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On the Heat of the Sun - Robert Grosseteste de Calore Solis

On the Heat of the Sun - Robert Grosseteste de Calore Solis

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On the Heat of the Sun: Robert Grosseteste’s De Calore Solis by Amelia Carolina Sparavigna, Department of Applied Science and Technology, Politecnico di Torino, Italy Here a translation and discussion of the treatise De Calore Solis written by Robert Grosseteste.

On the Heat of the Sun: Robert Grosseteste’s De Calore Solis by Amelia Carolina Sparavigna, Department of Applied Science and Technology, Politecnico di Torino, Italy Here a translation and discussion of the treatise De Calore Solis written by Robert Grosseteste.

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Published by: Amelia Carolina Sparavigna on Feb 26, 2013
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On the Heat of the Sun:Robert Grosseteste’s De Calore Solis
Amelia Carolina Sparavigna
Department of Applied Science and Technology, Politecnico di Torino, Italy
 Here a translation and discussion of the treatiseDe Calore Solis written by Robert Grosseteste.
Robert Grosseteste (c. 1175 – 1253), philosopher and bishop of Lincoln from 1235 ADuntil his death, wrote several scientific papers [1]. Remarkable are those on optics andsound [2-7]. In [6], we have recently proposed a translation and discussion of the treatiseentitled De Impressionibus Elementorum
 ,
written by Grosseteste shortly after 1220, wherehe is talking about some phenomena involving the four classical elements (air, water, fireand earth), in the framework of an Aristotelian physics of the atmosphere. This treatise onelements shows the role of heat in phase transition and in the atmospheric phenomena.Here we will translate and discuss Grosseteste’s treatise on the heat of Sun.The study of heat and related phenomena has a long history. The first to have proposed atheory on heat was Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher who lived around the 6th centuryBCE in Ephesus. He is well-known for his proverbial
 Panta rhei
, all things are flowing.According to Heraclitus, the elements in nature which are fire, earth, and air and water aresubjected to 
 
transformations, which are the replacement of one element by another: "Thedeath of fireis the birth of air , and the death of air is the birth of water ." [8] He saw thefire as the central element, controlling and modifying the others elements. The universe was ina continuous state of flowing as a result of transformations caused by the fire.The ancient Greek philosophy imagined then the universe created by the four elements.Quite probably, Plato was the first to use the term “element”,
 stoicheion,
in reference to air,fire, earth and water.
 
The ancient Greek word for element,
 stoicheion,
was meaning"smallest division” or “syllable”, as the smallest unit used to create all the words.According to Aristotle, the elements have some features. In his
On Generation and Corruption
, he tells that Air is primarily wet and secondarily hot, Fire is primarily hot andsecondarily dry. Earth is primarily dry and secondarily cold, and the Water is primarily coldand secondarily wet. Because the above-mentioned four elements are corruptible, Aristotleadded the incorruptible aether as the fifth element, or essence, the quintessence, and sincewe do not see any changes in the heavenly regions, the stars and skies above the Moonmust be made of it.The Hellenistic period, a period between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC andthe emergence of ancient Rome, saw the flourishing of science. In the Egypt of thisHellenistic tradition, under the Roman Empire of I Century CE, Hero of Alexandriainvented a steam-powered device. However, it was only in the late 18
th
century that heatengines, performing mechanical work having the steam as working fluid, were developedand used on a large scale.In the Western Europe, after the fall of its part of the Roman Empire, it started a decline inknowledge of Greek; Christian Western Europe was cut off from an important source of 1
 
ancient learning. Although some scholars maintained some spirit of scientific inquiry, theEurope saw certain stagnation. However, during the High Middle Ages, a period startingfrom the 11
th
century, the West Europe had begun to reorganize its scientific thought. Thiswas stimulated by the fact the some of the ancient works of the Greek philosophers re-entered the West through translations from Arabic to Latin [9]. Their commentaries of theancient philosophers had a great influence on medieval scholars, who mixed them with theChristian theology. Eventually, Aristotle was claimed as the greatest thinker of the ancientworld, and the Aristotelian physics became the physics mostly accepted by the EuropeanChurches.Based on Aristotelian physics, things are moving according to their essential nature, that is,according to the elements in them. The motions in the sublunary world, that is, on Earth,were based on the tendencies of elements. Stones contained the element earth, and earthyobjects tended to move naturally in a straight line toward the centre of the earth, which isthe center of the universe, unless otherwise prevented from doing so by some violentaction. Fire has the tendency to move upwards. Celestial objects, which are made of thefifth essence, are moving in circles, because circular motion is a never ending motion andtherefore perfect.For what concerns heat in this Aristotelian framework, it was in the 11th century that AbūRayhān Bīrūnī proposed movement and friction as causes of heat, which in turn produces the element of fire. For this reason, the apparent lack of movement of thePolar Regions causes them to be cold. The earth and the water form one globe,surrounded by the atmosphere. But, the atmosphere is in contact with the sphere of the Moon, and becomes heated as a consequence of the friction between the spheres.In this manner, the fire is produced, surrounding the air. Also Avicenna says thatheat is generated from motion in external things [10], whereas is generated inside inthe living beings.In the 13th century, the Islamic philosopher Abd Allah Baydawi discussed the heat in thesame manner. Heat and cold are among the most obvious and plain sense perceptions. Hear has the specific ability to separate different elements and to joinelements that are similar, for instance, when boiling water to vapor. The heat is then producing flux and circulation, and melting, according to the coarseness of the thing(if we read the Grosseteste’s treatise on the Elements, we find there a reference tothe coarseness too). Baydawi considered a natural and an artificial heat, and that theartificial heat may occur through motion-change, the proof of this being throughexperiment [11]. In reading the treatise on the heat of the Sun, we will find thatGrosseteste is invoking the motion as a source of heat.
 
