Archive for the ‘History’ Category

The Collaboration of Mileva Marić and Albert Einstein

This is a contemporary review of the involvement of Mileva Marić, Albert Einstein’s first wife, in his theoretical work between the period of 1900 to 1905. Separate biographies are outlined for both Mileva and Albert, prior to their attendance at Zürich Polytechnic in 1896. Then a combined journal is described, detailing significant events. In additional to a biographical sketch, comments by various authors are compared and contrasted concerning two narratives. Firstly, the sequence of events that happened and the couple’s relationship at particular times. Secondly, the contents of letters from both Albert and Mileva. Some interpretations of the usage of pronouns in those letters during 1899 and 1905 are re-examined, and a different hypothesis regarding the usage of those pronouns is introduced. We examine various papers and compare the content of each subsequent paper to the work that Mileva was performing. With a different take, this treatment further suggests that the couple continued to work together much longer than other authors have indicated. We also evaluate critics and supporters of the hypothesis that Mileva was involved in Einstein’s work, and refocus this within a historical context, in terms of women in science in the late 19th century. Lastly, the definition of, collaboration and co-authorship specifically, is outlined. As a result, recommendations are stated. The first of which is Mileva should be seriously considered as an honorary co-author of one, possibly two, papers. Secondly, it is recommended that a serious inquiry should be made, concerning the extent of Mileva Marićs involvement in Albert Einstein’s published works between 1902 and 1905.

Read the full article here:



By Estelle Asmodelle

The transit of Venus is happening 5th-6th June 2012.

There are plenty of Astronomical Societies who are holding ‘transit parties,’ including two that I do presentations to: The first one, here is a page from the Newcastle Astronomical Society with their ‘transit party’ and they had ABC radio there as well:

I understand they will be doing the same thing this year… and I will be going as well.

The second is the Sutherland Astronomical Society (largest such group in Sydney) – they have their own observatory, and it’s a good one too. They too are going to have a ‘transit party’

Incidentally, I am giving  a presentation to this group (in response to an invite from them after reading some of my articles in Cosmos) entitled: “Cosmology and the role of the General Theory of Relativity.” Which will be 2 nights after the transit – this will be the first time that I’ve given a presentation to this group, and I feel a bit intimidated by it as it’s a 90 minute presentation and they usually get university lecturers to do such presentations – fingers crossed that I have my ducks all in a row…

I didn’t see the 2004 transit as I was overseas at the time but I won’t miss this one! Here is an Australian site dedicated to the transit that you may find interesting as well:

Incidentally, Jeremiah Horrocks was the first person to successfully predict and observe the transit of Venus in 1639.

But the BIG news is really the total solar eclipse in Cairns, which is at the top of Queensland, that is the big news. Cairns is 3 hour flight and 2 hour drive from my home but we have our flight booked and our hotel booked ready – I am taking my two nephews as well, one is at Uni and the other is very interested in astronomy as well. Here in Australia its big news for many people and most of Cairns is booked out – I will taking my telescope and HD video camera, together with a suitable filter, to film the event – so it’s really exciting – it’s my first total eclipse. I have seen a couple of partials but never a total! Here is an Australian website with some more details:

By November it should be dry, also Cairns gets tropical rain and as the eclipse is just after sunrise it will 95% be dry, I just hope it’s clear skies!

Tycho Brahe has regained popularity at this time

Big news surrounding the exhumation of the body of Tycho Brahe – was he indeed poisioned? Read both articles for the full details of what is happening right now:

And even better read this one too:

Interesting… especially in the scope of this course.

The Astrolabe & the Antikythera

The Astrolabe is of interest in showing how much the ancient world knew of astronomy:

And I don’t think we can talk about Ancient Greek Astronomy without considering the Antikythera (around 2nd Century BC):

Although the later probably not really related to ancient astronomy – its still pretty interesting how they applied what they knew.

Here is a recent article published today as a free download on Nature about the Antikythera