Wolfgang Korsus Dipl.-Ing.NT, Astrophysiker
Website : wolfgang.korsus.net
The roof of Theben sky…or crazy disguises of former living people
A very amusing description of the sky some people always had and almost 100 years ago a conception increased; it pleases me particularly. It was written by the Persian mathematician, astronomer and poet Omar Khayya. :
„This upturned bowl called heaven, it keeps us imprisoned here until the end of our lives“.
For others, the sky was indeed a kind of roof over the earth, and if so, what else is actually above this roof. This question remained unanswered for a long time.
Only this pointed out conception of a firmament, to which, or in which the sun and the stars are fastened, encountered considerable problems already from the beginning of the thinking, because „up there“ everything was in motion. Not only sun and moon, but also all planets had to move on fixed orbits on the firmament. In the geocentric world view the earth is just as a ball in the center surrounded by many, I call them circling, concentric spheres, at which finally all celestial bodies act like fastened. These spheres turn also still in different directions and that additionally with different speeds. As not to be expected differently was said :
Behind the last and thus largest of these spheres lives just the God and looks eagerly after the right.
Surely one was convinced, this is indeed a task for a god. Almost regularly mankind came closer to their god at mysterious appearances ?!
It is simple and therefore quite simple, one imagines the sun on such a spherical shell, and the moon of course on another, now the respective positions can be determined relatively to the earth. But already the pure precision data for these positions led to first problems and still more complicated the additional planet movements made the whole.
Once described from the Earth, the planets drew circles in the sky … but let it be said, the astronomers of antiquity did it!
Let’s direct a look at the then Claudius Ptolemy, a Roman citizen of Greek descent, he was residing in Egypt. He developed already in the first century A.D. a picture accepted for more than thousand years. But why was it accepted for a long time ? Answer : it could correctly predict the celestial movements until then. In its record, the planets orbit around the earth, but to capture the observed movements, they had to perform much smaller circles, epicycles, around larger orbits. Simply represented one may say, the whole world is thus surrounded by a rotating firmament, to which the fixed stars are attached.
But how it should come also differently, before said and observed turned out in the course of the time more and more complicated. The epicycles of Ptolemy developed into a dead end of the imagined center of the earth thinking. The earth as center of the imagined center dissolved in scientific air.
It is to be stated, a new thinking approach had to be made after an all too long time of the truly wrong thinking.
And as it always had to come in the history wanted by the people, then came with Nicolaus Copernicus a decisive breakthrough of the thinking. He put with total conviction the sun in the center of the observed planetary world.
This was a highly clever grasp and he additionally developed a so-called mathematical model, in which the known planets orbit the sun on different sized orbits, but additionally rotate around their own axes. But there still remained this world of spheres, and with a last one for the fixed stars.
Now a special time has dawned. One became really more scientific and a branch of physics (the optics) took its influence. A new great name came into play. A hundred years had passed and it was Johannes Kepler who studied in detail astronomical measurements of Galileo Galilei and of Tycho Brahe. Measurements ?
Yes, they had become possible due to the successful development in the meantime and the associated construction in telescope production.
Production is slightly exaggerated, because there were no companies producing such at that time. It was the German-Dutch spectacle maker Hans Lipperhey
I say, the „part“ corresponded quasi to an invention !
These measurements with a telescope formed a solid empirical basis for a precise mathematical description. Because the circular orbits of the planets became ellipses; thus one stated the new Kepler’s laws over the planet movements agreed now really exactly with the observations.
But in spite of these laws one got no explanation, why the planets move in such a way. But Kepler made a conjecture, that there must or could be a certain force of the sun, which has an effect over such large distances, which compensated the outward centrifugal force of all orbiting planets and therefore kept them in their orbits. At the time of Kepler one spoke still of a conjecture; only eighty years later it became a genuine physical theory. The question follows….by whom ? It was a well known person of history -Isaak Newton – he was a real explainer.
For him forces worked not only on our planet but also absolutely the same in our solar system, or as one said at that time still „in the sky“.
