomical works, in particular the Astronomia nova of 1609, Bruce Stephenson demonstrates the importance of Kepler's physical principles--principles now known to be "incorrect"--in the creation of his first two laws of planetary motion. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Aesthetical-physical astronomy
First we look briefly at Kepler's Mysterium Cosmographicum (1596). Here "[Kepler's] exuberance was not yet balanced by the self-criticism which distinguished his mature writings. His technical command of mathematics and astronomy was still insecure." (p. 8, Springer ed.). As an illustration we may consider his formula for relating the distances to the sun and orbital periods of two planets, R_1/R_2=((T_1+T_2)/2)/T_2 (p. 13). "Considered as a physical deduction [this result] is most peculiar ... it totally lacks the character of a general law. One can compute the radius of Venus's orbit compared to Mercury's from their periodic times, and likewise the radius of the earth's orbit compared to that of Venus; but computing the radius of the earth's orbit directly from that of Mercury would not give the same answer." (p. 14)

Kepler's Astronomia Nova (1609), on the other hand, is a first rate work. Here "Kepler reintroduced physical argument to astronomy, and thereby shifted the overall emphasis of his book from the mathematical representation of observations to the determination of how and why the planets, huge, physical bodies, moved through the heavens." (p. 22). "In this task he was almost entirely on his own. Contemporary physics was not going to offer any help, and he was essentially left free to speculate about the kinds of things which were required to impose order on the motion of planets travelling 'in pure aether, just as birds in the air'." (p. 27). "Kepler ... used some admittedly vague speculations, concerning the difficulty of controlling a planet's motion with information available at the planet itself, to suggest that at least part of this task took place elsewhere: presumably, therefore, at the central body." (p. 28). "Copernicus ... had rejected the equant hypothesis because of its physical absurdity (p. 28), but Kepler reintroduced it "as a convenient and transparent way of representing what was for him the critical phenomenon: that the planet moved swiftly when near the sun and slowly when distant from it" (p. 29). "The Copernican model, besides concealing the variation in speed behind a combination of uniform motions, would have required an intolerable amount of 'mental' activity to control the motion. The Ptolemaic equant, on the other hand, by openly displaying this variation, encouraged Kepler's attempt to locate an impelling and guiding force in the sun. If only some way could be found to explain the planet's approach to and withdrawal from the sun, the variation of speed would be easily understandable as a consequence of the weakening of some solar force with distance from its source. Variations in the planet's speed, which in earlier astronomy had been a blemish to be ignored or concealed, singled out the sun now as the heavenly body which had to be somehow involved in moving the planet." (p. 29).

With this in mind, "Kepler ... finally set out to construct a planetary model ... an equant model, 'in imitation of the ancients' as he said, but without Ptolemy's restriction that the eccentricity be precisely bisected" (p. 42). He model was very successful. "Had he stopped there ... Kepler would already have contributed much to the refinement of Copernican astronomy. Instead he immediately demonstrated ... that his own theory remained inadequate. Tu be sure, it performed the function of a theory of longitude. ... What it did not give was the right location for the planet itself." (p. 44-45). Trying to solve this problem in the case of "the distances between Mars and the sun led Kepler back to the hypothesis of bisected eccentricity", which was "no accident" we can see retrospectively because "The area law ... can be well represented by equant motion around the empty focus of the ellipse. Thus the center of the ellipse bisects the eccentricity of its pseudo-equant point at the empty focus" (pp. 45-46). This not being available to Kepler yet, he attempted to show "how a physical hypothesis, simple and plausible, accounted for the success of the Ptolemaic equant hypothesis. His physical explanation was ... that the planet moved slower when it was more distant to the sun, in proportion to the distance. In [Mysterium Cosmographicum] he had sketched out an argument that the Ptolemaic hypothesis described a motion of just this kind. Here he expanded his reasoning into a geometrical demonstration." (p. 62). "The 'distance law' holds exactly---at the apsides---for equant motion with bisected eccentricity, and, incidentally for Kepler motion on an ellipse. Kepler himself stated only that it was true quam proxime, and probably did not know, when writing the Astronomia Nova, of its exact validity. Outside the apsides the theorem is not exact. Kepler remarked this fact ... claiming it to be of little consequence." (p. 66).

However, while the distance law in isolation shows that Ptolemy got lucky with his equant, Kepler's physical perspective taken further rules out eccentric circles altogether. "[Kepler] was analyzing motion on a eccentric circle, a model that had been in general use for nearly two millennia, apparently the simplest possible model with any empirical accuracy. He took apart this beautifully simple model and showed that as a physical process ... it was really quite complicated, so complicated as to raise doubt about whether it could be real. He had performed so radical a reassessment by interpreting astronomy, for the first time, as a physical science. ... [H]e found novel and effective criteria for evaluating theories. No longer did it suffice that a theory was mathematically plausible. ... [R]eal bodies were moved by physical forces ... The convenience of the astronomer yielded to the constraint of objectivity" (p. 78).

