A notebook of useful things

Month: March 2014 (Page 1 of 2)

The first known telescope

Giovanni Battista della Porta, Biblioteca dell’Accademia dei Lincei, Mss n° 12, c. 326 – Autograph

Giovanni Battista della Porta, Biblioteca dell’Accademia dei Lincei, Mss n° 12, c. 326 – Autograph


This sketch accompanies the first known description of a telescope. It is found in a letter from Giovanni Battista della Porta (c.1535-1615) dated 28th August, 1609 to Federico Cesi (1585-1630), in which he describes a telescope he examined in Naples in the summer of 1609.

The telescope was therefore invented by someone else, before 1609.

Here is della Porta’s description:  ‘It is a tube made of silver-plated tin, having a length of a one palm ad, three fingers in diameter, with a convex eyepiece at the end a: there is another tube [c] in the same tube, 4 fingers long, which enters into the first, and has a concave [lens] at the top’.

“È un cannello di stagno di argento, lungo un palmo ad, grosso di tre diti di diametro, che ha nel capo a un occhiale convesso: vi è un altro canal [c] del medesimo, di 4 diti lungo, che entra nel primo, et ha un concavo nella cima”.

Musica universalis (10) – The Standard Model

Rob Meloni (2013), Particle Theory 



Online particle physics information and references therein.


Musica universalis (9) – The speed of light

Bas & Ram (2006), Speed Of Light



Albert Abraham Michelson, Measurement of the Velocity of Light Between Mount Wilson and Mount San Antonio and references.

Musica universalis (8) – Spacetime

Ascania (2013), Spacetime



Albert Einstein (1905), Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Körper

Henri Poincaré (1905/6), Sur la dynamique de l’électron

Hermann Minkowski (1907/8), Die Grundgleichungen für die elektromagnetischen Vorgänge in bewegten Körpern

Musica universalis (7) – Photons

Tommygoff (2012), Photon 



Albert Einstein (1905), Über einen die Erzeugung und Verwandlung des Lichtes betreffenden heuristischen Gesichtspunkt


Musica universalis (6) – Dark energy

Oliver Lieb (2014), Dark Energy



Observational evidence from supernovae for an accelerating universe and a cosmological constant

Measurements of Omega and Lambda from 42 high redshift supernovae



Musica universalis (4) – Gravitation

Alexander Popov (2012), Attractive force



Isaac Newton, Philosophiæ naturalis principia mathematica

Albert Einstein, Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie

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