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JOHANNES KEPLER

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Author Topic: JOHANNES KEPLER  (Read 744 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2008, 10:55:12 am »



One of the diagrams from Strena Seu de Nive Sexangula,
illustrating the Kepler conjecture








Around 1611, Kepler circulated a manuscript of what would eventually be published (posthumously) as Somnium (The Dream). Part of the purpose of Somnium was to describe what practicing astronomy would be like from the perspective of another planet, to show the feasibility of a non-geocentric system. The manuscript, which disappeared after changing hands several times, described a fantastic trip to the moon; it was part allegory, part autobiography, and part treatise on interplanetary travel (and is sometimes described as the first work of science fiction).

Years later, a distorted version of the story may have instigated the witchcraft trial against his mother,
as the mother of the narrator consults a demon to learn the means of space travel. Following her eventual acquittal, Kepler composed 223 footnotes to the story several times longer than the actual text which explained the allegorical aspects as well as the considerable scientific content (particularly regarding lunar geography) hidden within the text.

As a New Year's gift that year, he also composed for his friend and some-time patron Baron Wackher von Wackhenfels a short pamphlet entitled Strena Seu de Nive Sexangula (A New Year's Gift of Hexagonal Snow). In this treatise, he investigated the hexagonal symmetry of snowflakes and, extending the discussion into a hypothetical atomistic physical basis for the symmetry, posed what later became known as the Kepler conjecture, a statement about the most efficient arrangement for packing spheres.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2008, 10:58:26 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
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