So why did eccentric circles work so well? There must be a simple physical principle that explains their success. Ta-da: Kepler's law of equal areas. Armed with this new law Kepler tackled Mars, "most obstinate of the ancient planets, which would test the powers of his physical astronomy" (p. 87), where his law forced him to conclude that "the orbit of Mars was not a circle; it was an oval" (p. 90), or, more precisely, an ellipse, as Kepler would discover "accidentally" (p. 107) only after much "exceedingly tedious work" (p. 100) and "garbled physics" (p. 101). "Unsure of the exact geometry of the Martian orbit", "he temporarily had to assume the oval to be an ellipse ... in order to apply the area law ... When locating the planet ... he found it to lie precisely on the auxiliary ellipse he had been using" (p. 129). To explain this type of motion physically, Kepler likened the sun's motive force to "a circular river carrying a boat around its course. A steering oar, ... as Kepler said, '... turns around once in twice in the periodic time of the planet'" (p. 110), generating the oval orbit.

One remarkable application of Kepler's physical theory, which he put forth in the Epitome Astronomiae Copernicanae (1618-1621), is that it predicts the densities of the planets. "[A] plamet resisted motion because of the inertia of its matter ... Moreover, a planet that was physically larger experienced the effect of the solar virtue through its whole volume", so "since the general factors, length of path and strength of force, would together increase the period as the square of distance from the sun, while the actual periods only grew as 3/2 power of distance, it was clear that the planetary densities must decrease as the square root of distance, to explain the observed relation" (p. 143). "This alerts us to a distinction which cannot be overemphasised. For Kepler, his 'third law' was no law at all, at least not so far as concerned natural science ... it was an empirical fact", which had an interesting application to planetary densities, and which "was clearly of archetypal importance, and could not have been unintended by the Creator" (p. 144).

5-0 out of 5 stars i think it is intellectually stimulating. a must read
this is a great book for anyone interested in astronom ... Read more

8. Johannes Kepler: Discovering the Laws of Celestial Motion (Great Scientists)
by William J. Boerst
Library Binding: 128 Pages (2003-04)
list price: US$28.95 -- used & new: US$22.05
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Asin: 1883846986
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9. Heavenly Intrigue: Johannes Kepler, Tycho Brahe, and the Murder Behind One of History's Greatest Scientific Discoveries
by Joshua Gilder, Anne-Lee Gilder
Hardcover: 320 Pages (2004-05-18)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$14.45
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Asin: B000V5ZU1I
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Johannes Kepler changed forever our understanding of the universe. Through his efforts to chart the orbits of the planets—elliptical, not circular—Kepler became one of the most important astronomers of all time.His contributions continued as he laid the groundwork for the discovery of gravitation, setting physics on the course of revelation it follows to this day. Yet if it hadn't been for the now lesser known Tycho Brahe, the Royal Court Mathematician at Prague, the man for whom Kepler worked, Kepler would be a mere footnote in today's science books. Brahe was the foremost astronomer of his era and one of the first great systematic empirical thinkers and earliest founders of the modern scientific method.His forty years of planetary observations—an unparalleled treasure of empirical data—contained the key to Kepler's monumental revelation of elliptical orbit. These observations, essential to Kepler's breakthrough, became available to Kepler only after Brahe's death. This groundbreaking history portrays the stormy collaboration of these two astronomers at the turn of the seventeenth century and their shattering discoveries that would mark the transition from medieval to modern science.

Yet that is only half the story. Based on recent forensic evidence (analyzed here for the first time) and original research into the medieval/renaissance history of alchemy, and buttressed by in-depth interviews with leading historians, scientists, and medical specialists, the authors have put together shocking and compelling evidence that Tycho Brahe did not die of natural causes, as has been believed for four hundred years, but was systematically poisoned—most likely by his former assistant, Johannes Kepler.

An epic of scientific discovery, HEAVENLY INTRIGUE is a tale of protean modern astronomy, personal ambition, the search for truth and beauty amid power politics, court intrigue, superstition, and the ever present quest to reach farther into the universe.

Amazon.com Review
Johannes Kepler's laws of planetary motion rank among science's biggest ideas. But did Kepler lie, steal, or even murder for the data he needed to complete his revolutionary calculations? Joshua and Anne-Lee Gilder make this bold claim in Heavenly Intrigue, the story of Kepler's troubled relationship with Tycho Brahe. The astronomers are shown as polar opposites--Kepler the anguished, poor misanthrope and Brahe the blustering young noble on intimate terms with King Frederick II. Since the authors tip their hand early in the book, it's easy to mistake the two men's lives as predestined, their sad fates written in the stars. Kepler, the suspect, is revealed to be consumed with a "constant boiling anger" and beset by illness and unhealed sores. When Kepler and Brahe meet, it is under a dark cloud of misunderstanding that foreshadows later conflicts. Each genius offends the other, publicly and privately:Brahe, holding the money and power, makes Kepler do tedious calculations rather than sponsoring original research, while Kepler demands patronage and lusts after valuable data. When the story is done, the narrative moves quickly to the 20th century. The apocryphal tale of Brahe's demise by burst bladder is systematically countered by researchers who find toxic levels of mercury in hairs from what is presumed to be Brahe's corpse. Did Kepler, who had means, motive, and opportunity, poison Brahe? Readers will either be convinced by the end of the prologue or have lingering doubts about the case's holes that even the authors' certainty can't patch. --Therese Littleton ... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

4-0 out of 5 stars very intriguing indeed
An interesting view behind the scenes of two extremely important scientists of the 16th/17th century. With lots of interesting quotes, although with a slight bias in favour of Tycho, against Kepler. Some rather complicated theories of Kepler are very well explained.