Here in the following the Latin text [12] and my translation.
INC: Cum principalis intentio nostra sit de calore solis, cuiusmodi habet principiumgenerationis quaeramus universaliter: quot sunt principia generationis?
 INC: Since our main aim is about the heat of the sun, let us inquire in general what is thenthe principle of generation of heat: that is, how many are the principles of heat generation?
EXPL: Hic autem est maior incorporatio radiorum et propterea maior disgregatio etcalor. Explicit.
 EXPL: However, here, there is a larger incorporation of rays and as a consequence a greater disgregation and heat. The end.
Disgregatio is the disgregation or the dispersal of parts and then a process of separation.Between 1850 and 1865, the German physicist Rudolf Clausius, had the necessity to find2
 
some terms useful for the new science of thermodynamics. He sued the caloric, introducedin 1780, by Antoine Lavoisier who told that the matter of fire, indestructible, is the caloricand it is disengaged from bodies during combustion. In 1862, Clausius relate the integral of dQ/T to something he called “disgregation” of the body having relation to arrangement of molecules of working body , after reading the Carnot’s 1824 paper 
On the Motive Power of  Fire
that characterized the transformations of working substances in an engine cycle. In1865, dS=dQ/T was defined as the transformational content of the working body but thensettles on entropy, so to have similarity to the word energy. The term “entropy” is comingfrom the German Entropie, from Green entropia, a turning toward, from en,in, and trope, aturning [13].
1 - Cum principalis intentio nostra sit de calore solis, cuiusmodi habet principiumgenerationis quaeramus universaliter: quot sunt principia generationis? Et cum tria sint,ex quibus generatur calor, scilicet calidum, motus et collectio radiorum, sciendum quodcalidum in his sit univocum; quo univoco fit in his passio univoca. Cum ergo in his sitpassio univoca, erit in his omnibus causa univoca: omnis enim passionis univocae estcausa univoca.
Since our main aim is about the heat of the sun, let us inquire in general what is then the principle of generation of heat: that is, how many are the principles of heat generation? And since these are three, from which the heat is generated, that is, a hot body, motion and concentration of rays, it should be to know that, in these three cases, there is a heat of a single nature (univocum); and this univocal heat produces a univocal effect. When,therefore, there is a univocal undergoing effect, we shall find a univocal cause: thereforeevery univocal effect has a univocal cause.
I translated “univocus” with “univocal” in the sense of “being of a single kind”, or  producing something of its own nature, in a univocal generation due to a univocal cause. Inmathematics, a univocal correspondence is a mathematical correspondence, where eachelement of the joint origin just by corresponds an element of the joint image.
2 - Quod autem calidum in his omnibus sit univocum, patet: Calidum enim exquocunque istorum generatum eandem habet virtutem, idem facit opus. Ergo non estaequivoce dictum, sed univoce.
That the heat in all these things is univocal is clear: because heat generated in any of thesemanners has the same power, makes the same accomplishment. Therefore, it is stated, not in an equivocal sense, but in a univocal sense.
3 - Quaeramus ergo istam causam univocam! In omnibus autem illis est proxima causacalidi disgregatio. Unde cum calidum generat calidum, hoc est per disgregationemmaterierum. Qualiter autem illud conveniat motui et collectioni radiorum, difficile estvidere.
Therefore, let us search this univocal cause! In all of them, the immediate cause of heat isdisgregation. Hence then, a hot thing generates heat: it does by the disgregation of itsmatter. In what way, however, this disgregation is occurring in movement and incondensation of rays, it is difficult to see.
4 - Motus autem localis, ex quo generatur calidum, dividitur in motum naturalem etmotum violentum. Motus naturalis dividitur in motum rectum et circularem.
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