Degree Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

1993

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

History

First Advisor

Robert E. Schofield

Abstract

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.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31274/rtd-180813-9701

Publisher

Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/

Copyright Owner

Orville Roderick Butler

Language

en

Proquest ID

AAI9321124

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

293 pages

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