4-0 out of 5 stars Scientist Assassins
Heavenly Intrigue, by Joshua and Anne-Lee Gilder, is a novel written with the assertion that scientist Johannes Kepler murdered scientist Tycho Brahe in the early seventeenth century.Before giving a myriad of forensic evidence to support this assertion, the authors offer a brief biography of each scientist that outlines both their personal and astronomical lives.Entwined in these facts are hints of Kepler's malevolent mental instability and his progressive hatred toward Brahe.Thus, the authors appear to have been motivated to write this novel as an attempt to reveal the true cause of Brahe's death and to label Kepler as not only a brilliant scientist, but a self-centered assassin.Aside from the darker, more hypothetical aspect of the novel, the authors describe each scientist's effect on posterity.Namely, Brahe instigated the methodology of science that develops theories after repeatedly gathering empirical data, while Kepler developed three planetary laws that redefined the structure of the solar system.Most importantly, both scientists opened avenues of ideas and questions that prompted Isaac Newton to discover the force of gravity.This novel is an ideal novel to read for a different perspective on two of history's most influential scientists.By intertwining their scientific achievements with historical background, it becomes easier to comprehend their lifestyles, motivations, and ambitions.

4-0 out of 5 stars Intriguing scientific history
The Gilders have combined short biographies of both Brahe and Kepler to tell a story about early modern science, centered on their startling theory that Brahe was murdered by Kepler.

I haven't personally researched these individuals outside this book, so I don't feel fully qualified to comment on the rather sensational accusation which other reviewers here have dismissed so emphatically.But even from this one book, it's clear that Brahe, although a nobleman, didn't own land or substantial wealth which he could leave to his survivors.His income depended entirely on his professional skills and high reputation, which his children didn't share.So his death was an utter disaster for his family, rendering his wife an implausible suspect, notwithstanding the theories of some reviewers here.Kepler, who by winding up with control of Brahe's unique and immensely valuable body of astronomical observations was the greatest beneficiary of the scientist's death, is at least a plausible suspect.

Some writers have suggested that Brahe's death was an acidental overdose. (Alchemists of the period, and Brahe was one, did employ mercury in various elixirs.)But the Gilders' argument that Brahe owuldn't have accidentally administered the very large does of mercury that killed him I found quite persuasive.

It's unfortunate that the discussion of this book has centered so strongly on the controversy of whether Kepler was the killer, because there's a lot of other interesting material here, all of it skillfully told.The importance of Brahe's contribution to science, the remarkable ingenuity with which Brahe compiled observations actually more accurate than were possible with early telescopes, the analysis of why both Brahe and Kepler still took astrology quite seriously, and the remarkable methods which made it possible to demonstrate beyond serious dispute, 400 years after the fact, that Brahe died of mercury poisoning and not the traditionally supposed bladder or kidney failure, are all clearly described and make the book worth reading even if you can't accept the authors' murder theory.

1-0 out of 5 stars Annoyingly Slanted.Not Science, But Speculation
When I borrowed a copy of this from the university library (thank God I didn't buy it), I was misled since it was the hardbound edition without the jacket, so all I saw was "Heavenly Intrigue."If I had seen the complete title, I wouldn't have bothered.The authors are truly of this generation, the CSI/forensic-wannabes (every cable channel has them now, very dismaying) who portray the facts from a mystery caper point of view, instead of looking at all the possible factors surrounding Brahe's death.Having read the other reviews, I find it just as compelling that it could have been Mrs. Brahe who had to euthanize him.And Brahe, although popular, had his own share of enemies, from religious extremists to possible other rivals.Maybe even kindergarten enemies, who knows? -- he did have a disfigured nose, a testament to his pugnacious nature.That should have been an obvious clue to the authors.As much as they try to give Kepler his due, they also paint him as a villain, on account of his mental troubles, his moods, etc.Well, I have news for the authors... most scientists have had their psychotic episodes:Newton suffered from depression (and by some accounts, a form of dementia) in his later years; Leibniz was worse off.Boltzmann wound up committing suicide.But the point of all this?Everyone, especially in those times, weren't quite right in the head.Hey, if you were living in war-ridden, plague-infested times, would you really be morally sound and civilized, the way we like to think of ourselves now??I don't think so!!!!!And what is the whole point of this forensic crap??Just to prove Brahe was murdered?To find a culprit, at any costs??To make Kepler the Fall Guy???The same has been said about some who have made important contributions in culture, science, and history, like Caravaggio or George Washington (both suspected and/or accused of murder in their lifetimes).The man lived miserably, and may not have been a saint.Despite Kepler's being obsessive a scientist (or philosopher, depending on your point of view) as he was... which scientist isn't?... he never quite expected to see the same kind of glory as Brahe did.Scientists then didn't enjoy the same prestige that we do now.

