|History of Cosmological Models|
Ancient Western Models
* Idea: Until Galileo's observations much later, the universe consisted in the Sun, Moon, 5 planets, and the fixed stars; The western world accepted the idea of changes in the cosmos only after Tycho.
* Earliest sites: Nabta (Egyptian desert, 5000–3000 BC); Stonehenge (England, 3000–2000 BC).
* Mesopotamians: For astrological reasons.
Aristarchos of Samos
* History: First to propose a heliocentric model; his original work on this was lost, but is mentioned by Archimedes; Rejected by Aristotelians, the idea lay dormant until Copernicus, and his values for the sizes and distances of the Sun (too small by a factor 20) and Moon (close) were accepted only in the XVII century.
* Idea: Geometric celestial spheres bounded by a sphere of fixed stars (bounded universe inherited from mythology).
Stoic (ca 300 BC, Zeno of Citium)
* Idea: Finite cosmos of stars in an infinite void.
* History: Revived in the late middle ages, influenced by the scientific revolution.
* Eudoxus of Cnidus: Spheres for the motion of the planets.
* Epicurus of Samos: (See ca 70 BC Lucretius, De rerum natura) Uniform material universe of unlimited extent, with worlds scattered in an infinite void; All matter is composed of atoms, regulated by natural laws.
* Ptolemy: (II century AD) The most complete geocentric model.
@ General references: Duhem 85; Gangui CH(05)-a0806 [Dante and the cosmos of the XIII century].
@ Specific topics: Van Helden 85; Ginzburg 92 [Menocchio, 1500s]; Buonanno & Quercellini NA(09)-a0812 [Dante's cosmography]; Koltachykhina a1303-conf [religion and cosmological ideas in Ukraine, XI to XVII century]; Bower et al PRS(14)-a1403, Sparavigna IJS(14)-a1404 [Robert Grosseteste's "medieval multiverse" and cosmology].
Renaissance and Other Intermediate Western Models
* Tycho Brahe: Mixed model, with the Sun and Moon revolving around Earth, and the other planets around the Sun; But was a good observer.
* Copernicus: First modern heliocentric model.
* Menocchio: Italian miller, thought that the world is self-created, from chaos, like cheese from milk.
* Idea: It was still thought that interplanetary space was filled with normal air (although the experiments proposed by Pascal on the thinning of the air with altitude had already given positive results).
* Descartes: Non-atomic material system of indefinite extent (Aristotelian and Epicurean).
* Fontenelle: Plurality of worlds.
* Galileo: First use of telescope in astronomy; Support of heliocentric ideas.
* Kepler: Elliptical orbits around the Sun; Three laws of planetary motion.
@ References: Graney a0903 [Galileo, Marius, and Tycho's geocentric model].
Newton (Epicurean and Stoic)
* Idea: Atomic material system of finite size in an infinite void.
* History: Newton later on became Epicurean, due to the realized instability of a finite system (didn't consider rotation, proposed later by Wright); The instability of a static uniform distribution is solved by Providence.
@ References: Milne QJM(34), QJM(34); McCrea & Milne QJM(34).
* Herschel: The Milky Way is made of stars; First 3D image of the Milky Way.
* Kant: Island universes.
@ References: Ayala ASP-a1301.
* History: Fraunhofer, identification of spectral lines in sunlight; 1895, Boltzmann hinted at the possibility of expanding systems of stars.
* Entropic creation argument: An argument for the idea that the universe must have had a beginning, based on the second law of thermodynamics applied to the universe a a whole; Introduced in the late 1860s, although earlier versions of it can be found; Much discussed during the subsequent decades and used in support of divine creation; Debate declined around 1920 but traces of it can still be found in the modern literature on cosmology and religion [@ Kragh HSPBS(07)].
@ References: Molaro & Cappi a1506-proc [Edgar Allan Poe's cosmological views, as precursor to dynamical cosmology].
Non-Western Cosmologies > s.a. cosmological
@ Various cultures: Rech(96)nov, p62 [Amazonian]; Kak in(00)phy/98, ALB-phy/01 [Puranic], phy/02 [cyclic universe], in(05)phy/03 [Babylonian and Indian], in(05)phy/03 [Greek and Indian]; Narayan a0705 [Indian]; Kak a0903-conf [India].
References > s.a. cosmological
history; history of cosmology [models after 1900].
@ General: Kuhn 57; Munitz 57; Koestler 59; Crowe 90; Brush SA(92)aug; Crowe 94; Ferguson 99 [obs]; Kragh 04 [philosophical and religious context]; Park 05; Kragh 07; North 08 [and astronomy]; Hetherington & Hetherington 09; Luminet Cosm-a1604 [from creation in ancient traditions to the Big bang theory]; Smolinski 17 [I, and astronomy].
– journals – comments
– other sites – acknowledgements
send feedback and suggestions to bombelli at olemiss.edu – modified 10 may 2017