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TYCHO

Newton pointed out that we stand on the shoulders of giants. Tycho was one of his giants, and Newton is one of mine. Let me explain!

In Tycho’s day there was much discussion about what the planets are. Tycho said, ‘Let’s find out where they are, then we can talk about what we are.” My hero!

That remark is almost the beginning of modern science. Tycho had spent many years investigating where the planets are and how they move. That was the information that fell into Kepler’s hands when Tycho died. Who else do you know whose death gave rise to such a flowering of knowledge? Let me explain!

 

Kepler and Galileo knew each other, wrote to each other, but neither of them knew what the other one knew. So we had to wait for Newton. Galileo studied gravity and inertia but he didn’t know that the planets went in ellipses. Kepler knew from Tycho’s painstaking measurements that the planes went around the Sun in elliptical orbits but he didn’t have a handle on gravity and inertia. Newton had to put it all together. “The Sun is pulling on the planets as the Earth is pulling on the Moon.”

 

Probably we shall never know how much we owe these giants. And I once asked Feynman (one of my giants), “Can we understand the rest mass of the proton as just the energy represented by it separation, in the gravitational field, from all the rest of the matter in the observable Universe?” and he agreed. But Feynman didn’t know why gravity pulls, and he didn’t know why bicycles coast. He knew how but not why.  And Einstein (another of my giants) didn’t know why matter should appear “as discrete electrical particles.” Why, if they’re tine, must they be electrical? Why, if they’re dispersed, must they fall together? And why, if they’re moving, do they coast?

 

Now some of my giants lived, not a few hundred years back but a few thousand years back, and they built their physics into their language and left it there for all to see, and that’s where Einstein got E=M, and I take off my hat to them.

 

They said, “If the world is ‘the changing’ (Jagat), there must be something underneath that’s not in time and space, not changing, not finite, not divided and not two (Advaita).” Their question then was, “How then do we see change? It must be by mistake. The world which we see must be a mistake-world.” Not a dream world, a mistake- world. So they studied mistakes.  My heroes.

You can’t mistake your friend for a ghost without seeing your friend. And if your friend is tall and thin the ghost would be tall and thin, and if your friend is roly-poly, you’ll see a roly-poly ghost. So the changeless shows through in our mistake-world as inertia, the infinite shows through in the smallness as the electrical repulsion of like charges, and the undivided shows through as gravity, and the attraction between opposites. But wait! There are details.

 

The torch went from Tycho to Kepler.  From Kepler and Galileo to Newton.  From Newton to Einstein and Feynman, Heisenberg, Pauli and so many others.  And now we can see the details.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could explain to Tycho where his views have led?

 

The Universe isn’t made out of forces, momentum, spin or electrical charge. Their totals go to zero. It is made out of energy and energy is the wind-up against the mistake. Gravity is the wind-up against dispersion. The electrical repulsion fo like charges is the wind-up against smallness. And inertia is the wind-up against change.

 

Stars convert gravitational energy to radiation and drive the cosmological expansion because the radiation loses its energy to redshifting in the expansion. The redshifting drives the cosmic microwave background radiation because radiation gets thermalized to 3°K by going through the field of low mass particles near the observational border. Through Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle the redshifting also drives the recycling of the hydrogen and the negative entropy from the border, because as the uncertainty in the momentum goes down, the uncertainty in where the particles are goes up.

Also, if the world is a mistake-world, it will be smitten with uncertainty and frustration. Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle frustrates the collapse of the electrical duality. Pauli’s exclusion principle frustrates the collapse of the gravitational dispersion. And the recycling from the border frustrates the collapse of negative entropy.  And the Universe sails on.