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Dr. Chad Davies
Barnesville, GA
Husband, Christian, Educator, Astronomer, Cyclist, Amateur Philosopher and Historian, Beer Lover, Dog Owner
Interests: Physics, Astronomy, Cycling, History, Philosophy, Theology, Cooking
Recent Activity
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In the years between 1905 and 1911, the astronomer Ejnar Hertzsprung and Henry Russell Norris developed a way of representing the accumulating astronomical and astrophysical data on stars that revealed the presence of a relationship between a stars brightness and its temperature. This Hertzsprung-Russell or H-R Diagram would come to... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at The Scientific Odyssey
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This week, with the help of steampunk attired lady and gentleman bugs, we take a look at the Doppler effect. We use water waves, sound and light to examine the consequences of what happens with the observer of a wave is moving with respect to the wave's source. We also... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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This week we look at the spectral classification work of Antonia Maury and Annie Jump Cannon at the Harvard College Observatory. Direct Download Link Apple Podcasts Link Antonia Maury Annie Jump Cannon Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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In this week's episode we look at the early work of the Harvard College Observatory under the direction of Edward Charles Pickering. We discuss his three big research initiatives: the visual photometric survey of stars, the All-Sky Survey and Catalogue and the Draper Memorial Catalogue that catalogued and classified the... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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When Kirchhoff and Bunsen unlocked elemental spectra, they opened a new avenue of astrophysical investigation. This work work was originally done by the quartet of Lewis Rutherfurd, Astronomer Royal George Airy, Father Angelo Secchi and William Huggins. This work would lead to advances by Hermann Carl Vogel and Norman Lockyer... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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In 1861, Gustav Kirchhoff published the astonishing results that he could, merely by examining the light received from the Sun, determine what elements it was made from. One this episode, we'll trace the scientific investigation of the nature of light from Isaac Newton through Joseph Fraunhofer to the work of... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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In this episode we look at the various methods to determine the distances to the stars including Christiaan Huygens' comparison method, Robert Hooke's zenith telescope and Wilhelm Struve's and Freidrich Bessel's telescopic measurements. We also review the various ideas as to the distributions of these stars as advanced by Isaac... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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In this episode we examine the fates of Phaeton, Vulcan and Pluto as they were thought of by Olbers, Le Verrier and Clyde Tombaugh. We also examine the observations of James Craig Watson, introduce William Henry Pickering and follow the work of Percival Lowell. Direct Download Link iTunes Link Diagram... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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In 1782, William Herschel entered the service of his Royal Majesty, King George III of the United Kingdom. Over the next 20 years, he, along with his brother Alexander, would build hundred of telescopes including the largest research instruments in Europe as well as create the largest catalogue of deep... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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William Herschel was a Hanoverian musician turned British astronomer. In this episode we look at his journey from military band oboist to the court astronomer of King George III. Along the way we look at his work as a composer and orchestral director, his entry into the field of astronomical... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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This week we look at the work of William Herschel (the discovery of Uranus), Giuseppe Piazzi (the discovery of Ceres), Heinrich Olbers (the discovery of Pallas), Urbain Le Verrier (the discovery of Neptune), Alexis Bouvard and Johann Galle (the discovery of Neptune) as they discovered new worlds in a Newtonian... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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Following the publication of Newton's Principia, the extended process of adoption began. In this episode, we look at what barriers there were to Newton's ideas and how they were overcome. We also look at the acceptance of heliocentricism and the reworking of Newton's mathematical formalism up through the work of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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In our second episode devoted to the life and work of Edmond Halley, we recount his three voyages aboard the Paramour to create a map of magnetic variation, his predictions on the return of the comet of 1682, now known as Halley's Comet, his discovery of the proper motion of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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This week we look at the earlier career of astronomer, mathematician and natural philosopher Edmond Halley. We look at the first part of his career but through about 1693 including his trips to St. Helena, Danzig and Paris. We also look at his ideas on measuring the size of the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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In this episode we finally conclude our biographical sketch of Isaac Newton by looking at his life in the years following the publication of the Principia. We look at his political activities following the Glorious Revolution, his friendship with John Locke, the circle of young followers the gathered around him... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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In this impromptu and unscripted episode, I talk about the recent announcement of the discovery of seven earth-like worlds orbiting a nearby class M star now named TRAPPIST-1 after the telescope used to make the initial discovery. I look at how exoplanets are discovered, the specifics of this discovery, what... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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In 1687, Issac Newton, through the hard work and auspices of Edmund Halley, published the greatest scientific work of all time. In this episode we examine the events that led to the book's creation including Newton's correspondences with Robert Hooke and John Flamsteed. We also spend a bit of time... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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This week we look at Isaac Newton's work in the area of alchemy and examine his heretical religious views centered on the ancient variant doctrine of Arianism. Direct Download Link iTunes Link Newton's Representation of the Philosopher's Stone Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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In this episode we look at the emergence of Isaac Newton onto the public stage with the publication of his first work on Optics in the pages of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in 1672. We then examine the growing conflict between Newton and Robert Hooke and consider... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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In part 1 of our multipart biography of the father of physics, we look at the life of Isaac Newton from his early years in Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire through his grammar school days to his time at Trinity College, Cambridge. We take some time to specifically look at the cultural and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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In this episode we look at the work in mathematics and physics of Isaac Newton from his time at the University of Cambridge to the publication of the Philosophae Naturalis Principia Naturalis or "Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy". Specifically we look at the development of fluxional calculus, the Universal Law... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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This week we consider the work of Jesuit astronomers across Europe and around the world before returning to a discussion of weighing the heliocentric and geoheliocentric models of the solar system. Direct Download Link iTunes Link Christopher Scheiner's Equatorially Mounted Solar Telescope Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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In this episode, we look at the work of four men who bridge the period between Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton: Giovanni Battista Riccioli, Rene Descartes, Christiaan Huygens and Robert Hooke. In this discussion we pay particular attention to each man's work in physics that will set the stage for... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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We examine the events leading up to the heresy conviction of Galileo Galilei in 1633 including his dispute with Orazio Grassi regarding the comets of 1618, the publication of The Assayer, the deal with Pope Urban VIII and the publication of the Dialogue Concerning Two Chief World Systems. Direct Download... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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In this episode we look at the 25 months leading up to the Congregation of the Inquisition censuring the two propositions related to the work of Copernicus; namely that the Earth moves and the Sun does not. We specifically examine the the statements regarding interpretation of Holy Scripture and Tradition... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2016 at The Scientific Odyssey