Saturday, April 21, 2007

Copernican Coincidence?

I've mentioned before that I took astronomy classes at U of H as part of my B.S. degree.

I really enjoyed them and have a deeper appreciation of the scale and beauty of the unseen universe that we share existence.

One of the early thinkers in "modern" astronomy was Nicolaus Copernicus.

Although there are many elements to his work, his best known contribution summarized in "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?" format is the position than that the planets circle the sun, and not everything circles the earth.

I am thinking again about Copernicus due to a recent post in the architectural blog "BldgBlog": The Heliocentric Pantheon: An Interview with Walter Murch

It's a very fascinating interview with film editor and sound designer Walter Murch and examines Murch's thoughts on the relationship between Copernicus and the Pantheon, Bode's Law, and musical ratios.

Did the ratio of the vaulted circles around the Pantheon's oculus inspire Copernicus to see the planets orbiting the sun? Or was is just a kooky coincidence? I'm not sure, but it is a bit of neat trivia.

It's all kinda heady stuff, but is a really fun interview that merges space, sound, science and architecture in a great way.

For more information about the Pantheon and the engineering that went into its construction, see this link: The Pantheon-- Rome 126 AD


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