"It appears like the mystical ratios of Kepler which Newton so happily elucidated."
It banished the spirits and genii, to which even Kepler had assigned the guardianship of the planetary movements; and, if it supposes the globular particles of the envelope to be the active force in carrying the earth round the sun, we may remember that Newton himself assumed an aether for somewhat similar purposes.
The different editions of the Descriptio and Constructio, as well as the reception of logarithms on the continent of Europe, and especially by Kepler, whose admiration of the invention almost equalled that of Briggs, belong to the history of logarithms (q.v.).
When Napier published the Canonis Descriptio England had taken no part in the advance of science, and there is no British author of the time except Napier whose name can be placed in the same rank as those of Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Kepler, Galileo, or Stevinus.
Like Kepler and all his contemporaries he believed in astrology, and he certainly also had some faith in the power of magic, for there is extant a deed written in his own handwriting containing a contract between himself and Robert Logan of Restalrig, a turbulent baron of desperate character, by which Napier undertakes "to serche and sik out, and be al craft and ingyne that he dow, to tempt, trye, and find out" some buried treasure supposed to be hidden in Logan's fortress at Fastcastle, in consideration of receiving one-third part of the treasure found by his aid.
Considering the time in which he lived, Napier is singularly free from superstition: his Plaine Discovery relates to a method of interpretation which belongs to a later age; he shows no trace of the extravagances which occur everywhere in the works of Kepler; and none of his writings contain allusions to astrology or magic.
In some of these we see a return to Greek theories, though the influence of physical discoveries, more especially those of Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo, is distinctly traceable.
In addition to the various works of Brewster already noticed, the following may be mentioned: - Notes and Introduction to Carlyle's translation of Legendre's Elements of Geometry (1824); Treatise on Optics (1831); Letters on Natural Magic, addressed to Sir Walter Scott (1831); The Martyrs of Science, or the Lives of Galileo, Tycho Brake, and Kepler (1841); More Worlds than One (1854).
Kepler's Problem, namely, that of finding the co-ordinates of a planet at a given time, which is equivalent - given the mean anomaly - to that of determining the true anomaly, was solved approximately by Kepler, and more completely by Wallis, Newton and others.
Wotton written to Lord Bacon in 1620 we learn that Kepler had made himself a portable dark tent fitted with a telescope lens and used for sketching landscapes.
Various writers on optics in the 17th century discussed the principle of the simple dark chamber alone and with single or compound lenses, among them Jean Tarde (Les Astres de Borbon, 1623); Descartes, the pupil of Kepler (Dioptrique, 1637); Bettinus (Apiaria, 1645); A.
It is here distinctly stated that some Scotsman in the year 1594, in a letter to Tycho Brahe, gave him some hope of the logarithms; and as Kepler joined Tycho after his expulsion from the island of Huen, and had been so closely associated with him in his work, he would be likely to be correct in any assertion of this kind.
John Kepler, who has been already quoted in connexion with Craig's visit to Tycho Brahe, received the invention of logarithms almost as enthusiastically as Briggs.
This letter was written two years after Napier's death (of which Kepler was unaware), and in the same year as that in which the Constructio was published.
In the same year (1624) Kepler published at Marburg a table of Napierian logarithms of sines with certain additional columns to facilitate special calculations.
Besides Napier and Briggs, special reference should be made to Kepler (Chilias, 1624) and Mercator (Logarithmotechnia, 1668), whose methods were arithmetical, and to Newton, Gregory, Halley and Cotes, who employed series.
Kepler, Uber Gnosis and altbabylonische Religion, a lecture delivered at the Congress of Orientalists (Berlin, 1881); A.
JOHANN KEPLER (1571-1630), German astronomer, was born on the 27th of December 1571, at Weil, in the duchy of Wurttemberg, of which town his grandfather was burgomaster.
His father, Henry Kepler, was a reckless soldier of fortune; his mother, Catherine Guldenmann, the daughter of the burgomaster of Eltingen, was undisciplined and ill-educated.
The best recognized function of German astronomers in that day was the construction of prophesying almanacs, greedily bought by a credulous public. Kepler thus found that the first duties required of him were of an astrological nature, and set himself with characteristic alacrity to master the rules of the art as laid down by Ptolemy and Cardan.
Soon after his arrival at Gratz, Kepler contracted an engagement with Barbara von Miihleck, a wealthy Styrian heiress, who, at the age of twenty-three, had already survived one husband and been divorced from another.
Before her relatives could be brought to countenance his pretensions, Kepler was obliged to undertake a journey to Wurttemberg to obtain documentary evidence of the somewhat obscure nobility of his family, and it was thus not until the 27th of April 1597 that the marriage was celebrated.
Kepler immediately fled to the Hungarian frontier, but, by the favour of the Jesuits, was recalled and reinstated in his post.
The year 1611 was marked by Kepler as the most disastrous of his life.
The restless disposition and unbridled tongue of Catherine Kepler, his mother, created for her numerous enemies in the little town of Leonberg; while her unguarded conduct exposed her to a species of calumny at that time readily circulated and believed.
If there is even a single body moving freely, then the laws of Kepler and Newton are negatived and no conception of the movement of the heavenly bodies any longer exists.