Read Copernicus' Secret: How the Scientific Revolution Began by Jack Repcheck Online


Nicolaus Copernicus gave the world perhaps the most important scientific insight of the modern age, the theory that the earth and the other planets revolve around the sun. He was also the first to proclaim that the earth rotates on its axis once every twenty-four hours. His theory was truly radical: during his lifetime nearly everyone believed that a perfectly still earthNicolaus Copernicus gave the world perhaps the most important scientific insight of the modern age, the theory that the earth and the other planets revolve around the sun. He was also the first to proclaim that the earth rotates on its axis once every twenty-four hours. His theory was truly radical: during his lifetime nearly everyone believed that a perfectly still earth rested in the middle of the cosmos, where all the heavenly bodies revolved around it. One of the transcendent geniuses of the early Renaissance, Copernicus was also a flawed and conflicted person. A cleric who lived during the tumultuous years of the early Reformation, he may have been sympathetic to the teachings of the Lutherans. Although he had taken a vow of celibacy, he kept at least one mistress. Supremely confident intellectually, he hesitated to disseminate his work among other scholars. It fact, he kept his astronomical work a secret, revealing it to only a few intimates, and the manuscript containing his revolutionary theory, which he refined for at least twenty years, remained "hidden among my things."It is unlikely that Copernicus' masterwork would ever have been published if not for a young mathematics professor named Georg Joachim Rheticus. He had heard of Copernicus' ideas, and with his imagination on fire he journeyed hundreds of miles to a land where, as a Lutheran, he was forbidden to travel. Rheticus' meeting with Copernicus in a small cathedral town in northern Poland proved to be one of the most important encounters in history."Copernicus' Secret" recreates the life and world of the scientific genius whose work revolutionized astronomy and altered our understanding of our place in the world. It tells the surprising, little-known story behind the dawn of the scientific age....

Title : Copernicus' Secret: How the Scientific Revolution Began
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780743289511
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Copernicus' Secret: How the Scientific Revolution Began Reviews

  • Louise
    2019-06-14 02:48

    This brief book on Copernicus sketches who he was, what he did and how he did it. It is happily non-technical such that all levels of laymen can understand what he achieved.Living the respectable life of a nobleman and clergyman, he was not persecuted for his work although the later generation that persecuted Galileo thought he was. He worried about the impact of his work, and perhaps this is why his ideas lay dormant until his old age. The eventual publication of his work relied heavily on a young mathematician, Rheticus, who lived with him for over two years. Their intellectual synergy created the volume which created a revolution in astronomy and thought. This young prodigy was not credited by Copernicus.In this small volume, the author does a good job in explaining the currents of the time, such as the instability and damage caused by the Teutonic Knights, the impact of Martin Luther and the Reformation and the influence of the University of Wittenberg and that Columbus had found a new world. These events had both a direct and indirect impact on Copernicus and his work.It is interesting that this area, farther from Rome than the most, remained impervious to the Lutheranism that virtually surrounds it. In fact, many in the area, like Copernicus, Romanize their names.The author is not clear as to what the "Secret" is. It begins with an intrigue of a mistress, later it suggests it's holding the knowledge of the heliocentric world until old age but maybe it's why he withheld credit to Rheticus.

  • Randy
    2019-06-18 05:36

    I was hoping for an easy-to-read biography of Copernicus. This book is certainly easy-to-read, and I found much of the book interesting, partly because of the description of what was going on in the scientific community during the 15th century.What I wanted to read more of, however, was how Copernicus worked on and developed his theories that eventually changed the course of scientific, and human, history. It may just be that, because Copernicus worked alone, there is very little information on this important subject, and that Copernicus will always remain an enigma.

  • Eric Timar
    2019-06-27 01:45

    A good and not-too-long biography. I would not have minded had it gone into the details/mechanics of his actual astronomic research and discoveries more than it does, but it's a good portrait of the time. Also Repcheck could have spent more time showing how the theory went from ignored by the Church to condemned by the Church (posthumous to Copernicus, it turns out, which is basically why Repcheck does not cover it in depth).

  • B
    2019-06-01 02:53

    Not just a book about the life and research of Copernicus but also the times he lived in which included the birth of reformation and Martin Luther, early Renaissance, and the politics of the Poland-Germany region along with the Teutonic Knights. I found this to be an interesting read..