In this realization lies a necessary abstraction.
„Falling bodies“ are therefore something commonplace. Everything what falls or falls again after throwing up !
So also Galilei had discovered a universal behavior already temporally before : The distance, which a body falls, grows with the square of the fall time and is the same, independently of the mass of the body. In addition must be said for the better understanding :
It can be proved that a feather falls considerably slower than a stone, but only because it floats in the air. A stone with the same weight of the spring falls of course just as fast as a much heavier stone.
So in short, already Galileo’s observations quickly led to what we call today classical mechanics and that to the beginning of physics as we understand it now or today.
It was Isaac Newton who, in his Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, for the first time put into an appropriate linguistic form a unified picture of the forces acting between masses and the resulting motions. The natural state of any body was that of rest; any motion required a force to produce that motion as well.
Newton also noticed that „at rest“ is perceived differently by two different observers. The drifter in a boat sees the same thing a little differently than the observer on the riverbank. Bang !, the first principle of relativity was born:
This says that all states which are in uniform movement to each other are equal, and thus none is more „natural“ than the other. Now the force comes into play, because only it can change a state of motion. This provided for the introduction of the term “ force“ as an origin not of movement, pay attention, but of each movement change, thus for an acceleration or a braking.
By these considerations a new result was obtained.
The theory of gravity, that is, the forces between bodies in the „sky“ and on the earth.
Man now perceived something; a universal force, gravity ! So he made a new interesting acquaintance. There were already many forces grasped by the human being: those of the wind and of the water, or as an example of bow and arrow and the horse power! Only one thing should be noted, these forces are all dependent on time and space. The gravity, however, is something else, because it appears everywhere. Like a stone, he always falls to the earth and it is Schei…..egal when, where or from whom he is dropped by chance. The stone is pulled to the earth by some force. Newton’s thoughts came to a remarkable realization, this force is probably the same that determines the planetary orbits. Therefore he came to the conclusion that a massive body, attracts every other mass with a force, it is proportional to the product of their two masses and inversely proportional to their distance.
Gravity, it holds the Earth and the other planets in their orbits around the Sun and likewise it is the same force that binds the Moon to the Earth…..and today we know it must be this force that holds galaxies together and it is responsible for creating the entire structure of the universe. The farmer sees the apple always fall down, the militarist knows, the ball always hits after a certain flight duration below.
The gravity is repeatedly said, the most universal force, which is known to us people – this is valid not only for our human world but up to the farthest widths of the universe.
Astronomers must have felt very satisfied, because they hoped for a satisfactory explanation for the movements and structure of the „celestial environment“ observable by man. The solar system consisting of earth, moon, sun, the other planets and their moons has thus come closer to a meaningful explanation.
Let’s consider also the concept of the force. It holds everything formally together in the „sky“. It is clearly the gravity which gives also on the planet earth
gives measures and weight to everything. Apples fall from the trees and stones do not fly upwards in principle.
However the thinking and brooding remained so some. However, an already very understandable „world“ still hid the last sphere. To it „stuck“ something like the fixed stars ! The next question had to follow :
– and behind it, what was there ??? –
The Greek philosophy simply said „nothing“, an infinite, absolute and eternal nothing. Also already Copernicus and his time had doubts about the existence of another last sphere. A strange other idea made the rounds, namely there could be beyond the solar system an infinity populated by fixed stars. Already in 1576 it was the thoughts of the English astronomer Thomas Digges. Only now, as always, the „church and its colonels“ come into the worldly play, because in their eyes these thoughts always lay at the border to heresy.
I reach back with highest respect to a man who was murdered by the constantly murdering and clearly biggest idiots of this planet !
His opinion and his expressed thoughts were his undoing.
He believed not only in an infinite universe, but even that this was full of an infinity of worlds like ours. This clearly went too far for the princes of faith at that time, it was clearly too much in contradiction to their dogma of the uniqueness of our world, created of course by their own, very dear God. After all, it was written in the Bible; it was written by the most stupid superstitious people of our planet. And so Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in Rome on February 17, 1600.