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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 1948, one of the most important papers in the history of science was published in the pages of the Physical Review. In it, authors Ralph Alpher, Hans Bethe (in absentia) and George Gamow not only perpetrated one of the greatest plays on words in the annals of science, they... Continue reading
Posted 12 hours ago at The Scientific Odyssey
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In our third and final installment of the life of George Ellery Hale, we look at the establishment of the Mt. Wilson Observatory and his other endeavors. We also examine the psychological pressures that drove him and eventually lead to his mental breakdown. Direct Download Link Apple Podcasts Link Continue reading
Posted yesterday at The Scientific Odyssey
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In the decade between 1890 and 1900, George Hale went from being a promising graduate of MIT to the world famous director of the Yerkes Observatory. In this episode, we follow his life and work during this critical time. Direct Download Link Apple Podcasts Link George Ellery Hale with a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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This week we begin a biographical series on George Ellery Hale by covering his life from his childhood in Chicago up through his graduation and marriage. Direct Download Link Apple Podcasts Link George Ellery Hale at age 20 Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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The shift from astronomy to astrophysics necessitated the development of new tools of observation at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. In this episode, we look at the rise of the reflecting telescopes and the men who use them including, James Keeler and George Ritchey,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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In 1927 Fr. Georges Lemaire published a paper in a little known Belgian scientific journal that described an expanding universe. Two years later, Milton Humason and Edwin Hubble presented evidence to support support this model. In this episode, we look at the development of the idea of a universe that... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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On November 25th of 1915, Albert Einstein presented a paper on his General Theory of Relativity that by its end had conclusively shown that the Vulcan hypothesis was not necessary to explain the precession of the perihelion of the orbit of Mercury. It also completely reimagined the structure of space... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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In 1925, the astronomer Henry Norris Russell read a paper at the 33rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society. The paper, written by Edwin Hubble, a staff astronomer at the Mt. Wilson observatory, detailed observations of Cepheid variable stars in the Andromeda Nebula. These observations and the analysis of them... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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On April 26th of 1920, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis presented talks on the idea of island universes to the National Academy of Sciences. Held at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the Great Debate, as it would come to be known, would showcase two differing views of the scale... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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In 1914, Harlow Shapley moved to work at the Mt. Wilson Observatory. Over the course of five years, using the 60 inch reflector there, he observed the 75 visible globular clusters and developed a whole new model of the Milky Way Galaxy and our place in it. Direct Download Link... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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In our final episode of this mini-series on the women who worked at the Harvard College Observatory, we dive into the life of Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin from her time at Cambridge University to her life in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Direct Download Link Apple Podcasts Link Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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In this episode we take a look at the history of the development of the metric system out of the French Revolution and the roles of Jerome Lalande, Pierre Mechain and Jean Baptiste Delambre in conducting the Meridian Survey of 1792. Direct Download Link Apple Podcast Link Borda Repeating Circle... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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Annie Jump Cannon and Henrietta Swan Leavitt would form the core of the calculation staff at the Harvard College Observatory for nearly two decades. They oversaw the transition of the Observatory from the directorship of Edward Charles Pickering to Harlow Shapley and established the dominant classification systems and physical laws... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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In the first part of a multi episode series, we look at the lives of two very different women. Williamina Fleming and Antonia Maury both made significant contributions to the field of stellar spectroscopy by developing classification systems to better understand the light from stars but their different backgrounds and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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This week we take an in-depth look at the work done at the Harvard College Observatory on cataloging and classifying variable stars under the direction of Charles Edward Pickering. We examine the contributions of Williamina Fleming, Annie Jump Cannon and Henrietta Swan Leavitt that resulted in the the period-luminosity relationship,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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This week we take a look at weather forecasting after the Navigator's trip to Boulder, CO for the NASA Social event covering the launch of the JPSS-1 polar orbiting satellite. We discuss a brief history of weather forecasting, the roles of both geosynchronous and polar orbiting satellites in that endeavor... Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2017 at The Scientific Odyssey
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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 Jun 16, 2017 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