  • Ed
    2019-06-07 01:46

    As the author makes clear this is a popular book. It is a short easy read. It covers the astronomy briefly, though lucidly. It does provide a real feeling for Copernicus and his times. It might be subtitled "A Sixteenth Century Life." Since I am interested in Copernicus, the man, and his times I enjoyed this book a lot.

  • Lee Humphrey
    2019-06-15 05:54

    Copernicus managed to work on his heliocentric theory between his duties as a canon/priest and a medical doctor, and fending off the criticisms from his superiors for his mistress and his theology. It's interesting to see Copernicus' involvement, even though on the edges, of the developing Reformation. His friend and colleague, Rheticus, said of him ... his (Copernicus) manuscript (400 hand written pages!) was a manifestation of a brilliant mind that was patient, diligent and respectful of the great astronomers who had preceded him. It was this friend, Rheticus, who finally convinced Copernicus to publish the amazing manuscript. Copernicus lived from 1473-1543, with contemporaries King Henry VIII, Francis I of France, Suleiman the Magnificent, Charles V Holy Roman Emperor and of course men like Martin Luther, Leonardo, Michelangelo and others. Must have been something in the air!

  • Siby
    2019-06-03 23:49

    I enjoy reading the stories behind path-breaking historical discoveries and the men who made them. This book focuses on the story of Nicolas Copernicus, who was the first one to break away from over two centuries of established geocentric view of the universe in the 15th century and propose that the earth was NOT the center of the universe as held by Aristotle/Ptolemaic models and as endorsed by the Church. He proposed and proved through rigorous observations and mathematical proof that earth and other planets moved around the sun. It is difficult for us to imagine the challenge and danger in suggesting something that is contrary to accepted beliefs and propose something contrary to popular perception at that time in history, especially when these views go against the Church's position, especially as Copernicus was a functionary of the church.Copernicus had his work ready for almost 20 yrs but was hesitant to publish it and invite ridicule. It would have remained so if not for the intervention of another young mathematician, Rehticus, who traveled to where Copernicus lived and worked with him for 3 yrs to get the work in shape for publication. Copernicus finally saw his published book on the day he died.The author also sets the context for that period in history, which was a very turbulent time in European politics and religion. Protestant faith and Reformation was taking hold, and Copernicus, as a canon of the Catholic church, had a lot to contend with. What is interesting and exceptional in this story is that Copernicus was a full time church administrator and astronomy was just something that he could pursue in his free time. He managed his exceptional achievements with limited time and barely any sophisticated equipment.I recommend this book to readers interested in scientific history.

  • Cindy
    2019-06-04 06:36

    I picked this one up at the planetarium gift shop mostly because of the title, I think. I knew about Copernicus, and that he was the discoverer of the sun-centered solar system. But when I got into the book, I realized that there was so much I didn't know about him.Copernicus was born in modern-day Poland. After his father's death, his uncle, a bishop, took care of him and his brother and paid for their university education. It was there that Copernicus began to study astronomy for the first time. But he never really did what you would expect. He got a degree in canonical law, not astronomy, and returned to Poland to become a canon. He almost completely gave up astronomy, except for his own private studies, which he didn't publish. And he became the town doctor. I also found that he became a military hero after he saved his town of Warmia from invasion and negotiated the peace.It wasn't until the second half of the book that we get to understand how Copernicus and his discoveries became public knowledge, all because of his friendship with a young Lutheran mathematician and scientist.I think this book could have easily been twice as long, and would have been better. But for an overview of Copernicus, his background and his discoveries, it is a good place to begin. I liked the pictures and illustration, and the last chapters, which covered the astronomers who succeeded him. Recommended. 3.5 stars

  • Kathryn Bashaar
    2019-06-08 05:51

    This was the story of how Copernicus was the first to posit a heliocentric view of the universe,and why it took decades for him to publish his work. The book was mostly written in a lively, novelistic style that held a lay reader's interest, but occasionally it lapsed into too much (boring, to me) detail about church and civil politics at the time. To his credit, Copernicus was first reluctant to publish his work because he felt he hadn't gotten everything exactly right. Also, he was afraid of being ridiculed because his theory was so bold and new. Later, he was already in a little trouble with the church for keeping a mistress. Even some of his supporters were afraid to state unequivocally that they thought he was right, even though they knew he was. I liked the passion that Copernicus and his fellow astronomers had for their science, and the book conveyed very nicely the spirit of the Renaissance, the excitement of re-awakening intellect after the dark ages, the excitement of new discoveries and the conflicted role of the church (patron at some times, and at other times a suppressor of new ideas).

