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Sundials: Design, Construction, and Use (Springer Praxis Books / Popular Astronomy) Paperback – 6 Feb 2009


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Sundials: Design, Construction, and Use (Springer Praxis Books / Popular Astronomy) + Sundials: History, Theory, and Practice
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Product details

  • Paperback: 186 pages
  • Publisher: Praxis; 2009 edition (6 Feb 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387098011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387098012
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 17 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 832,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Payne on 5 Nov 2009
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent textbook on sundials. Starting from a simple clarification of the theory of sundials, describing the motion of the earth around the sun (a bit more than it just goes round) demonstrated by excellent graphics. The book gives a written history of sundials with many photographs of sundials of all types. If you are slightly fearful of the mathematics of dialling this book goes a long way to remove any discomfort by its excellent diagrams. If you want to design your own sundial this is a very good book. If you want to test your knowledge there is a testing section. Francophobes may be alarmed by the fact that there are many references to locations in France (strange from a French author!)but there are easy explanations to translocate your designs to your own part of the world - even describing the functioning of dials north and south of the equator.
Many books on sundials are either trivial (written for primary school youngsters)or heavy going (some of the classic books on the subject).This book is educational, scientific, and easy on the eye. An easy read - and thanks to the author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Blackburn on 26 Aug 2010
Format: Paperback
Aside from the occassional language oddity (the book was originally in French) this is an excellent book on a very interesting subject. The quality of the repoduction (print and diagrams) is excellent.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
it is a Very good book and proved good design and construction, and is ideal for the beginer love it
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By BVLBPE29 on 3 Oct 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a well balanced reference book, giving clear visual explanations backed up by mathematical equations. All aspects and types of sundials are discussed, with clear examples that lead the reader through the processes required to create their own sundials. An excellent reference for beginners.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Good beginner Book - There are Better 1 April 2009
By Anthony Ten Broeck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book has nice clear illustrations. It is not nearly as complete as

Sundials: Their Construction and Use

by R. Newton Mayall and Margaret W. Mayall. Their illustrations are not 'modern media' but definitely clear enough. It has lots more information for the buck than D. Savoie's Sundials.

Savoie's book is easy to read and covers many basic types of dials. The tables for French locations are not helpful and would better be replaced with formulas.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Everything you ever wanted to know about sundials 19 Oct 2013
By ERW - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Besides Denis Savoie's book, I also purchased the A.Waugh and the Mayalls' books on sundials.
While more abundant in construction instructions, the latter two books while claiming to provide theory, are actually giving only mathematical formulas.
On the other hand, "Sundials - Design, Construction and Use" by D.Savoie provides complete explanations of astronomical facts and geometrical demonstrations needed to understand the principles of operation of sundials and also develops the needed mathematics for those interested, in a number of appendixes at the end of the book. The demonstrations very cleverly avoid the use of spherical trigonometry and make use only of classical geometry and plane trigonometry.
The presentation is beautifully done with colored drawings and pictures and I can hardly imagine a nicer introductory book on this subject.
The book is very accessible to high school students knowledgeable in trigonometry and geometry and some mathematical proofs are very nicely disguised to give them more appeal. A good example is the demonstration of the principle of the analemmatic sundial at p.118. The demonstration is very easy to follow, without a word about projective geometry.
The book contains surprising facts, like how to find the polar axis for the style of a sundial on any surface without any calculations (p.109)or that you can find true north with a combination of horizontal and analemmatic sundials.
This book was a delight to read and understand. On the other hand, reading a book that just tells you how to build a sundial without fully explaining the principles is like taking a trip through the countryside in the back of a windowless van. In the end you arrive at the same destination, minus the fun of having seen the landscape.
In my opinion, the seriously interested reader should buy all three books, since they complement each other.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
YOU DONT NEED MORE 7 Jan 2010
By Cimacol - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found the complete information to make a sundial, easy language, drawings and explanation, excelent book for begginers and internediates on sundials. A basic book to have it.
Much illustration of theory and construction 1 Feb 2014
By Carol Motta - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book clearly shows the how's and why's of various types of sundials and the methods of interpreting dialing and is presented with clear descriptions and nicely done illustrations. It is written for someone with a somewhat technical background and a fundamental understanding of trigonometry ,although, much can be understood and learned about all aspects of dialing,it's construction and operation without the math background. The astronomy chapter in the begining can seem somewhat irrellavent at first but shows it's worth in the later chapters when discussing the different types of dials and their relations to the changes of the orbit of our earth about the sun. The illustrations take the mystery out of trying to visualize in your mind's eye the various positions described for the earth's orbit about the sun and it's subsequent variations in always casting changing shadows upon our planet.
The methods for practical construction of a sundial and the calculations involved are easily followed with many astronomical concepts learned along the way.
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