In closing, I will say that this book completely annoyed me, because it sought to reduce two of the most important scientific figures down to a scientific rivalry that went astray and resulted into yet another murder story.As storied and tumultuous their relationship was, there is no denying that both Brahe and Kepler's contributions helped usher in the modern era of science.Without them, Newton would not have had his Laws of Motion, Einstein would never have even thought of Relativity, and quantum mechanics may have never existed.Brahe and Kepler's story is so much more than that.Perhaps these so-called science writers (as well as those other investigative writers) should stop speculating -- like what the Da Vinci Code crowd likes to do -- and start thinking, really thinking about stuff that really matters, like the nature of everyday things and the universe.Life is not an endless cycle of Adam and Eve, and Cain and Abel but really a testament to the first seven days of Creation, and beyond, and how it works.And that is what scientists are primarily concerned about -- not about who's right or wrong.Ultimately, both Brahe and Kepler would have agreed as much.

1-0 out of 5 stars Wrong Conclusion
I've researched this duo as well, extensively, from a scientific viewpoint, as one who works in a scientific field. The relationship between these two investigators is unique and well worth studying independently, away from the 'whodunnit' scenarios that this book creates.

The duo of Brahe/Kepler is an 'odd-couple'. For a few examples, of which there are countless dozens: Brahe was a showboat, he loved to party, cleanliness was his forte, kept up on his scientific discipline, whereas Kepler hated to bathe, seemed overly introverted, and was prone to reach out to spiritual/astrological notions about atronomical events.

The person most likely to kill Brahe was his devoted wife, whom he virtually ignored. She was the one who administered his medicine on his deathbed. Tycho suffered for days, the pain never went away. And so it was his wife who euthanised him.The author Joshua Gilder ignored the family's role in Tycho's death, as Tycho ignored his family during his life. With many children, all to maintain the observatory, we hear of not one child who was interested in the data he collected, or even suspicious of malfeasance. It's too bad, because in ignoring the role of Tycho Brahe's family, Gilder poorly scandalised a great scientific contributor, Johannes Kepler.

If you are interested in this topic, please conduct your own research, it will be worth it. Because the book is awful. ... Read more

10. Epitome of Copernican Astronomy & Harmonies of the World (Great Minds Series)
by Johannes Kepler
Paperback: 245 Pages (1995-11)
list price: US$14.98 -- used & new: US$6.00
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Asin: 1573920363
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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The brilliant German mathematician Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), one of the founders of modern astronomy, revolutionised the Copernican heliocentric theory of the universe with his three laws of motion: that the planets move not in circular but elliptical orbits, that their speed is greatest when nearest the sun, and that the sun and planets form an integrated system. This volume contains two of his most important works: "The Epitome of Copernican Astronomy" (books 4 and 5 of which are translated here) is a textbook of Copernican science, remarkable for the prominence given to physical astronomy and for the extension to the Jovian system of the laws recently discovered to regulate the motions of the Planets; and "Harmonies of the World" (book 5 of which is translated here) expounds an elaborate system of celestial harmonies depending on the varying velocities of the planets. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
If you're interested in the universe and music and math and all that that pertains too, purchase this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Kepler's Tribute to Copernicus
In this volume, Kepler combines much of his work into what he believes to be a more accessible understanding of the planetary orbits. I would recommend this book for the serious student of Astronomy, because although it is less demanding than 'Astronomia Nova', it is quite in depth and certain adjustments are made to the Copernican cosmology which the reader must have some familiarity with. A final notice: this edition of the 'Epitome..' is only sections 4 & 5. The prior sections have never beenbrought into English.

4-0 out of 5 stars A small sample..
This is a republication of an old translation.

If you haven't read Kepler's own words, then this book will be both more and less than you expected. It is both a mathematical and philosophically speculative text, which in some sections can get quite technical.(Warning: the title is a bit deceiving. Only part of the Epitome is included.)

I would only give 3 stars to this book, except that english translations of Kepler's works are very few, and this book is the most financially accessible of those currently on the market. I therefore recommend it as a good first exposure.

There's no substitute to reading the original words of great thinkers, especially in gaining insight into their way of approaching the world.

4-0 out of 5 stars A small sample..
This is a republication of an old translation.

If you haven't read Kepler's own words, then this book will be both more and less than you expected. It is both a mathematical and phylsophically speculative text, which in some sections can get quite technical.(Warning: the title is a bit deceiving. Only part of the Epitome is included.)

I would only give 3 stars to this book, except that english translations of Kepler's works are very few, and this book is the most financially accessible of those currently on the market. I therefore recommend it as a good first exposure.

There's no substitute to reading the original words of great thinkers, especially in gaining insight into their way of approaching the world. ... Read more

