René Descartes

The Dawn of Modern Cosmology

The Dawn of Modern Cosmology

From Copernicus to Newton


'How great, then, must be the incomprehensible space all the way to the furthest fixed stars? How wide and immense must be the depth of that fantastical sphere?'

In the late fifteenth century, it was believed that the earth stood motionless at the centre of a small, ordered cosmos. Just over two centuries later, everything had changed. Not only was the sun the centre of creation, but the entire practice of science had been revolutionised. This is the story of that astonishing transformation, told through the words of the astronomers and mathematicians at its heart. Bringing together excerpts from the works and letters of Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Descartes, Newton and others for the first time, The Dawn of Modern Cosmology is the definitive record of one of the great turning points in human history.

Edited with Translations, Notes and an Introduction by Aviva Rothman

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