Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Robert E. Schofield
Astrophysicists have generally traced the roots of their science to the development of the spectroscope and historians have generally followed this interpretation of the birth of astrophysics. As a result they have largely ignored the root questions which early astrophysicists sought to answer. Many of the concerns astronomers sought to empirically address by utilizing the spectroscope had long been a part of research programs based on analogy or even philosophical speculation. The various subjects eventually encompassed under the term astrophysics--the application of the laws of mechanics to the understanding of cosmic architecture and the investigation of the cause of the sun's heat--were canvassed in detail by American astronomers prior to the formal creation of astrophysics as a separate discipline. This dissertation is a study of Americans' involvement in these subjects, the reasons why they appeared important to American scientists and their evolution and eventual assimilation into astrophysics.
Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/
Orville Roderick Butler
Butler, Orville Roderick, "The birth of American astrophysics: the development of a science in its cultural context " (1993). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 10407.