Noel M. Swerdlow

Professor Emeritus of History and Astronomy and Astrophysics
PhD 1968 Yale University

California Institute of Technology
MC 101-40
Pasadena, CA 91125
(626) 395-1750

Noel Swedlow has retired and no longer directs BA theses or accepts new graduate students.

Field Specialties

History of the exact sciences, antiquity through the seventeenth century; history of astronomy


Noel Swerdlow's most recently completed larger project concerns Babylonian planetary theory and he is now working on a study of astronomy in the Renaissance concentrating on Regiomontanus, Copernicus, Tycho, Kepler, and Galileo.


"Science and Humanism in the Renaissance: Regiomontanus's Oration on the Dignity and Utility of the Mathematical Sciences." In World Changes.Thomas Kuhn and the Nature of Science, edited by P. Horwich, 131–68. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1993.

"The Recovery of the Exact Sciences of Antiquity: Mathematics, Astronomy,Geography." In Rome Reborn. The Vatican Library and Renaissance Culture, edited by Anthony Grafton, 125–67. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1993.

"Otto E. Neugebauer." Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 137 (1993): 139–65.

"Montucla's Legacy: The History of the Exact Sciences." Journal of the History of Ideas (1993): 299–328.

"Blackstone's 'Newtonian' Dissent." In The Natural Sciences and the Social Sciences, edited by I. B. Cohen, 205–34. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1994.

"Astronomy in the Renaissance." In Astronomy before the Telescope, edited by C. Walker, 187–229. London: British Museum Press, 1996.

The Babylonian Theory of the Planets. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1998.