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The Mechanical Universe by Tom M. Apostol, Richard P. Olenick, Steven C. Frautschi

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CHAPTER 1INTRODUCTION TO THE MECHANICAL UNIVERSE

    In the center of all the celestial bodies rests the sun. For who could in this most beautiful temple place this lamp in another or better place than that from which it can illuminate everything at the same time? Indeed, it is not unsuitable that some have called it the light of the world; others, its minds, and still others, its ruler. Trismegistus calls it the visible God; Sophocles’ Electra, the all-seeing. So indeed, as if sitting on a royal throne, the Sun rules the family of the stars which surround It.

    Nicolaus Copernicus in De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (1543)

1.1 THE COPERNICAN REVOLUTION

We find it difficult to imagine the frame of mind of people who once firmly believed ...

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