Sunday, April 29, 2018

Kepler and Modern Cosmology

“I have cleared the Augean stables of astronomy of cycles and spirals, and left behind me only a single cartful of dung.” ~ Johannes Kepler (Cited in Arthur Koestler's The Act of Creation)

What Kepler describes as a cartful of dung is the non-uniform motion in non-circular orbits of the planets which could only be justified and explained by using arguments derived not from geometry, but from physics. His was the first serious attempt to explain the mechanism of the solar system in terms of physical forces, and it resulted in the formerly separate fields of physics and astronomy coming together. 

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