Lecture03_10 - Physics19 GreatIdeasofPhysics Lecture3:...

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Physics 19 Great Ideas of Physics Lecture 3: And Yet, It Moves…
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The Legacy of Copernicus Copernicus’s work was not generally accepted,  even 100 years later Opened the door to the possibility that the planets  might move with the same type of physical motion  observed on Earth (where there are no epicycles!) His (reluctant) free-thinking further encouraged the  intellectual trend of the Renaissance By removing the Earth from the center of the  universe, he proposed a more humble role for  mankind
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Tycho and Kepler
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Reformation and War (1517 – 1648) The Protestant Reformation  (1517) broke the Catholic  monopoly on religious  authority Much of what is today  Germany became Protestant In 1618 the Hapsburg  Emperor of Austria set out to  restore Catholic rule in  Germany, which started 30  years of bloody religious  warfare Questioning the Church for  any reason was likely to be  considered evidence of  heresy
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Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) Danish nobleman: Staunch Aristotelian Anti-Copernican As a student, lost his nose  in a sword duel Wore a metal replacement  (including a gold one for  special occasions!) Developed a kind of  “compromise” model of  the solar system
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Tycho’s “Heavenly Castle” Tycho’s main contribution was  not his theory but his data With royal support he built an  observatory and equipped it with  the best instruments he could  find or build The telescope did not exist yet! Both the precision and volume of  data were unprecedented: 1-4 arc-minute accuracy (1 °  = 60’) The width of the Moon is about 30’ 20 years of systematically collected  data
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Two Surprises In addition to his regular  observations of the stars  and planets, Tycho found  two important surprises: In 1572, he found a nova or  “new star” and showed it was  farther away than the moon In 1577, he found a comet  and showed that it was  orbiting the Sun Why were these important?
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Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) German mathematician  and astronomer, hired by  Tycho to analyze his data After Tycho’s (tragic)  death, Kepler took over  his post Kepler was extremely  devout, and convinced  that God had built the  universe in an orderly,  mathematical way 
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“War with Mars” Before his death, Tycho challenged Kepler to use  his data to calculate the orbit of Mars Kepler began in 1601 and finished in 1605 Using any four observations, Kepler could  calculate a circular orbit (offset from Sun) A fifth data point could then be compared with the  predicted orbit The predictions always disagreed by 8 arc-minutes 8/60 of one degree About ¼ the width of the moon
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Lecture03_10 - Physics19 GreatIdeasofPhysics Lecture3:...

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