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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 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 7 days ago 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
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In the tradition of the Icelandic custom of Jolabokaflod, we read one of the earliest works of science fiction-Johannes Kepler's The Somnium. Break out some chocolate and settle in for an hour-long journey to the Moon. Direct Download Link iTunes Link Frontispiece of The Somnium Volva, as viewed from Levania Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2016 at The Scientific Odyssey
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In the first part of a three episode series on the emerging conflict involving Galileo Galilei, the Aristotelian natural philosophers of the Italian universities and the Catholic Church, we examine the factors that would lead to the initial confrontation of 1615 and 1616. These will include a debate that led... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2016 at The Scientific Odyssey
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In this supplemental episode, we look at the study of hydraulics related to pulling water up a pipe by Galileo Galilei. This leads us to the development of the mercury barometer by Torricelli and the investigations of atmospheric pressure and vacuums by Blaise Pascal and Florin Perier. This, in turns... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2016 at The Scientific Odyssey
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In our third episode discussing the Scientific Revolution we look at the development of the linguistic device we call the fact from Latin legal ideas. We consider the work of Kepler and Galileo as well as the thinking of Blaise Pascal, Thomas Hobbes and Robert Boyle. Direct Download Link iTunes... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2016 at The Scientific Odyssey
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This week we look at the development of the idea of mathematics as a way to represent reality from perspective painting and accounting to Kepler's Harmonic Law. We also discuss the rise of the idea of laws of nature as the way in which the natural world was understood. Direct... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2016 at The Scientific Odyssey
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In this episode we take a look at the Scientific Revolution through the lens of David Wooten' thesis that the most important trigger for the rapid scientific development of the 16th and 17th centuries was Christopher Columbus' discovery of the New World. Direct Download Link iTunes Link Frontispiece from Athanasius... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2016 at The Scientific Odyssey
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In the final part of the part of our biography of Johannes Kepler, we look at his scientific work from 1612 to his death in 1630 including the Epitome of Copernicus, Harmonice Mundi and the Rudolphine Tables. We consider the accusations of witchcraft against his mother, Katharina, and a number... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2016 at The Scientific Odyssey