Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation

De la précision dans la mesure du temps à la théorie de la gravitation universelle (1630-1740)

Abstract : Precision in time measurement is considered by historiography as an element that emerged simultaneously with the geometrization of natural phenomena. The scholars of the seventeenth century are therefore studied in this context as Natural Philosophers who consider as the only reliable argument the quantitative results of measurement and precision. In this thesis we have studied this emergence, in the emblematic framework of Newton's gravitational theory. At first we defined the accuracy of time as an element that requires constant improvement through the instruments. We then divided the scientific knowledge into three distinct parts: the construction of the theory, its application and the confirmation of the theory. We studied the accuracy (here as synonym of precision) in the measurement of time and its role as a validation element in all three parts with a focus on the former. In this framework of study we have shown that the thesis commonly used in historiography so far is problematic. Precision in the measurement of time has no direct causal relation with the geometrization of nature. Its importance in theories, on a case-by-case study, is evolutionary and has for a long time been confined to the technical aspects of knowledge before finding an important place in the theory. The study of technical aspects led us to explore documents related to the determination of longitudes at sea, and its intrinsic relationship to the development of trade between continents. In this context we have detailed previously unclear aspects of Galileo's "time measurer", proposed by the later as an instrument of great accuracy being part of the longitude solution.
Complete list of metadatas

Cited literature [338 references]  Display  Hide  Download
Contributor : Abes Star :  Contact
Submitted on : Saturday, December 14, 2019 - 1:02:34 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - 4:38:52 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Sunday, March 15, 2020 - 12:23:16 PM


Version validated by the jury (STAR)


  • HAL Id : tel-02410775, version 1


Meropi Morfouli. De la précision dans la mesure du temps à la théorie de la gravitation universelle (1630-1740). Astrophysique [astro-ph]. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017PA066610⟩. ⟨tel-02410775⟩



Record views


Files downloads