11. The Watershed: A Biography of Johannes Kepler (Science Study Series)
by Arthur Koestler
 Paperback: 280 Pages (1985-01)
list price: US$22.50 -- used & new: US$14.99
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Asin: 0819143391
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Koestler and Kepler: The Perfect Fusion
"The Watershed" by Arthur Koestler is a magnificent piece of literature that is unique, yet well organized and informative of the life and works of Johannes Kepler. Koestler does a great job in showing how the modern world-view was slowly replaced by the medieval world-view and how science has progressively advanced. He has a direct goal to demonstrate the distinction between Humanities and Sciences. I believe it is a necessary book to read for anyone interested in science. It enables the reader with agreater understanding of the universe and the planets in our solar system. It is also unique in showing the struggles Kepler and many scientists face during their lives that they must overcome. Kepler's personal writings fused with Koestler's outside commentary provide for an informative read applicable to any reader. Koestler shows how Kepler's studies directly influenced modern astronomy and physics through his three laws, which were pivotal in the works of Isaac Newton. Also, he effectively demonstrates the process in which Kepler drew up his theories and found his discoveries, as well as the resistance he faced from the general public, himself, and other factors. "The Watershed is one biography that should be read by anyone interested in physics, astronomy, or any other science.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Watershed
This book is an excellent read for all inquiring minds, young and old.As a young avid reader, it was this book and the memory of Koestler's words describing not only Kepler himself, but of the watershed crest where thought and reason began to cascade down the slope of knowledge; it was this that ignited within me the spark that touched off a greater quest for knowledge.My son is now nine, and I hope that this book may have the some of the same cathartic effect on him.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stuck between two worlds
Arthur Kooestler was a true 20th century man. At various periods in his life he was a refugee, communist, Zionist and democratic-socialist. He was a true cosmopolitan, in the positive sense, and also a student of the history of science.
The Watershed is a hymn to a forgotten hero of science - the astronomer J. Kepler who lived in the latter part of the 16th and early part of the 17th centuries. Koestler projects him as a true genius, the father of modern cosmology, who laid the foundation for modern astronomy and who paved the way for Newtonian physics but never realized the importance of his three laws. Kepler was caught between two worlds: themedieval theological world based on Aristotelian physics and modern science based on observation and calculation. If you like he was caught between his heart and his mind. This is readily seen in his works which range from the mystic to the scientific.
Keplers three laws were:
1.the planets do not orbit in circles but in ellipses.

2.the speed of the planets vary during their orbit.
3.there is an exact correlation between a planets' period of revolution around the sun and it's distance from the sun: the squares of the periods of revolution of any two planets are as the cubes of their mean distance from the sun.
In fact, Kepler had discovered gravity but didn't realize it. This great mind couln't make the the final jump into modernity. This book is a really fine portrayal of Kepler as a great thinker, a man of his times and as Everyman with the same personal problems we all experience.
I strongly reccomend this forgotten work to anybody interested in the history of science. ... Read more

12. Kepler: A novel
by John Banville
Paperback: 208 Pages (1993-10-05)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$6.24
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Asin: 0679743707
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Elliptical Prose
A short review, for a change: I agree with the other reviewers that these "scientific" novels of the early Banville do not hold an early Renaissance tallow candle to his later work.--Please see my review of Doctor Copernicus in re this lack--but just to reiterate, Banville is still Banville, in a celestial sphere above the scrum of other writers.

Yes, as one reviewer has noted, the letters in Harmonia Mundi, the fourth part of the novel, form a chronological circuit of some sort.Call it an ellipse if you must, but methinks this is a wee bit of preciousness on Banville's part.

The other reviewers have covered all the other, ahem, shall we say, foci? - Good period detail (q.v. C.V. Wedgwood's account of the Thirty Years' War if you want more horrors from this ghastly period of history.), interesting insights into Kepler's moods, states of mind etc.

And, most of all, Banville's elegant prose in embryonic stage.How would you describe a layer of fallen snow?Banville describes it thus:

"Cold it had been that morning, the sky like a bruised gland and a taste of metal in the air, and everything holding its breath under an astonishment of fallen snow."

Even in these early works, Banville can still astonish.

2-0 out of 5 stars Novel of ideas - not Banville's forte
Kepler is a well written historical novel written during a time when Banville was attempting to write what he considered 'European novels of ideas'. In writing about the mind of a great scientist, has found a way to write about creativity without going down the established, oft cliched route of writing about writing, or painting. However it is fundamentally a poor book, which Banville has subsequently admitted. It artfully chronicles the ideas of Kepler, his struggle, but fails to invoke this in a passionate or beautiful manner.

Banville's best novels are works of art. As Beckett said of Joyce, his work is not about anything, it is about the work itself. Kepler is a novel about something, a novel of ideas. It does not work well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Biographical Novel
Close on the heels of finishing Banville's novel Doctor Copernicus, a story based on the life of Nicholas Copernicus, I started reading this novel on the life of Johannes Kepler.I had enjoyed Mr. Banville's book on Copernicus but I found that I enjoyed this book on Kepler even more.In terms of structure and power of prose, the two books are much the same but in Kepler Banville seems to know his man much better.

Doctor Copernicus powerfully evokes its time period and setting but it does so at the expense of the main character in some ways.Here, Kepler and his story seem to be more the driving force which made for an even more interesting read.Many of the main conflicts of Kepler's life are here--his struggles with Brahe, his problems with his wife, his mother's trial for witchcraft, his endless search for riches & fame along with truth--and they are brought out well through the eyes of the main character.

Banville's mastery of beautiful prose my still lie in the years following this early novel; however, he was a writer of incredible power from his earliest books.For someone interested in science as I am, reading this book is a no-brainer:it needs to be read.However, any reader will find much to enjoy here.

4-0 out of 5 stars Elliptically told, fitting Kepler's own perigrinations
This earlier historical novel in the scientific series Banville wrote in the 80s sparkles with detail. Especially in the first section, you feel the damp of a castle, the gloom of a chamber, and smell the slops and suds. It's slow going at the start, "Mysterium Cosmagraphicum," as Kepler squares off against Brahe, and tries to gain favor with the Emperor. But this part, in hindsight, dazzles the most for the density of texture, in the prose and what it describes. You glimpse the tension between teaching schoolkids basic skills and Kepler's longing to plunge into elevated research--certainly I could relate to this as a teacher! Banville sketches easily the battle between living in a decaying world and pondering in an ethereal realm timeless (so Kepler thinks) truths.

