Johannes Kepler 1571-1630

Johannes Kepler 1571-1630

JOHANNES KEPLER 1571-1630 BORN IN WEIL DER STADT NEAR PRESENT DAY STUTTGART HE WAS BORN PREMATURELY AND WAS PHYSICALLY WEAK. HIS FAMILY WAS POOR HIS FATHER WAS A MERCENARY WHO IS BELIEVED TO HAVE DIED IN THE EIGHTY YEARS WAR IN THE NETHERLANDS HIS MOTHER WAS A

HEALER/HERBALIST WHO WAS LATER TRIED FOR WITCHCRAFT JOHANNES KEPLER HE BECAME INTRIGUED BY ASTRONOMY AT AN EARLY AGE WHEN HE OBSERVED THE GREAT COMET OF 1577 (IT WAS ALSO OBSERVED BY TYCHO) AND THE TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE OF 1580 AT AGE 18 HE ATTENDED THE UNIVERSITY OF TUBINGEN WHERE HE STUDIED PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY AT AGE 19 HE BECAME CHANCELLOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TUBINGEN IN 1590 (?) HE BECAME AN ACCOMPLISHED MATHEMATICIAN AND ALSO PRACTICED ASTROLOGY.

HE BELIEVED IN COOPERNICUS HELIOCENTRISM AND DEFENDED IT IN DEBATES. AT AGE 23 HE JOINED THE MATHEMATICS AND ASTRONOMY FACULTY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF GRAZ, AUSTRIA. JOHANNES KEPLER HE, LIKE PYTHAGORAS MANY YEARS EARLIER, BELIEVED THAT THERE WAS A HARMONY IN NATURE THAT COULD BE EXPRESSED IN SIMPLE MATHEMATICAL RATIOS AND COULD, IN FACT, BE DETECTED AS MUSIC. HIS MATHEMATICAL SPECIALTY WAS GEOMETRY.

JOHANNES KEPLER HE WONDERED WHY THERE WERE SIX PLANETS, NOT FIVE, REASONING THAT GOD MUST HAVE HAD A REASON. HE WAS INSPIRED BY THE 1595 CONJUNCTION OF JUPITER AND SATURN TO EUCLIDS POLYGONS. HE THEN REALIZED THAT THERE WERE FIVE REGULAR SOLIDS (PYRAMID (4), CUBE (6), OCTAHEDRON (8), DODECAHEDRON (12) AND ICOSAHEDRON (20)). HE ORGANIZED THEM: OCTAHEDRON, ICOSAHEDRON, DODEDAHEDRON, TETRAHEDRON AND CUBE, RESPECTIVELY STARTING WITH MERCURY AND WORKING OUT TO SATURN. IF THEY WERE SUCCESSIVELY INSCRIBED AND CIRCUMSCRIBED BY SPHERES THESE SPHERES COULD REPRESENT THE ORBITS OF SIX PLANETS.

HE MAINTAINED THAT THE PLANETS WOULD STOP UNLESS THERE WAS A FORCE CAUSING THEM TO MOVE. THE SUN WAS THAT SOURCE AND THE PLANETS NEARER THE SUN WOULD MOVE FASTER AS THEY WERE CLOSER. HE ARGUED THAT, AS PROPOSED BY WILLIAM GILBERT (1544-1603), AN ENGLISHMAN, MAGNETISM WAS THE SOURCE MECHANISM. HE REASONED THAT, SINCE THE SUN WAS OBVIOUSLY BIGGER THAN THE EARTH, IT OUGHT TO BE AT THE CENTER OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM. KEPLERS NESTED SPHERES OUTER PORTION INNER PORTION

