# Episode 21: Kepler's Three Laws - The Mechanical Universe

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- 26 Oct 2020

The. Steadying the orbit of Mars around the Sun, Uranus, Kepler discovered its path could be explained only if the planet traveled along any lives. It was the first of Kepler's three log's. I'm sure you remember that Teko Brai had his own system of the universe in the Tikhonov system, the earth was stationary at the center, the sun went around the earth and all of the other planets went around the sun. Of course, Teko believe passionately in his own system.

And on his deathbed, he begged Your Highness Kepler to use the new observations to prove the correctness of the Tikhonov system. It was a touching moment. I have no idea of what Kepler thought of that moment, but the idea of doing what Teko had asked them to do never even crossed his mind. Kepler was a Copernican to his very core. And as soon as he got his hands on Tycho's data, the first thing that he set out to do was to analyze the orbit of Mars.

It proved to be enormously difficult. And no matter what he did, he couldn't make the orbit of Mars fit a circle. The disagreement between the angular position of Mars in the sky and the best circular orbit was eight minutes of arc. In other words, if he had tried to do the same thing before Tycho's observations, it would have been possible. But with the new data, it could no longer be made to work. And so Keppler was faced with a direct conflict between the ancient platonic dictum that all motions in the heavens had to be circular motions and the new Tikhonov observations.

Faced with that conflict, he made his choice. He chose the observations and he started the search for a different smooth curve that would describe the orbit of Mars. After years of agonizing work, he hit upon the answer. It was a curve that had been known for thousands of years.

And it's called. And Elipse. In the most graphic terms, a piece of string and two pins illustrate the simple elegance of an ellipse, since the string doesn't stretch into a different length, the total distance from one pin to the pencil to the other pin. Is consonant. A single point is called the focus. Two points, the Forsys. The length of the semi major axis is a the semi minor axis has the length B. The region bounded by the Ellipse has area by a B.

The distance from the center to either focus is some fraction of a E.A.. The symbol represents the amount of eccentricity, as in the social context of the word, eccentricity means somewhat off center. So when it shrinks to zero, when there's no eccentricity, the result is a perfectly rounded figure and ellipse called a circle. But when he increases, the Ellipse becomes increasingly eccentric and increasingly flat. Focus is the Latin word for fireplace, it was first used for the Ellipse by a man who became known as the wandering mathematician.

His name was Johannes Kepler, and in the sun, he saw the greatest fireplace in the universe in his emotional life. However, particularly as a child, he saw very little in the way of warmth. Kepler's father, a low ranked soldier of fortune, deserted the family early. His mother was later tried for witchcraft, although it's not known whether Kepler senior fled because she had the makings of a real witch. In his father's absence, Yohannes was constantly visited by poverty and despite his mother's alleged charms by illness as well.

His background challenges many contemporary notions about heredity and environment. Though he displayed the skill and curiosity of mathematical genius, Johannes Kepler seemed an unlikely candidate to solve some fundamental problems of the universe. Early in his career, Kaeppeler taught school boys in Graz on the Murray River in southeastern Austria. Like many before and since he found teaching more frustrating than rewarding. He struggled with geometrical models of planetary motion, but soon realized his astronomical data were not reliable enough. At the dawn of the new century, January 1st, sixteen hundred, Kepler set off in search of the most accurate astronomical data on Earth and the man who possessed them, Teko Brai.

Born into the let them eat cake class of society, ticos surprise Danish nobility with his decision to do something worthwhile. His penchant for astronomy became his reason for living, and for the last 38 years of his life, he charted the heavens with extraordinary precision. No one on earth appreciated the potential value of Ticos heavenly observations better than Yohannes Kepler. To him, the data were essentially. The key to unlock the door to the universe and to reveal what he called the secrets of the skies.

But much to Couplers dismay, Teko knew how to keep a secret. So Kepler struggled without Ticos precious data for almost two years. Then on October 24th, 16 01, fate stepped in. Ticos dying words were, let me not seem to have lived in vain. The dean's family withheld the data, but Kepler managed to make Ticos last wish come true. Advancing science more than ethics. He stole the material. The otherwise mild mannered little mathematician was finally ready, in his own words, to wage my war on Mars.

Mars, the red planet. Mars and early Roman God of agriculture and of war. Mars through the ages, powerful and mysterious, within the ancient worlds concept of the Earth centered universe. The planets moved in epicycles, and sometimes, as with Mars, the epicycles were very erratic. To account for such erratic behavior, Teko conceived his own universe, the iconic solar system. Like Ptolemy, he placed the earth at the center with the sun revolving around it.

But like Copernicus, Tiko had the other planets orbiting the sun while Ticos system fit the appearance's more simply than Ptolemy's. Kaeppeler passionately embraced the views of Nicholas Copernicus. This was not only an unpopular view, Galileo would be tried in Rome for sharing it. It was an extremely difficult one to justify scientifically. Consider the Copernican solar system and the problems that presented Johannes Kepler. From Copernicus's revolutionary viewpoint, Kappler had to make mathematical observations from a planet that, rather than being central and stationary, was in motion with all the other planets.

Imagine the difficulty of.