Who wouldn’t want to day dream of the most prominent parts of our rotating astronomical bodies?
My initial interest in physics was sparked by a panel of people I don’t know, but have effected me to the core. It was a boring day in 2012 and I had decided that I wanted to understand life. So, like any modernista, I hit up YouTube to see if there were any lectures on the nature of reality.
So I do some searching and finally find a good round table debate on various philosophers and mathematicians take on the issue, led by Deepak Chopra. I attempted to follow along, but at the end I only took away one thing: Mathematical Platonism.
There where many other things to be heard, but that is what I picked up on initially. It is still what inspires me today even if it only leads me to one simple truth: you can compare the physical to the idealized and gain knowledge. It still fascinates me.
I will explain my take on mathematical Platonism through one of my most simple, impactful experiences.
One day, while in a trance at school in the Science Building focusing on nothing but a pendulum I had a thought: Is the earth a perfect sphere if it is constantly spinning? Is any rotating astronomical body in perfect form? The answer was not clear to me at the time, but my physics senses started tingling and I knew that this simple thought would be enough to describe things universally.
And so it did. I did a simple google search as to what the equatorial and polar axis were, saw that the equator was more prominent and thus my hypothesis was tested!
With the general nature of my hypothesis I was left with two conclusions: the Earth was not a perfect sphere; It rotates an elliptical path and that also the moon tugs on the tide.
This is a universality, a rotating body that is difficult to state the location of since it itself is not steady due to whatever outside circumstance, pushes on the center and the center pushes out.
This is easily seen in the earth-moon relationship, But realizing the universality and applicability of this realization of the relationship between geometry, geology, and physics allows one to recognize that these are repeated concepts throughout all of nature. It also can connect other ideas; the earth travels an elliptical path around the sun which is itself a rotating blur.
The method of using circles, or the higher dimensional sphere has been the most useful tool I have ever acquired. There is no better way to understand the relationship of pure mathematics and physical phenomena than to use the simplest of all forms.
Organizing what one knows naturally should lead to one thing: a law of simplicity. The whole is other than the sum of the parts; it emerges. Having the most dense and concise data is a goal of nature.
Again, I reached this through having the most general hypothesis I can have. Anything that is not evidence, or proof, is conjecture. Newton famously expressed this in the General Scholium addition to his Principia by saying “Hypotheses non fingo” (I feign no hypotheses)
“I have not as yet been able to discover the reason for these properties of gravity from phenomena, and I do not feign hypotheses. For whatever is not deduced from the phenomena must be called a hypothesis; and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, or based on occult qualities, or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy. In this philosophy particular propositions are inferred from the phenomena, and afterwards rendered general by induction.”