AAPT Abstract Archive

Abstract Information

  Session: Histories Useful for Teaching Physics
  Paper Type: Contributed
  Title: The Spheres of Eudoxus
  Meeting: 2014 Summer Meeting: Minneapolis, Minnesota
  Location: N/A
  Time: 2:00PM
  Author: Todd K. Timberlake, Berry College
706-368-5622, ttimberlake@berry.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: In the 4th Century BCE, the Greek astronomer and mathematician Eudoxus of Cnidus developed a geometrical model to explain the observed motion of the planets. His model consisted of a series of connected, rotating spheres, all centered on the Earth. I will discuss the key features of Eudoxus' model (as reconstructed by Giovanni Schiaparelli in 1875) and present an open-source computer simulation that illustrates the model. I will discuss both the successes and the flaws of this model, and explain how a basic understanding of Eudoxan astronomy can help students appreciate the power and beauty of the later Ptolemaic astronomy. The computer simulation is available from the Open Source Physics collection at www.compadre.org/osp/.
  Footnotes: None
  Presentation: Eudoxus.pdf

2003 © American Association of Physics Teachers
Have questions about this site? Email the webmaster.
AAPT Home AAPT Abstract Archive Past Meeting Info