The History of Astronomy and Astrophysics: A Biographical Approach

Author: H. Thomas Milhorn

ISBN 978-1-60264-258-4

338 pages

The history of astronomy and astrophysics ranges from antiquity to the landing of spacecraft on the Moon, Mars, Venus, and even an asteroid. Since early times, human beings have sought to understand what they see in the sky. The invention of the telescope opened new avenues of observation and research. Speculation about life on the Moon and other planets became a hot topic, and theories about the evolution of the universe were developed. New investigative tools, such as spectrometry and photometry, were used to determine spectral characteristics and brightness of cosmological objects. Then scientists began to detect electromagnetic radiation other than visible light from the sky, such as infrared, ultraviolet, and X-rays.

This book approaches the history of astronomy and astrophysics from a biographical point of view, considering people to be more interesting than things, and the combination of the two more interesting than the sum of the individual parts. After a brief overview of classical astronomy and modern astrophysics, 293 one-page biographies of individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of astronomy and astrophysics are presented.



H. Thomas Milhorn graduated from Lincoln Memorial University in 1960 with a B.S. in mathematics and physics. He obtained his Ph.D. in physiology and biophysics from the University of Mississippi in 1964, and did a postdoctoral fellowship in biomathematics at North Carolina State University that same year. During his graduate work, he taught college physics at Belhaven College and Mississippi College. He subsequently received an M.D from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine and did a family medicine residency. He then spent 28 years on the faculty of the University of Mississippi Medical Center. For a period of time, his faculty responsibilities included being director of the state biomedical engineering program. He is the author of 10 books, 12 chapters in books, and over 100 articles. He has received a number of writing honors, including being inducted into the Lincoln Memorial University Alumni Literary Hall of Fame in 2005.

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