02 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 The Cosmic Perspective

The cosmic perspective comes from the frontiers of science, yet it's not solely the province of the scientist. The cosmic perspective belongs to everyone. The cosmic perspective is humble. The cosmic perspective is spiritual—even redemptive—but not religious. The cosmic perspective enables us to grasp, in the same thought, the large and the small. The cosmic perspective opens our minds to extraordinary ideas but does not leave them so open that our brains spill out, making us suscepti...
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13 OCT 2013 by ideonexus

 Galileo and the Altar Lamp Pendulum

IN 1583 Galileo Galilei (1564–1642), a youth of nineteen attending prayers in the baptistery of the Cathedral of Pisa, was, according to tradition, distracted by the swinging of the altar lamp. No matter how wide the swing of the lamp, it seemed that the time it took the lamp to move from one end to the other was the same. Of course Galileo had no watch, but he checked the intervals of the swing by his own pulse. This curious everyday puzzle, he said, enticed him away from the study of medi...
Folksonomies: history invention
Folksonomies: history invention
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The puzzle and the pendulum time piece.

15 MAR 2013 by ideonexus

 Einstein's "Biggest Blunder"

For much of the modern era, scientists followed Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, and Isaac Newton in believing the cosmos to be eternal and unchanging. But in 1917, when Albert Einstein applied his theory of relativity to space-time as a whole, his equations implied that the universe could not be static; it must be either expanding or contracting. This struck Einstein as grotesque, so he added to his theory a fiddle factor called the "cosmological constant" that eliminated the implicatio...
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The story of how Einstein's belief in a static Universe prompted him to introduce a fudge-factor in his Theory of Relativity, the Cosmological Constant.

12 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Don't Look at the Whole Universe

It is not therefore the business of philosophy, in our present situation in the universe, to attempt to take in at once, in one view, the whole scheme of nature; but to extend, with great care and circumspection, our knowledge, by just steps, from sensible things, as far as our observations or reasonings from them will carry us, in our enquiries concerning either the greater motions and operations of nature, or her more subtile and hidden works. In this way Sir Isaac Newton proceeded in his d...
Folksonomies: understanding perspective
Folksonomies: understanding perspective
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Look to tiny, incremental things to understand the universe bit by bit.