Part II lacks a title but shows how Kepler the husband must deal with the mundane among an increasingly perilous era when witches are burnt and Protestants are expelled, and how he must make a living thanks to the formidable tension created by his relationship with his father-in-law and his wife. The household and domestic strife both ring with recognizable scenes, despite the superficial differences in decor and diet, and show Banville's ability to capture drama in the everyday affairs that we too share, if in less fraught situations. Throughout the novel, a loved one's loss and the ebb and flow of intimacy within a family as expressed through Kepler's ruminations make for eloquent, yet unadorned prose that convinces you of its truth.

Part III, "Dioptrice," focuses upon his mathematical ambitions and the possibilities and competition opened up by Galileo and his telescope. Here again, the exile from favor he endures balances well with the cosmological theories he seeks to verify slowly and painfully.

For "Harmonia Mundi," part IV takes the form of not only letters to colleagues and friends relating his discoveries, but these letters, from 1605-11, form themselves an arc or an ellipse! I've never seen this before in a book. The letters start in 1605, progress chronologically to 1611, and then slowly retreat again from the verification of his contention that planets move elliptically back gradually to 1605.

For part V, fittingly titled "Somnium," the later years of Kepler are movingly described as once more he must wander out of favor with the imperial contenders within an ideologically divided Central Europe.

This book moves at an uncertain pace, mimicking its protagonist. At times, it drags, perhaps intentionally illustrating the frustrations frequently felt by Kepler within a society that does not understand his devotion to the stars or his introspective fits and starts of genius. You get--to my surprise--few of the details of Prague parading itself that I had expected, given how in the non-fictional "Prague Pictures," (also reviewed by me on Amazon) written two decades after "Kepler," the struggles of Kepler and Brahe are grippingly told by Banville in exactly this Czech context.

The prose does not leap out as vividly in later sections as the former ones, but one quote remains in my mind. Banville provides Kepler's recollection of the loss of his virginity to a teenaged girl he meets at a pub. "Yet beyond the act itself, that frantic froglike swim to the edge of the cataract's edge, he had found something touching in her skinny flanks and her frail chest, that rank rose under its furred cap of bone." (38) The female body and the sexual act have been depicted millions of ways perhaps in literature; at this late state, Banville still can make such familiar scenes vivid again.

3-0 out of 5 stars Yawn!
I picked this book up from the library after reading that Banville won the Booker Prize for "The Sea". Plus, I love reading history books about 16th and 17th century science. So I figured: How could I go wrong?

Well, the good thing about "Kepler" is that it was short. If it had been more than 200 pages, I just wouldn't have made it through. I liked the beginning part of the book, when Kepler meets Tycho for the first time, but after that it went downhill. Simply put: The last half of the book was a snoozer. Nothing much happens. Which is a shame, because Kepler was an extraordinarily interesting historical figure. I was waiting to be riveted, and it just didn't happen.

I really tried hard to like this book, but it just didn't do it for me. ... Read more

13. The Musical Order of the World: Kepler, Hesse, Hindemith (Interplay)
by Siglind Bruhn
Paperback: 255 Pages (2005-10-30)
list price: US$36.00 -- used & new: US$36.00
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Asin: 1576471179
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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In the disastrous years before and during the Second World War, when confidence in a harmonious future was as difficult as it was crucial for spiritual survival, two German artists in exile wrote what would become their late masterpieces. The composer Paul Hindemith conceived an opera on the famous astronomer Johannes Kepler s mature life and theories, The Harmony of the World; the poet and novelist Hermann Hesse wrote a complex literary collage, The Glass Bead Game. Both works address the topic of universal harmony in the fabric of creation and culture, as well as the urgent problem of how such harmony can heal the spiritual, mental, and emotional developments of individuals and of society at large. The two quests are mirrored into circumstances that are almost equidistant from the mid-20th-century period in which their stories are being told Hindemith s opera centers on an outstanding intellectual in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, while Hesse s work focuses on this intellectual s counterpart projected into a fictional world of the early 23rd century. In both cases, the quest for harmony and truthful proportion manifests at all levels of the stories told and of the works telling them. Siglind Bruhn s thought-provoking interdisciplinary study is organized along the lines of the seven areas in which scholars of the Pythagorean tradition from Plato to Kepler and beyond found universal harmony paradigmatically realized music, arithmetic, geometry and astronomy (the quadrivium of the medieval liberal arts) complemented by metaphysics, psychology, and art. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A contemplative discussion of the connections between music study, world cultures, and cosmology
Musicologist, concert pianist, and interdisciplinary scholar Siglind Bruhn presents The Musical Order Of The World: Kepler, Hesse, Hindemith, a contemplative discussion of the connections between music study, world cultures, and cosmology, particularly as researched by great scientific minds. Covering topics from "Music's Moral Power in Ancient China and Hesse's Castalia" to "The Eternal Realm of Numerical Relations", to an extremely close reading of Kepler's poetry concerning the meaning of death. The Musical Order Of The World is a thoughtful and perfectly attuned blend of advanced music study, ground-breaking scholarship, and metaphysical awareness.
... Read more

