This seminar will be held in English.
Alex Ely Kossovsky, Departamento de Estadística, Matemática y Cómputo, Universidad Autònoma Chapingo, Mexico.
"Mathematical Perspectives in the Emergence of Physics"
This presentation briefly explores humanity's first major scientific achievement, namely the discovery of modern physics during the late Renaissance era, and demonstrates the decisive role of mathematics and rudimentary data analysis in facilitating this multi-generational accomplishment.
Galileo’s profound insight about motion and vertical acceleration, the role of his exhaustive pendulum experiments and studies, and especially the splitting of projectile motion into its vertical accelerating component versus its horizontal inertial component as the most significant inspiration for Newton’s mechanics. In addition, the inspirational history of how mathematical advances like logarithms -discovered in the early 1600s - paved the way for this remarkable scientific advance in physics shall be explored, detailing how logarithms led Kepler to the discovery of his Third Law by facilitating arithmetical computations and by hinting at power-law relationships. Kepler's planetary statistical discovery of his Third Law relates the square of the time period for one full orbit around the sun to the cube of the planet’s distance from the sun, namely Period2 = K*Distance3, and this remarkable discovery was courageously based on merely six data points, corresponding to the periods and distances of the six planets known at that era. In addition, the presentation shall briefly explore the role of Newton in midwifing the birth of science with his grand synthesis of Kepler’s celestial data analysis and Galileo’s terrestrial experiments.
Lastly, the rise and fall of Bodes’ Law shall be examined, and its ambitious but failed attempt to fit the orbital distances of the planets into an exact mathematical expression shall be presented as an illustrative example of the inability to apply rigid and exact mathematical formulas to probabilistic and chanced events, such as the chaotic process of star and planet formation from the random distribution in space of gas and dust particles into much larger entities via the force of gravity.
Reference book: “The Birth of Science”, Springer Nature Publishing.
Alex Ely Kossovsky. Aug 2020. ISBN-10: 3030517438.
Location: Eva Ekeblad (Campus Borlänge) and Samtal 130 (Zoom)