  • Darren Nelson
    2019-06-02 01:35

    Interesting exposition of the world and cultural milieu of Copernicus and the Poland of his day. An intriguing biographical mystery is why Copernicus never bothered to take orders as a priest rather than just a church canon, despite pressure to do so? One really revealing new fact for moderns: the "astronomers" of the day were also astrologers, and in fact this was considered the more practical part of their knowledge and ironically a motivation for their support from patrons and church authorities.

  • David Hall
    2019-06-14 23:35

    A vibrant little biography, but annoyingly meandering. I appreciated Repcheck's commitment to providing a detailed portrait of Copernicus's life, but no tangent is unworthy of lengthy pursuit in this book. So much so, that Repcheck does not provide a detailed portrait as much a sprawling one, which is probably my main complaint. I wanted more in depth analysis of Copernicus, not an endless series of small biographies covering every person he had more than a passing conversation with.

  • Summer
    2019-06-13 01:27

    This is, of course, a fascinating subject, but the narrative doesn't have enough linear flow. The author jumps around in time, weaving in side stories of Copernicus' predecessors and contemporaries, but not cohesively. I spent too much time asking questions like "Wait, who's the bishop of Warmia?" Not enough attention is paid to the actual science, and the enormity and marvel of Copernicus' ideas are not well supported by the mood of the book.

  • Leslie
    2019-05-28 00:53

    I lived in Poland very near Frombork, where Copernicus was a Canon in the church, and did the bulk of his work and study of astronomy. So, my interest in the subject is not so much on the astronomy side, but the history and location.The book was an easy read, with the technicalities of the science and math taking a backseat to the politics of astronomy/astrology (they were combined at the time), the history of book printing/publishing, and general life of scholars and scientists.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-06-08 04:38

    Easy to read if you want a straight forward bio of Copernicus. Some of his assumptions and conclusions are a little overdrawn and simplistic since Copernicus was living in such a complicated time but all in all, I really enjoyed it.

  • Anthony
    2019-06-19 02:37

    Very Good introduction to Copernicus

  • Elissa
    2019-06-03 05:40

    More about the man than the theory, but educational and interesting. Especially the summary of important astronomers and their contributions at the end. I keep forgetting...

  • Val
    2019-06-15 03:39

    Quiet, unboastful men have a hard time influencing others and the world no matter how great, important, and revolutionizing their ideas may be. They need a promoter,fortunetly one found him.

  • Syd
    2019-05-31 06:45

    Very easy to read and gives a good general history of Copernicus and the scientific world his theory was written and published in.

  • Sarah
    2019-06-18 22:53

    People who have paradigm shifts in thinking are always fascinating. A vivid portrayal of the life and passion of this cheeky genius.

  • John
    2019-06-01 06:54

    I'm not telling! OK, here's a hint: It has something to to with planets.

  • Anna Lynn
    2019-06-13 04:33

    <3 uncle jack!

  • Ema
    2019-06-06 04:48

    It's an interesting take on the personal life of Copernicus who first put out the idea that the Earth is not the center of the universe.

  • Eric Michael
    2019-06-06 22:28

    The unknown Copernicus. From his forbidden science to his mistress while he was an esteemed Catholic cleric. This book is a fascinating study of a complex individual.

  • Linda
    2019-06-01 23:32

    An insight into the other players involved in the research and publication of "the sun is the center of the universe" theory. Overall a dry read, but some interesting passages.

  • Daniel Kukwa
    2019-06-25 04:29

    Solid work...but it seems TOO short and TOO threadbare at times...almost as if it were "trying" to present the Copernican revolution as a great anti-climax.

  • Zed
    2019-06-10 01:49

    An engaging, relatively lite read. I like the book best for its recommendations of other books on the (history) of astronomy.