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|Born||9 December 1571|
|Died||6 September 1635|
|Alma mater||University of Franeker|
|Fields|| geometer |
Adriaan Adriaanszoon, called Metius, (9 December 1571 – 6 September 1635), was a Dutch geometer and astronomer born in Alkmaar. The name "Metius" comes from the Dutch word meten ("measuring"), and therefore means something like "measurer" or "surveyor."
Adriaan Metius was born in Alkmaar, North Holland. His father, Adriaan Anthonisz, was a mathematician, land-surveyor, cartographer, and military engineer who from 1582 served also as burgomaster of Alkmaar.
Metius' brother, Jacob Metius, worked as an instrument-maker and a specialist in grinding lenses. Also born in Alkmaar, Jacob died between 1624 and 1631. Little is known of him besides the fact that, in October 1608, the States General discussed his patent application for an optical telescope of his own invention described as a device for "seeing faraway things as though nearby", consisting of a convex and concave lens in a tube, and the combination magnified three or four times.
Adriaan Metius attended a Latin school in Alkmaar and studied philosophy in 1589 at the recently founded University of Franeker. He continued his studies at Leiden in 1594, where he studied under Rudolph Snellius. He worked for a brief time under Tycho Brahe on the island of Hven, where Brahe had built two observatories, and subsequently worked at Rostock and Jena, where he gave lectures in 1595. Subsequently, he returned to Alkmaar and assisted his father for a time as a military engineer inspecting fortifications, and also worked as a teacher of mathematics at Franeker in Frisia, his teaching especially geared towards the training of surveyors.
At the University of Franeker, he was appointed professor extraordinarius in 1598, and served from 1600 to 1635 as professor ordinarius of mathematics, navigation, surveying, military engineering, and astronomy. He was permitted to teach in the vernacular instead of Latin. He served as rector of the university in 1603 and 1632.
With his father and brother he established an instrument making business which specialised in optical instruments. The family business seems to have manufactured the precision Jacob's staffs used by Tycho Brahe for his star sightings.
He died in Franeker.
Though he scoffed at astrology, Metius is said to have spent a lot of time pursuing alchemy, especially the philosophers' stone.
Metius published treatises on the astrolabe and on surveying. His works include Arithmeticæ et geometriæ practica (1611), Institutiones Astronomicae Geographicae, and Arithmeticæ libri duo: et geometriæ libri VI (1640). Metius also manufactured astronomical instruments and developed a special form of Jacob's staff.
In 1585, his father had estimated the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, later called pi, to be approximately 355/. Metius later published his father's results, and the value 355/ is traditionally referred to as Metius' number.
The lunar crater Metius is named after him.
In Vermeer's painting The Astronomer (1668), the book lying on the table has been identified as a 1621 second edition of Metius's Institutiones Astronomicae Geographicae. It is opened to Book III, where "inspiration from God" is recommended for astronomical research along with knowledge of geometry and the aid of mechanical instruments.
Tycho Brahe was a Danish nobleman, astronomer, and writer known for his accurate and comprehensive astronomical observations. He was born in the then Danish peninsula of Scania. Tycho was well known in his lifetime as an astronomer, astrologer, and alchemist. He has been described as "the first competent mind in modern astronomy to feel ardently the passion for exact empirical facts." Most of his observations were more accurate than the best available observations at the time.
Hans Lippershey, also known as Johann Lippershey or Lipperhey, was a German-Dutch spectacle-maker. He is commonly associated with the invention of the telescope, because he was the first one who tried to obtain a patent for it. It is, however, unclear if he was the first one to build a telescope.
The earliest known telescope appeared in 1608 in the Netherlands when an eyeglass maker named Hans Lippershey tried to obtain a patent on one. Although Lippershey did not receive his patent, news of the invention soon spread across Europe. The design of these early refracting telescopes consisted of a convex objective lens and a concave eyepiece. Galileo improved on this design the following year and applied it to astronomy. In 1611, Johannes Kepler described how a far more useful telescope could be made with a convex objective lens and a convex eyepiece lens. By 1655, astronomers such as Christiaan Huygens were building powerful but unwieldy Keplerian telescopes with compound eyepieces.
