Biography:

One of their most recent publications is Applications of high-speed computers to the history of astronomy. Which was published in journal Vistas in Astronomy.

More information about Owen Gingerich research including statistics on their citations can be found on their Copernicus Academic profile page.

Owen Gingerich's Articles: (2)

Applications of high-speed computers to the history of astronomy

AbstractHistorically, the development of rapid and accurate computing devices has been closely linked with astronomy. More recently, the construction of high-speed electronic computers has provided a tool for the study of the history of astronomy itself. Among the most obvious aids has been the preparation of extensive planetary, solar and lunar tables, including lunar visibility tables for ancient Babylon. A different kind of table is illustrated by the recent calculation of the regular sexagesimals and their reciprocals to the tenth order.Whenever extensive similar calculations are involved, the computer promises to be a powerful aid. For example, one can attempt to match tables in a historic manuscript or zij; because of the computer's high speed, one can experiment to find the original computational scheme, or to discover the basic parameters of an unknown table. In an interesting recomputation of Kepler's Mars calculations, I have demonstrated that his work is apparently filled with numerical errors. In another investigation, I have shown how the Copernican planetary trajectories are less accurate than the Ptolemaic system.

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