Early Estimates of the Velocity of Light

  title={Early Estimates of the Velocity of Light},
  author={Carl B. Boyer},
  pages={24 - 40}
  • C. Boyer
  • Published 1 March 1941
  • Physics
  • Isis
HE astronomical methods by which OLE ROEMER and JAMES BRADLEY demonstrated the finite velocity of light are familiar portions of the scientific tradition. With respect to the early estimates of the speed of light to which these methods led, however, there is in the history of science an astonishing degree of uncertainty and inconsistency. It is the intention here to point out the numerical values proposed by ROEMER and BRADLEY and by their contemporaries and successors, indicating incidentally… 
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Opera pertinentia ad opticam et astronomiam (5 vols., BASSANI; Venetiis, 1785), V. 429-30
    Histoire de l'astronomie moderne (3 vols
    • J. S. BAILLY
    This is in rough agreement with the time and distance factors in his Theory of Natural Philosophy
    • from the text of the 1st Venetian ed. of 1763
    Lettres sur la physique (2 vols
      XVI, 401-2; for 79,572 see C. S. M. POUILLET, lelmens de physique experimentale
      • For the figure 77,076 see FRANCOIS ARAGO, (Euvres completes
      ou dictionnaire raisonne des sciences, des arts et des metiers. (Edition exactement conforme a celle de PELLET in quarto
        On the Effect of Aberration of Light on the Time of a Transit of Venus over the Sun
        • Difficulties in the Newtonian Theory of Light, Considered and Removed
        Londini, 1718), p. 186, footnote, for 7 minutes and a distance of 50,000,000 miles. See BENJ. WORSTER, A Compendious and Methodical Account of the Principles of Natural Philosophy
        • This appears also in JAMES BRADLEY, Miscellaneous Works and Correspondence
        Astronomy explained upon Sir Isaac Newton's Principles (1st American ed., rev