Fwd: Reminiscences: Similarity with Kepler’s biography

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Subject: Reminiscences: Similarity with Kepler’s biography
Date: Tue, 5 May 2009 08:48:17 EDT

The entire text of “Johannes Kepler and Planetary Motion” is available by using google keywords “Johannes Kepler epicycles hostile”, second entry. This has a marked resemblance to Kerry Pendergast’s biography. Kepler was of a noble family with its own coat of arms, but one which had fallen on bad times, so his parents were poor adn he was born in a small town. He was a Schwabian with a heavy accent. Initially at Tuebingen he enthusiastically accepted the Ptolemaic system, including the epicycle, invented by Apollonius of Pergia in the third century BC. Copernicus, although guessing that the sun was the centre of the solar system, never proved it. It is generally thought that Newton eliminated the need for epicylces, creating a theory many orders more powerful. This is certainly true, but it was the huge efforts of Kepler that led to Newton’s great synthesis. From 1601 to 1605 he discovered the first two Kepler laws, and on 8th March 1618 the third law. after many years of great effort. All kinds of obstacles were placed in Kepler’s way – his laws received no acclaim from his contemporaries, essentially no one realized the significance of Astronomica Nova. he had to work for a very unstable Emperor Rudolph, who frequently did not pay him, and Tycho Brahe would not let him see the data he needed for a very long time. Kepler hated and detested war, but lived in the midst of war. His defence of Copernicus in 1618, 1620 and 1621 was immediately banned, and some of his books were declared heretical. He refused to give up his Lutheran beliefs. So compared to that I have had no problems at all. Kepler was appointed a professor of mathematics at the age of 23 and Imperial Mathematicus in Prague. His own University of Tuebingen never gave him a post, despite the fact that he was Imperial Mathematicus to the Holy Roman Emperor. several similarities but some differences, because ECE is widely recognized by contemporaries, as is all my other work.

British Civil List Scientist

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