Monday 1 February 2021

cosmic bowl

Declaring that geometry preceded the origin of things and “was coeternal with the divine mind” and supplying God with the patterns for creation, our old friend Johannes Kepler was eager to insert and integration harmony and mathematics into the accepted world view and contrived a model that the famed astronomer believed would fully describe the Universe through a set of perfectly aligned shapes within one another.

To this end, in February of 1596 Kepler sought the patronage of Friedrich von Wรผrttemberg to not only forward his vision with continued studies and publications but also create an artifice and artefact as a demonstration—his model of the Cosmos set in silver with the planets cut of precious stones and dispense alcohol that corresponded to the celestial bodies on tap through unseen pipes—Mercury paired with brandy and Mars a vermouth &c. Wanting to compartmentalise the labour however of the craftsmen he commissioned and not failing to realise that the orbits of the planets were not spherical but rather ellipses, the pieces did not fit together as planned. Mortified by his mistake, Kepler redoubled his efforts and though not completely forsaking his quasi-mystical theories arrived on his revolutionary laws of planetary motion and moved away from the belief in the perfection of circular motion which the Copernican model espoused, culminating in three laws that still hold to this day.