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Look Inside A History of Modern Planetary Physics

A History of Modern Planetary Physics
Fruitful Encounters

Volume 3. The Origin of the Solar System and of the Moon from Chamberlain to Apollo


  • Date Published: December 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521101448

£ 38.99

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About the Authors
  • Where did we come from? Before there was life there had to be something to live on - a planet, a solar system. During the past 200 years, astronomers and geologists have developed and tested several different theories about the origin of the solar system and the nature of the Earth. Together, the three volumes that make up A History of Modern Planetary Physics present a survey of these theories. The early twentieth century saw the replacement of the Nebular Hypothesis with the Chamberlain-Moulton theory that the solar system resulted from the encounter of the Sun with a passing star. Fruitful Encounters follows the eventual refutation of the encounter theory and the subsequent revival of a modernised Nebular Hypothesis. Professor Brush also discusses the role of findings from the Apollo space programme, especially the analysis of lunar samples, culminating in the establishment, in the 1980s, of the 'giant impact' theory of the Moon's origin.

    • Includes the results of the space program and the recent changes in the ideas about the origin of the Moon
    • Writing is accessible to non-specialist readers
    • Covers theories about the origin of the solar system most comprehensively
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: '… can be highly recommended as a reference on the history of plantogonies.' Meteorite

    Review of the hardback: 'These three volumes give a very interesting overview of the historic development of theories beginning with the 17th century and ending in the 1980s, which have led to our present day understanding of the possible processes that have been involved in the formation of our solar system including Earth.' Geological Society Journal

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521101448
    • length: 368 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 156 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • contains: 41 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Planetesimals and Stelllar Encounters:
    1. Introduction
    2. A geologist among astronomers: the Chamberlin-Moulton theory
    3. Jeans, Jeffreys and the decline of encounter theories
    Part II. Nebular Rebirth and Stellar Death:
    4. Introduction
    5. Methodology
    6. Nuclear cosmochronology and Hoyle's research programme
    7. Cameron's programme
    8. Isotopic anomalies and the supernova trigger
    Part III. Planetogony and Plasma:
    9. Safronov's programme
    10. The giant planets
    11. Chemical cosmogony: the terrestrial planets
    12. Alfvén's electromagnetic programme
    Part IV. Whence the Moon?
    13. Introduction
    14. Early history of selenogony
    15. Harold Urey and the origin of the moon
    16. History of modern selenogony
    Reference list and citation index

  • Author

    Stephen G. Brush, University of Maryland, College Park

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