World Systems: Models of the Universe Throughout Time

  • Bryan E. Penprase


Cosmology is the study of the universe in its largest sense – the structure of the Earth, planets, and stars and our place within this system. Through the centuries, in all continents, humans have developed world systems to describe their cosmology. Their effort to describe the universe necessarily draws from the world known to each civilization – worlds are made of water, or ice, or fire, or dirt. Cultures describe universe that include layers, or nested spheres, or with spirits living in mountains, depending on the terrain and the aesthetic sensibility of each civilization. Each cosmology attempts to define the world in terms of what is precious and what is unique to each culture. In constructing a cosmology, a civilization gives both a model of the universe, and a mirror to its own sensibility.


Planetary Motion Celestial Object Uniform Circular Motion Lower World Evening Twilight 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics & AstronomyPomona CollegeClaremontUSA

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