14. The Eye of Heaven: Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler (Masters of Modern Physics)
by Owen Gingerich
Hardcover: 458 Pages (1997-05-01)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$39.96
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Asin: 0883188635
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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"I can think of few better ways of introducing students to the history of astronomy than by using The Eye of Heaven as a text....This is science at its best....Not only does Gingerich make you think, he also forces you back in time and makes you think as astronomers did then. Students need this inspiration." David Hughes, New Scientist

Astronomer and historian Owen Gingerich provides a fascinating introduction to three giants of early astronomy: Ptolemy, Copernicus, and Kepler. In these collected essays, Gingerich examines the revolution in man's conception of the universe brought about by the shift from the earth-centered cosmos of Ptolemy to the sun-centered model of Copernicus. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Eye of Heaven: Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler
I bought this book because I am hoping to write a book myself, giving a thumbnail sketch of history relevant to today's climate science (including Global Warming) from the Ancient Egyptians through Newton and Foucault and into the present. Real meteorology started 7 years after Foucault's work, as a direct result of what was learned from Foucault's pendulum.

I am a climate scientist, not an historian, so I have a steep learning curve to write such a book.I had previously obtained Toomer's magnificent translation of Ptolemy's "Almagest" (it shows Ptolemy to have been the world's first full-on theoretical physicist, and a magnificent teacher). I knew Toomer valued Gingerich highly, so I bought Gingerich's book. It has not disappointed. It has helped me to understand Ptolemy's fairly opaque book much better, and has also given me a much better appreciation of Copernicus the man.
I would have liked it if Gingerich had described Brahe in the same way -- we scientists value observations first, then theory -- and Ivar Peterson's "Newton's Clock" does a better job on Kepler. Nevertheless, I nearly gave this book five stars, not four.

5-0 out of 5 stars Required reading!
This book is essential for anybody who wants to understand what Ptolemy, Copernicus and Kepler really did. It's a bit more technical than "The Great Copernicus Chase", but if you're serious, you'll appreciate it.

And if you're really serious, you'll get a copy of the paper by James Evans in Am. J. Phys 56 (Nov, 1988) 1009-1024. It answered tons of technical questions for me. Just do it, you'll thank me (and Jim Evans!). ... Read more

15. StudentInnen und Unternehmensgründung: Eine empirische Studie an der Johannes Kepler Universität Linz (German Edition)
by Johannes Richter
Paperback: 162 Pages (2001-01-01)
list price: US$89.90 -- used & new: US$89.90
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Asin: 3838652053
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Diplomarbeit, die am 10.07.2001 erfolgreich an einer Universität in Österreich im Fachbereich Sozial- und Wirtschaftswissenschaften eingereicht wurde. Einleitung: Trotz zunehmender Aktualität des Themas "Unternehmensgründung" existieren bislang nur fragmentarische Untersuchungen zur Gründungsneigung und zum Gründungsverhalten von Studierenden. Diese bereits existierenden Studien wurden bereits in der Einleitung teilweise zitiert. Diese Arbeit soll aktuelle Daten von Studierenden an der Johannes Kepler Universität in bezug auf Unternehmensgründungen liefern. Die vorliegende Diplomarbeit verfolgt folgende Ziele: Abschätzung des Gründungspotentials unter den Studierenden der Johannes Kepler Universität Linz an den verschiedenen Fakultäten Klarlegung der Schwierigkeiten und Barrieren bei einer Unternehmensgründung unter den Studierenden der Johannes Kepler Universität Linz Erhebung des Bedarfes auf Wunsch der StudentInnen nach gründungsfördernden und gründungsunterstützenden Maßnahmen seitens der Johannes Kepler Universität Linz Erhebung von Gründungsneigung und Kenntnisse der Gründerinfrastruktur unter den Studierenden der Johannes Kepler Universität Linz. Inhaltsverzeichnis: 1.|EINLEITUNG|17 1.1|Problemstellung|17 1.2|Ziel dieser Diplomarbeit|19 1.3|Aufbau der Arbeit|19 2.|GRUNDLEGENDE BEGRIFFSDEFINITION|21 2.1|Der Begriff Unternehmer|21 2.2|Der Begriff Jungunternehmer|21 2.3|Der Begriff Gründer|22 2.4|Der Begriff der Neugründung|22 2.5|Matrix der Gründungsarten|23 2.5.1|Originäre Gründung|23 2.5.2|Derivative Gründung|23 2.6|Die Phasen einer Unternehmensgründung nach Risak|24 2.6.1|Vor-Gründungsphase|24 2.6.2|Gründungsphase|24 2.6.3|Nach-Gründungsphase|25 2.7|Die Phasen einer Unternehmensgründung nach Kailer|25 3.|DIE GRÜNDUNGSSITUATION IN ÖSTERREICH|26 3.1|Zahlen und Fakten zum Unternehmertum In Österreich|26 3.2|Selbständigenquoten und Gründungsquoten im EU-Vergleich|27 3.2.1|Vergleichsprobleme|27 3.3| ... Read more

