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Drawing Physics2,600 Years of Discovery From Thales to Higgs$
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Don S. Lemons

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035903

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035903.001.0001

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(p.1) Antiquity
Drawing Physics

Don S. Lemons

The MIT Press

Greek antiquity, in the text, stretches from the contributions of Thales, in 600 BCE, to that of Eratosthenes in 225 BCE. In large part the Greek-speaking contributors were materialists who sought the principles or “roots” of all natural phenomena, for example, in the “elements” of earth, air, fire, and water. Aristotle (350 BCE), in particular, composed the contributions of his predecessors into a coherent whole or cosmos that answered the questions of his day. Aristarchus (280 BCE), Archimedes (250 BCE), and Eratosthenes (225 BCE) applied simple geometrical relations and ratios of magnitudes to, respectively, the distances of the sun and moon, the concept of static equilibrium, and the diameter of the Earth.

Keywords:   Triangulation, Pythagoreanism, phases of the moon, the substantiality of air, Aristotle’s cosmos, distance to Sun and Moon, static equilibrium, diameter of Earth

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