Tycho and Kepler and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Tycho & Kepler Hardcover – March 1, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0802713902 ISBN-10: 0802713904 Edition: y First edition

14 New from $17.99 29 Used from $4.25
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$17.99 $4.25

Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student



NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Save up to 90% on Textbooks
Rent textbooks, buy textbooks, or get up to 80% back when you sell us your books. Shop Now

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Walker & Company; y First edition edition (March 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802713904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802713902
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.9 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The story of how Copernicus replaced the prevailing geocentric view of the universe with his heliocentric model is a familiar one. Less familiar are Tycho Brahe's contributions to astronomy and his influence on Johannes Kepler, who revolutionized 17th-century thinking about planetary movements. Science writer Ferguson's intellectual and cultural biography of these two seminal scientists provides a delightful, detailed look into the ways that each man developed his ideas about the universe. Brahe, a Danish nobleman, developed a variety of instruments for observing the heavens. In his observatory off the coast of Denmark, he built a magnificent armillary-an instrument that allowed him to construct his theory that Venus and Mercury orbit the Sun while the Sun and the outer planets orbit the unmoving Earth. In 1600, Brahe took on a brilliant young student named Kepler, whom Brahe asked to carry on his own work after his death. Though indebted to Brahe for his instruments and his detailed charts of the stars, ultimately Kepler departed from Brahe's views, confirming instead Copernicus's theory that all the planets orbit the Sun. More famously, he discovered that the planets had elliptical rather than circular orbit. Ferguson (Measuring the Universe) paints her picture of Brahe and Kepler in broad strokes, placing them among the political intrigues of their times and the conflict between religion and science. Her biography offers glimpses of two men completely enamored of the beauty of the stars and planets and their attempts to describe the world through the eyes of this great love. 16 color and 30 b&w illus., 2 maps. Library of Science Book Club alternate selection.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Ferguson (Measuring the Universe) continues to wield her gift as a popular science writer in this double biography of Renaissance astronomers Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler. This watershed relationship in the history of science is fascinating for several reasons. Ferguson's subjects lived and worked during a turbulent time when medieval thought was starting to give way to modern concepts and a scientific explanation of the world. In his own way, each epitomized the new scientific method of careful observation of the facts (Tycho) and their interpretation or explanation based on rational, rather than religious, thought (Kepler). In addition, Tycho's and Kepler's lives are interesting in their own right. As with her earlier books, Ferguson has a wonderful ability not only to explain her topic and its significance but also to render the historical background in such a way that the participants do not seem to be either incredibly farsighted prophets or quaint characters fumbling for explanations. Highly recommended for academic and public libraries.
James Olson, Northeastern Illinois Univ. Lib., Chicago
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
10
4 star
3
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 13 customer reviews
The flow of the book is excellent.
L. Hunt
Kitty Ferguson thus tells the life stories of the astronomers Tycho and Kepler in an informative, educational, yet narrative and interesting way.
Samantha White
Anyone interested in scientific history would be foolish to pass up reading this book.
Timothy Haugh

