Noel Sverdlov

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Noel M. Swerdlow (born September 9, 1941 in Los Angeles ) is an American astronomy historian.

Swerdlow received his PhD from Yale University in 1968 with Asger Aaboe (Ptolemy's Theory of the Distances and Sizes of the Planets: A Study of The Scientific Foundations of Medieval Cosmology). He was Professor of Astronomy and the History of Astronomy at the University of Chicago , where he is now Professor Emeritus. In 1973/4 he was at the Institute for Advanced Study .

Sverdlov was primarily concerned with Renaissance astronomy such as that of Nicolaus Copernicus (about whose astronomy he wrote a book with Otto Neugebauer ), Tycho Brahe , Johannes Kepler and Regiomontanus , as well as ancient astronomy. He wrote a book on Babylonian planetary theories. In his dissertation he also dealt with the reconstruction of the method of determining the distance of the sun and moon by Hipparchus , as has been handed down by Ptolemy. and he also wrote about Hipparchus's discovery of the precession of the equinoxes. He is writing a book on Renaissance astronomy (2008).

In 1988 he was a MacArthur Fellow . In the same year he was elected to the American Philosophical Society .


  • with Otto Neugebauer: Mathematical Astronomy in Copernicus De Revolutionibus , Springer 1984, 2 volumes
  • Babylonian theory of the planets, Princeton University Press 1998
  • The Recovery of the Exact Sciences of Antiquity: Mathematics, Astronomy, Geography, in A. Grafton (Editor) “Rome Reborn. The Vatican Library and Renaissance Culture, "The Library of Congress / Yale University Press, 1993, pp. 125-167.
  • Astronomy of the Renaissance, in C. Walker (Editor), "Astronomy before the telescope," The British Museum Press, 1996, pp. 187-229
  • Editor: Ancient Astronomy and celestial divination , MIT Press 1999 (Dibner Institute Studies in the history of Science and Technology)

Web links


  1. Swerdlow: Hipparchus on the distance of the sun, Centaurus, Vol. 14, 1969, pp. 287-305.
  2. ^ Hipparchus´s Determination of the Length of the Tropical Year and the Rate of Precession, Archive for History of Exact Sciences, Vol. 21, 1980, pp. 291-305
  3. ^ Member History: Noel M. Swerdlow. American Philosophical Society, accessed January 28, 2019 .