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L’anecdote est le pretexte . . . et l’histoire de l’intimité

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Chapter Summary

There are interesting parallels between the lives and working styles of Rademaker and Sir William Herschel (1738?1822), the German born English astronomer. Both Rademaker and Sir William Herschel showed unusual commitment to their work, both tried to study every aspect of their field, and both received indispensable assistance from a woman (in Herschel?s case, his sister Caroline). Using a telescope at Slough with a 48?in (1.22?m) mirror and a focal length of 40 ft (12.2 m), Herschel discovered two satellites of Uranus and the sixth and seventh satellites of Saturn. The BBC made an interesting TV programme about Herschel some years ago, in which his interest in the stars was linked with his love of music ('the harmony of the spheres'). This is comparable with Rademaker?s love of movement and dance. Rademaker enjoyed secondary school rehearsals of mathematics, chemistry and physics.

Keywords: harmony of the spheres; Rademaker; Saturn; secondary school rehearsals; Sir William Herschel; Uranus

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