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Haugh TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
As a physics teacher, I like to use the background on figures from scientific history to try to generate some interest from my students. When teaching Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion, I always make sure to talk about the contributions of Tycho Brahe. To my mind, the relationship between Brahe and Kepler is one of the earliest examples of the experimentalist/theorist relationship and, unfortunately, it is the experimentalist who is often lost to history while the theorist is remembered. I teach my students the names of both Brahe and Kepler as a small effort to rectify this unfairness. Kitty Ferguson has made a larger effort with this book and I hope she is able to reach a large readership.
Ms. Ferguson has at least given herself a chance by writing a very good book. Her prose is very engaging. She is detailed both science and biography and yet she is quite easy to understand even for those without a scientific background. And she has two extraordinarily interesting characters to talk about--Brahe, the rather spoiled Danish aristocrat who brought glory to himself against the odds in a "ignoble" profession by becoming the greatest naked eye astronomer in history, and Kepler, the poor German Protestant school teacher who had a knack for doing mathematics and finding trouble.
Though I knew the broad outline of Brahe and Kepler's story, I was surprised again and again by all I did not know. I may not be able to incorporate it all into my classes but I am glad to know the story myself. It is always interesting to see how the great ideas came into being, mostly through more fits, starts and mistakes than most people realize. Anyone interested in scientific history would be foolish to pass up reading this book.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Joanna Daneman #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Tycho Brahe, a Danish nobleman, and Johannes Kepler, commoner, crossed paths during one of the times when scientific thought and philosophy was growing by huge leaps--the 17th Century or Age of Reason. Their story is set against the backdrop of the Counter-Reformation and some unsettled times in European history, not to mention the development of major ideas of cosmology.
But what's equally interesting are the life and times of these two scientists in the context of 17th Century daily life. Ferguson researches her subject and provides the reader with a story that is a cross between a soap opera and a historical fiction novel. Brahe's castle and observatory were not only architecturally interesting, the life inside the walls was fraught with nasty doings. Brahe, by all reports, had quite the temper. He may have even invented the modern day graduate student-slavey; he kept associates of lower social rank under his thumb for years, paid them a pittance, assigned them menial work, stole their intellectual property and literally imprisoned them in his palace.
If you have an interest in astronomy or philosophy or just plain European history from this era, you should read this. I couldn't put it down. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Samantha White on April 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Tycho & Kepler - The Unlikely Friendship that Forever Changed Our Understanding of the Heavens is, for the most part, an excellent novel and easy read. Although it is a little confusing and dry at the times when complex astronomical concepts are being explained, they are outweighed by the wealth of historical accounts and gratuitous, but juicy tidbits. For instance, besides explaining the extensive instruments that Tycho built, Ferguson offers that he was also the first Dane to write a poem in Latin, that he had a twin that died at birth, and his aunt and uncle kidnapped him from his parents who wanted a girl and didn't much care. As for Kepler, not only did he develop the Harmonic theory, but had a miserable marriage, a mother accused and tried for witchcraft, and was the first author of a science fiction novel. Kitty Ferguson thus tells the life stories of the astronomers Tycho and Kepler in an informative, educational, yet narrative and interesting way. She effectively spans the 20-year gap between Tycho and Kepler by beginning the book describing Tycho's childhood and indeed his life exclusively up until the advent of a comet on December 27, 1571. Ferguson explains that, when Tycho saw the comet, he was out at one of his 60 manmade fish ponds on his estate at the Danish Isle of Hven, catching fish for dinner that evening. Meanwhile Kepler saw the same comet, but he was only five, and it was during a rare warm moment that he shared with his mother on a hilltop in Leonberg. Thus Kepler enters the story. For the rest of the book, Ferguson fluidly integrates the two men's lives, switching back and forth in an understandable, connected way.Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By R. Hardy HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Science needs observers to acquire data. Science also needs theoreticians to make comprehensive explanations of the data. In _Tycho & Kepler: The Unlikely Partnership that Forever Changed Our Understanding of the Universe_ (Walker), Kitty Ferguson has given a duel biography of exemplars from both aspects, two who founded modern astronomy. This was a peculiar and unlikely partnership, more of shared data than of friendship or cooperation. The story, however, is a fascinating one of detail within the Copernican revolution, and of the difficulties of doing science within the religions and politics of the time.
Tycho was a Danish nobleman, and was not supposed to have a career, much less a scientific one. His pursuit of documentation of the heavens was a rebellious break with the traditions of his society. He began keeping a logbook of astronomical observations when he was sixteen years old, and complained even then of the inaccuracy of the tables which were supposed to tell planetary positions. He also railed about the imprecision of the cross staff by which angular distance between stars was measured. Tycho was not satisfied with the Copernican system, although he knew the Earth-centered Ptolemaic one was wrong. He proposed the "Tychonic" system, wherein the Sun orbited the Earth, and the other planets orbited the Sun. He was welcomed by Emperor Rudolf II of the Holy Roman Empire, who supported him in making a new observatory in Prague, but he died only four years later. Kepler's start was far different. Born near Stuttgart in 1571 into a peculiar and unnurturing commoner family, he was essentially rescued by the church. The Protestants were urging the importance of schooling, and he originally wanted to become a Lutheran minister.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?