KEPLER MEETS TYCHO HIS FIRST MAJOR ASTRONOMICAL WORK, MYSTERIUM COSMOGRAPHICUM (THE COSMIC MYSTERY), PUBLISHED IN 1595, DESCRIBED HIS INSCRIBED POLYHEDRONS. HE COMMUNICATED WITH TYCHO AND WITH REIMARUS URSUS (A COPERNICAN AND BITTER RIVAL OF TYCHO), IMPERIAL MATHEMATICIAN TO RUDOLPH II, SOLICITING THEIR OPINIONS ABOUT COSMIC MYSTERY. (TYCHO REPLACED URSUS A FEW YEARS LATER.) HE ALSO STUDIED THE HARMONY OF THE RELATIONSHIPS AMONG MUSIC, MATH AND THE PHYSICAL WORLD, WITH SPECIAL EMPHASIS ON ASTROLOGY. HOWEVER, TO CHECK ALL OF HIS THEORIES, HE BADLY NEEDED TYCHOS DATA. TYCHO WAS NOW IN PRAGUE. KEPLER NEEDED TYCHOS SUPPORT, BOTH FINANCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL. AND, KEPLER WAS IN TROUBLE WITH THE

CHURCH AS HE WAS BEING PRESSURED INTO CONVERTING TO CATHOLOCISM. KEPLER TRAVELED TO PRAGUE TO MEET TYCHO. HOW DID KEPLER GET HIS HANDS ON TYCHOS DATA? TYCHO KNEW THAT KEPLER WANTED ACCESS TO HIS DATA BUT REFUSED TO LET HIM COPY THEM. KEPLER ANGRILY LEFT PRAGUE TWO MONTHS LATER BUT RETURNED AND RECONCILED TWO MONTHS AFTER THAT. KEPLER MOVED TO PRAGUE PERMANENTLY AFTER HAVING BEEN BANNED FROM GRAZ FOR REFUSING TO CONVERT TO CATHOLICISM. IN 1601 TYCHO TASKED KEPLER WITH WRITING A TRACT AGAINST

URSUS, TYCHOS NOW DECEASED FOE. AFTER TYCHOS DEATH KEPLER SNATCHED HIS DATA. EVENTUALLY HIS HEIRS REGAINED THE VALUABLE DATA BUT NOT BEFORE KEPLER HAD COPIED ALL THAT HE WANTED. JOHANNES KEPLER

AFTER TYCHOS DEATH KEPLER REPLACED HIM AS THE IMPERIAL MATHEMATICIAN. MARS WAS OF SPECIAL INTEREST IT (OTHER THAN MERCURY) HAS THE MOST ECCENTRIC ORBIT OF ANY PLANET TYCHO HAD MADE COPIUS OBSERVATIONS OF IT USING ABOUT HALF OF TYCHOS DATA HE GENERATED A SYSTEM PREDICTING MARS ORBIT AS SEEN FROM THE EARTH WHEN MARS WAS AT OPPOSITION HE THEN USED THE OTHER HALF OF TYCHOS DATA TO REVERSE THE PROCESS TO PREDICT THE POSITION OF THE EARTH AS SEEN FROM MARS. HE HAD ADOPTED THE IDEA THAT PLANETARY ORBITS WERE ELLIPTICAL. REMEMBER, APPOLONIUS HAD DEFINED THE SHAPE OF AN ELLIPSE ABOUT 1500 YEARS EARLIER.

TYCHOS DATA FORCED HIM TO ABANDON THE IDEA THAT THE SUN WAS AT THE CENTER OF THE ELLIPSE AND PUT IT A FOCUS. HIS SUN-CENTERED ELLIPSE THEORY DISAGREED WITH TYCHOS DATA BY ABOUT 8 ARC MINUTES. HE FELT TYCHOS DATA WERE MORE ACCURATE THAT THAT AND ABANDONED HIS THEORY. KEPLERS SUPERNOVA (1604) SN-1604 THOUGHT BY ASTROLOGERS TO BE THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF A NEW ERA. THEY HAD THOUGHT THERE WAS AN 800 YEAR PERIOD IN THE STARS. 1600 YEARS EARLIER WAS THE TIME OF CHRIST. 800 YEARS

AFTER THAT WAS THE BEGINNING OF THE REIGN OF CHARLEMAIGN. HE OBSERVED, AS DID TYCHO, THAT SUCH OBJECTS DO NOT HAVE ANY MEASURABLE PARALLAX THEREFORE THEY ARE OUTSIDE THE EARTHS ATMOSPHERE. KEPLERS SUPERNOVA (1604) SN-1604 SUPERNOVA IS LOCATED AT THE FOOT OF OPHIUCHUS (THE