Uraniborg was a Danish astronomical observatory and alchemy laboratory established and operated by Tycho Brahe. It was built c. 1576 – c. 1580 on Hven, an island in the Øresund between Zealand and Scania, Sweden, which was part of Denmark at the time. It was expanded with the underground facility Stjerneborg on an adjacent site.
Johan Philip Lansberge was a Dutch Calvinist Minister, astronomer and Mathematician. His name is sometimes written Lansberg, and his first name is sometimes given as Philip or Johannes Philippus. He published under the Latin name Philippus Lansbergius.
William Gascoigne was an English astronomer, mathematician and maker of scientific instruments from Middleton, Leeds who invented the micrometer and the Telescopic sight. He was one of a group of astronomers in the north of England who followed the astronomy of Johannes Kepler which included, Jeremiah Horrocks and William Crabtree.
Willem Janszoon Blaeu, also abbreviated to Willem Jansz. Blaeu, was a Dutch cartographer, atlas maker and publisher. Along with his son Johannes Blaeu, Willem is considered one of the notable figures of the Netherlandish/Dutch school of cartography in its golden age.
Gemma Frisius was a Dutch physician, mathematician, cartographer, philosopher, and instrument maker. He created important globes, improved the mathematical instruments of his day and applied mathematics in new ways to surveying and navigation. Gemma's rings are named after him. Along with Gerardus Mercator and Abraham Ortelius, Frisius is often considered one of the founders of the Netherlandish school of cartography and significantly helped lay the foundations for the school's golden age.
Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr was a German mathematician, astronomer, and cartographer.
The University of Franeker (1585–1811) was a university in Franeker, Friesland, the Netherlands. It was the second oldest university of the Netherlands, founded shortly after Leiden University.
The term Jacob's staff, also known as cross-staff, a ballastella, a fore-staff, or a balestilha, is used to refer to several things. In its most basic form, a Jacob's staff is a stick or pole with length markings; most staffs are much more complicated than that, and usually contain a number of measurement and stabilization features. The two most frequent uses are:
JacobMetius was a Dutch instrument-maker and a specialist in grinding lenses. He is primarily known for being the brother of the geometer and astronomer Adriaan Metius and for the patent application he made for an optical telescope in October 1608, a few weeks after Hans Lippershey submitted a patent for the same device.
The Rudolphine Tables consist of a star catalogue and planetary tables published by Johannes Kepler in 1627, using some observational data collected by Tycho Brahe (1546–1601). The tables are named as "Rudolphine" in memory of Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor. The purpose of the Rudolphine tables was to be able to predict the positions of planets based off of calculations. His calculations did not agree with the Alphonsine tables nor Copernicus which motivated him to make a more precise table.
Frans Gansneb genaamd Tengnagel van de Camp was a Dutch nobleman.
Martin (Maarten) van den Hove was a Dutch astronomer and mathematician. His adopted Latin name is a translation of the Dutch hof ("garden"), in Latin horta.
The Astronomer is a painting finished in about 1668 by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. It is oil on canvas, 51 cm × 45 cm, and is on display at the Louvre, in Paris, France.
The following timeline lists the significant events in the invention and development of the telescope.
A Scientific equipment optician is an individual who makes and adjusts other optical aids, including telescope optics and microscope lenses. See also Optician for individuals who make and adjust glasses.
Metius (1571–1635) was a Dutch geometer and astronomer.
Adriaan Anthonisz (1527–1607) was a Dutch mathematician, surveyor, cartographer, and military engineer who specialized in the design of fortifications. As a mathematician Anthonisz discovered in 1585 the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, which would later be called pi.