Introductory Issues

  • Helge Kragh
Part of the Science Networks. Historical Studies book series (SNHS, volume 54)


Cosmology, the science of the universe at large, is of course very different from geology, a science that in its traditional meaning deals with only a single object in the vast universe, a planet called Earth. Yet the two sciences have interesting and often surprising interconnections that today are cultivated by a growing number of researchers. Both sciences—cosmology and the earth sciences—have changed drastically since the days of the scientific revolution in the seventeenth century, each in its own way and at different paces. In order to evaluate the events that occurred in the post-World War II period it will be useful to survey some of the earlier developments in a broad historical perspective. The survey in this chapter is meant to be an introduction only. It covers various attempts in the period up to the mid-1930s to think about the Earth in a cosmological perspective or otherwise to establish bridges between the science of the universe and that of the Earth. Until varying gravity entered the picture the two sciences had in common only the chronological problem, namely, the age of the Earth as related to the age of the universe.


Earth Science Magnetic Storm Celestial Body Continental Drift Hubble Time 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helge Kragh
    • 1
  1. 1.Niels Bohr ArchiveNiels Bohr InstituteCopenhagenDenmark

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