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  • © 2015

Jacobus Cornelius Kapteyn

Born Investigator of the Heavens

  • Presents the life and work of the Dutch astronomer Jacobus C. Kapteyn, who contributed significantly to the cataloging and measuring of star parallaxes

  • Includes historical details on the major impact of World War I on Kapteyn’s life and scientific achievements

  • Written by an author who has spent most of his career working in the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute in Groningen, and is familiar with their extensive relevant archival material

  • Includes supplementary material: sn.pub/extras

Part of the book series: Astrophysics and Space Science Library (ASSL, volume 416)

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eBook USD 179.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-10876-6
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book USD 229.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 249.99
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Table of contents (16 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Growing Up in Barneveld

    • Pieter C. van der Kruit
    Pages 1-26
  3. Studies in Utrecht

    • Pieter C. van der Kruit
    Pages 27-52
  4. Astronomer in Leiden

    • Pieter C. van der Kruit
    Pages 53-84
  5. Professor in Groningen

    • Pieter C. van der Kruit
    Pages 85-110
  6. From Kepler to Parallax

    • Pieter C. van der Kruit
    Pages 111-152
  7. Cape Photographic Durchmusterung

    • Pieter C. van der Kruit
    Pages 153-204
  8. An Astronomical Laboratory

    • Pieter C. van der Kruit
    Pages 205-262
  9. Colors and Motions

    • Pieter C. van der Kruit
    Pages 263-310
  10. Star Streams

    • Pieter C. van der Kruit
    Pages 311-350
  11. Selected Areas

    • Pieter C. van der Kruit
    Pages 351-382
  12. Extinction

    • Pieter C. van der Kruit
    Pages 383-428
  13. Students

    • Pieter C. van der Kruit
    Pages 429-451
  14. Mount Wilson

    • Pieter C. van der Kruit
    Pages 453-500
  15. Tides, Statistics and the Art of Discovery

    • Pieter C. van der Kruit
    Pages 501-528
  16. First Attempt

    • Pieter C. van der Kruit
    Pages 529-568
  17. Finale

    • Pieter C. van der Kruit
    Pages 569-610
  18. Back Matter

    Pages 611-698

About this book

Jacobus C. Kapteyn (1851-1922) was a Dutch astronomer who contributed heavily to major catalogs of star positions, such as the Cape Photographic Durchmusterung and the Harvard-Groningen Durchmusterung, and arranged extensive international collaboration through his Plan of Selected Areas. He contributed to the establishment of statistical astronomy and structure and dynamics of the Sidereal System. All aspects of Kapteyn’s life are discussed, from his birth in Barneveld, the Netherlands, to his death in Amsterdam, and his entire resume of scientific achievements in between. Kapteyn had some conflicts with others in his field, especially after the world became divided on how to handle scientific contributions from Germany post-World War I. Kapteyn's struggles and achievements are written against the backdrop of both the historical context of the world at that time as well as the scientific one.

Keywords

  • Astronomical Laboratory
  • Cape Photographis Durchmusterung
  • Galactic Structure
  • Harlow Shapley
  • Jacobus Kapteyn
  • Jacobus Kapteyn Biography
  • Kapteyn Institute Groningen
  • Pieter van Rhijn
  • Plan of Selected Areas
  • Statistical Astronomy
  • Willem de Sitter

Reviews

“It is extremely detailed, covering all aspects of Kapteyn’s life, and is liberally illustrated, especially with portraits. … This lengthy and detailed work will be an invaluable reference for historians of science.” (Derek Jones, The Observatory, Issue 1248, October, 2015)


“…van der Kruit’s biography is an authoritative and highly valuable contribution to the history of astronomy and a rich source of information concerning Kapteyn and Dutch and international astronomy ca. 1880-1920.” –Helge Kragh, Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume 46, Issue 4, November 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

    Pieter C. van der Kruit

About the author

Pieter C. van der Kruit is the Jacobus C. Kapteyn Honorary Professor of Astronomy at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute in Groningen, the Netherlands. He obtained his PhD in astronomy from Leiden University in 1971 under Jan Hendrik Oort. He held a prestigious Carnegie postdoctoral Fellowship at the Mount Wilson and Palomar Observatories in Pasadena, California, before moving to the University of Groningen in 1975. He has held visiting positions at numerous institutions, including the Mount Stromlo Observatory in Canberra, Australia; the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, UK; the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, USA; the European Southern Observatory in Santiago, Chile, the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias in Tenerife, Spain, and the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California.

 

His research concerns structure and dynamics of disks in galaxies. He has published over 160 papers, more than half as lead or sole author, contributed substantially to over 20 more, and authored or edited six books. In Groningen he taught introductory astronomy and advanced level courses on structure and dynamics of galaxies for many years, the latter also at a Saas-Fee winter school in Switzerland and in university curricula in Porto, Portugal, in Santiago, Chile and in Beijing, China. He is a former director of the Kapteyn Institute and has been a member and often chairman of numerous national and international boards and committees, notably President of Council of the European Southern Observatory and chairman of the Board for the Atacama Large Millimeter Array ALMA.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook USD 179.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-10876-6
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book USD 229.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 249.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)