SNAKE HOLDER) ONE OF THE CONSTELLATIONS NAMED BY PTOLEMY JOHANNES KEPLER IN 1610 GALILEO OBSERVED THE MOONS OF JUPITER AND SOUGHT KEPLERS THOUGHTS KEPLER RESPONDED ENTHUSIASTICALLY AND PROCEEDED TO PUBLISH ANALYSES OF BOTH GALILEOS AND HIS OWN TELESCOPES IT APPEARS BOTH THOUGHT THAT JUPITER WAS SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL, PROVING THAT THE

EARTH WAS NOT THE CENTER OF ALL REVOLUTIONS GALILEAN TELESCOPE VIRTUAL ERECT IMAGE CURRENT DAY OPERA GLASSES KEPLERS TELESCOPE INVERTED IMAGE KEPLERS HARMONICES MUNDI, (HARMONY OF THE WORLDS) PUBLISHED IN 1619 MOST OF IT DEALT WITH

ASTROLOGY HE ATTEMPTED TO CORRELATE MUSICAL TONES WITH PLANETARY SPEED. NOTE: BACHS WELL TEMPERED CLAVIER WAS STILL A CENTURY AWAY. WE GET HIS THIRD LAW FROM IT. KEPLERS Epitome astronomia Copernicanae (Epitome of Copernican Astronomy)

PUBLISHED IN FOUR VOLUMES FROM 16151621 HE WROTE MUCH OF IT DURING HIS MOTHERS WITCHCRAFT TRIAL HIS MOST INFLUENTIAL WORK CONTAINED ALL OF HIS THREE LAWS KEPLERS LAWS PLANETS MOVE IN ELLIPTICAL ORBITS, THE SUN AT A FOCUS. THE RADIUS VECTOR OF A PLANETARY ORBIT SWEEPS OUT EQUAL AREAS IN EQUAL TIMES. P2 = a3, WHERE P IS THE SIDEREAL PERIOD OF A PLANET IN EARTH YEARS AND A IS THE

SEMI-MAJOR AXIS IN ASTRONOMICAL UNITS. JOHANNES KEPLER IN 1627, 26 YEARS AFTER THEY HAD BEEN COMMISSIONED (HE HAD TROUBLE WITH TYCHOS HEIRS AND THE PUBLISHING REQUIREMENTS OF THE EMPEROR), HE FINISHED THE RUDOLPHINE TABLES. IN 1631, ONE YEAR AFTER HIS DEATH, PIERRE GASSENDI, A FRENCH ASTRONOMER, MADE THE FIRST OBSERVATION OF MERCURYS SOLAR TRANSIT. KEPLERS TABLES WERE ACCURATE TO 1/6TH OF A DEGREE, THIRTY TIMES MORE ACCURATE THAN THE OLD COPERNICAN (PRUTENIC) TABLES.

JOHANNES KEPLER IN 1625 HE RAN AFOUL OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ONCE AGAIN AGENTS OF THE CATHOLIC COUNTER-REFORMATION SEALED HIS LIBRARY. HE MOVED TO ULM IN 1626 WHERE HE PRINTED HIS TABLES AT HIS OWN EXPENSE. MILITARY TENSION EASED IN 1628 AND, EVEN THOUGH THE EMPEROR (FERDINAND) WAS A STAUNCH CATHOLIC, HE WAS NAMED AN OFFICIAL ADVISOR TO GENERAL WALLENSTEIN, FERDINANDS HIGHEST RANKING GENERAL. HIS PRIMARY DUTIES TO THE GENERAL WERE TO SUPPLY SUPERIOR DATA TO THE GENERALS ASTROLOGERS. AFTER A BRIEF ILLNESS HE DIED IN REGENSBURG IN 1630.

HIS GRAVE SITE WAS DESTROYED WHEN THE SWEDISH ARMY DESTROYED THE CHURCH YARD AND ITS LOCATION IS UNKNOWN.

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