Owen Gingerich, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 5:30pm
American Center for Physics (College Park, MD)
As astronomy grew more sophisticated in the Middle Ages, and as observations grew more accurate, astronomers added more and more epicycles to patch up the tottering ancient Ptolemaic theory. Fortunately Copernicus arrived in the nick of time to prevent total collapse of planetary astronomy. Professor Gingerich, an astrophysicist turned historian, will review the detective work required to demolish this popular long-standing mythology.