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Joy Christian: on 1/18/14 at 16:42pm UTC, wrote I just reread Zeeya's post which says that the videos are going to be...

Joy Christian: on 1/18/14 at 15:40pm UTC, wrote This is excellent. I didn't know Julian was fluent in Italian as well. I...

Zeeya Merali: on 1/17/14 at 19:34pm UTC, wrote This is a quick post to alert you to a new video project by FQXi members...


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July 16, 2020

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: The History of Astronomy with Julian Barbour and Flavio Mercati [refresh]
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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali wrote on Jan. 17, 2014 @ 19:34 GMT
This is a quick post to alert you to a new video project by FQXi members Julian Barbour and Flavio Mercati. Backed by FQXi, they are creating a series of films, in English and Italian, on the history of astronomy. Here is part one, in Italian, but with English subtitles. From Flavio:

This is the pilot for a series of movies on the history of astronomy written and produced by Julian Barbour and Flavio Mercati.

This series focuses on the twisted path that started with the birth of science in the Hellenistic era and culminated in Kepler's discovery of the laws of planetary motion nearly two millennia later. This first movie discusses the origins of Greek science and explains the object of study of ancient astronomy: the motions of the Sun, Moon, and the five planets visible with the naked eye as they appear from the Earth.

The movie concludes with the first great milestone in this story: Hipparchus and his geometrical model devised in about 150 BCE to explain the motion of the Sun relative to the fixed stars as observed from the Earth. As far as we know, it represents the first scientific theory in the modern sense.

The movie is in Italian with English subtitles, and is narrated by Flavio Mercati. Another two or three movies are planned, including an English version narrated by Julian Barbour. You can also choose to watch it with Italian subtitles, if you wish. To find the subtitles, look for the "caption" button along the bottom.

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Joy Christian wrote on Jan. 18, 2014 @ 15:40 GMT
This is excellent. I didn't know Julian was fluent in Italian as well. I know he is fluent in Russian, and he did his doctoral thesis in Germany---presumably written in German. And I am ever so envious of his command on English. But now we find out that he also speaks Italian (let me hasten to add, however, that I remain strongly opposed to his views on Time).

In any case, this video project is brilliant. It is unfortunate that many professional physicists and astronomers disdain knowing, let alone studying, the history of their subject. This project is a great opportunity to gain some insight into the subject from a well known expert, albeit from his own (perhaps a little biased) perspective. The quality of presentation is also excellent. My only complaint is that it is in Italian, and the subtitles just don't do it for me. Unfortunately the Italians did not manage to carve up the colonial map as much as the English did, so most of us do not speak or understand Italian. That is just too bad, because the subject matter of this video project deserves much wider audience. In my opinion *ALL* professional physicists and astronomers should be intimately familiar with the history of their subject presented here.

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Joy Christian replied on Jan. 18, 2014 @ 16:42 GMT
I just reread Zeeya's post which says that the videos are going to be narrated both in Italian and English. That is great.

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