16. Heavenly Intrigue: Johannes Kepler, Tycho Brahe, and the Murder Behind One of History's Greatest Scientific Discoveries
by Joshua Gilder, Anne-Lee Gilder
Paperback: 336 Pages (2005-06-14)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$8.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400031761
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Heavenly Intrigue is the fascinating, true account of the seventeenth-century collaboration between Johannes Kepler and Tycho Brahe that revolutionized our understanding of the universe–and ended in murder.One of history’s greatest geniuses, Kepler laid the foundations of modern physics with his revolutionary laws of planetary motion. But his beautiful mind was beset by demons. Born into poverty and abuse, half-blinded by smallpox, he festered with rage, resentment, and a longing for worldly fame. Brahe, his mentor, was a flamboyant aristocrat who had spent forty years mapping the heavens with unprecedented accuracy–but he refused to share his data with Kepler. With Brahe’s untimely death in Prague in 1601, rumors flew across Europe that he had been murdered. But it took twentieth-century forensics to uncover the poison in his remains, and the detective work of Joshua and Anne-Lee Gilder to identify the prime suspect–the ambitious, envy-ridden Kepler himself. A fast-paced, true-life account that reads like a thriller, Heavenly Intrigue is a remarkable feat of historical re-creation. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

1-0 out of 5 stars Intrigue Indeed: More Like Scienc Fantasy
Brahe and Kepler were giants, both in science and in character, and they deserve better than this book. There are some interesting factoids about Kepler's pathologic family, his strange relationship with his university and his well known struggle to obtain the observations of the orbit of Mars which were made by Brahe. Beyond that there is little if anything to recommend this book. The relationship between Tycho and Kepler is far better documented in the excellent book by Kitty Ferguson which is concerned with the facts and not the fiction. One star is more than this book merits.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not buying the whole tale...
This book discusses the lives and relationship between two key figures in astronomy, Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler. Brahe was a nobelman who shrugged off political life to pursue his love of science and the stars. Kepler was a commoner who also studied the heavens and developed the laws of planetary motion. Kepler is portrayed as an insecure man looking for acceptance. The book also gives me the impression that Kepler did not like Brahe, while Brahe seems to be constantly helping Kepler and his family. Kepler is given a job by Brahe and Brahe also pays Kepler out of his own pocket, while his financial situation is being resolved. However, Kepler seems to go out of his way to fight with Brahe and look for a way to get out from under Brahe's control. Regardless of the help being given by Brahe.

The main point of the book is to lay the foundation and grounds for why someone would want to murder Brahe. Namely Kepler. I am not an expert in either astronomers' life, but I find the book too one sided. I would have to do more research to come to a conclusion, but for now my verdict is out. I have read a little that brings into question some of the findings from the tests performed on Brahe's hair.

I do not think the issue is as clear cut as the book tends to conclude. The book also doesn't clearly discuss the questions with the test results. The book was still enjoyable to read, but I believe more research is required to come to any conclusions.

1-0 out of 5 stars A Fraud
I'd have some respect for this book if it were marketed at a work of fiction because that's what it is. The authors have little familiarity with any aspect of their subject. It's particularly unlikely that Tycho would have spent the last day of his life tying up loose ends, such as taking care that his common law wife and children would be his heirs, if his death were unexpected. And no one who has studied Kepler closely and honestly could imagine him capable of murder.

5-0 out of 5 stars A historical re-creation of the seventeenth-century collaboration between geniuses Johannes Kepler and Tycho Brahe
Heavenly Intrigue: Johannes Kepler, Tycho Brahe, And The Murder Behind One Of History's Greatest Scientific Discoveries is a historical re-creation of the seventeenth-century collaboration between geniuses Johannes Kepler and Tycho Brahe. Kepler's scientific brilliance laid the foundation for modern physics, and his mentor Brahe spent forty years mapping the heavens with more accuracy than any before him; yet Brahe refused to share his maps with Kepler. When Brahe died far too young in 1601, rumors circulated that he had been murdered, yet it took twentieth- century forensics to reveal the proof - poison in Brahe's remains. Authors Joshua Gilder and Anne-Lee Gilder apply detective work to point a reasoned accusation against the ambitious Kepler. Heavenly Intrigue is a simply stunning, thoroughly researched work that dares to question the personal character of great thinkers.
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17. Johannes Kepler: Discovering the Laws of Planetary Motion (Great Minds of Science)
by Mary Gow
Library Binding: 128 Pages (2003-06)
list price: US$26.60
Isbn: 0766020983
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A biography of Johannes Kepler, the astronomer and mathematician who formulated the three laws of planetary motion. ... Read more

18. Stressreaktionen als Krankheitsfaktoren: (eine soziologische Studie) (Dissertationen der Johannes Kepler-Universitat Linz) (German Edition)
by Theresia Mechtler
 Unknown Binding: Pages (1985)

Isbn: 3853695981
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19. Einige Bedingungen fur Selbstorganisation in mikrosozialen Systemen (Schriften der Johannes-Kepler-Universitat Linz) (German Edition)
by Hubert Fein
 Paperback: 204 Pages (1996)
-- used & new: US$151.76
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3853207944
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20. Kausalitat und okonomische Theorie (Dissertationen der Johannes Kepler-Universitat Linz) (German Edition)
by Johann Kurt Brunner
 Unknown Binding: 201 Pages (1983)

Isbn: 3853695469
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