Kepler4 - point Although he was hired by Tycho to work on...

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Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion Johaness Kepler (lived 1571--1630 C.E.) was hired by Tycho Brahe to work out the mathematical details of Tycho's version of the geocentric universe. Kepler was a religious individualist. He did not go along with the Roman Catholic Church or the Lutherans. He had an ardent mystical neoplatonic faith. He wanted to work with the best observational data available because he felt that even the most elegant, mathematically-harmonious theories must match reality. Kepler was motivated by his faith in God to try to discover God's plan in the universe---to ``read the mind of God.'' Kepler shared the Greek view that mathematics was the language of God. He knew that all previous models were inaccurate, so he believed that other scientists had not yet ``read the mind of God.'' Since an infinite number of models are possible (see Plato's Instrumentalism above), he had to choose one as a starting
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Unformatted text preview: point. Although he was hired by Tycho to work on Tycho's geocentric model, Kepler did not believe in either Tycho's model or Ptolemy's model (he thought Ptolemy's model was mathematically ugly). His neoplatonic faith led him to choose Copernicus' heliocentric model over his employer's model Kepler tried to refine Copernicus' model. After years of failure, he was finally convinced with great reluctance of an revolutionary idea: God uses a different mathematical shape than the circle. This idea went against the 2,000 year-old Pythagorean paradigm of the perfect shape being a circle! Kepler had a hard time convincing himself that planet orbits are not circles and his contemporaries, including the great scientist Galileo, disagreed with Kepler's conclusion. He discovered that planetary orbits are ellipses with the Sun at one focus. This is now known as Kepler's 1st law ....
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Kepler4 - point Although he was hired by Tycho to work on...

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