Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Concentration as a Power of Perceiving

The river Pregel divides the town of Konigsberg into four separate land masses, A, B, C, and D. Seven bridges connect the various parts of town, and some of the town's curious citizens wondered if it were possible to take a journey across all seven bridges without having to cross any bridge more than once. All who tried ended up in failure, including the Swiss mathematician, Leonhard Euler (1707-1783)(pronounced "oiler"), a notable genius of the eighteenth-century.

The lessons of those who are engaged in the mathematics of,  must nurture the powers of intuition to advance the road of uncharted waters so as to be inspired to see nature and what underlies it as if guided by some unseen hand.

How would one tell another of "such a feeling" as they progress on their own journey while having all the tools of their trade in mathematics with them?

Euler was prolific, both in offspring and in intellectual output. He fathered thirteen children, albeit with two wives, and wrote more then eight hundred books and papers in all areas of mathematics. This is all the more astonishing-the part about the papers, that is, not the children-since for a large part of his life he was blind. His power of concentration must have been nothing less then astounding, keeping in mind that he did much of his work without eyesight while screaming kids were scampering around. Late in life he claimed that he had done some of the best work with a baby in his arms and other children playing at his feet.Para 1, Page 54, Poincare's Prize by George G. Szpiro

Outside of themself, one might look to find conducive places sounds, inspirations that would help them on their journey. That journey is usually alone, but if you meet another that has an equal understanding and can help progress you beyond the points on which you are stuck, why would you not collaborate to move forward? To help others move forward?

 The Whole World is a Stage

Euler product formula

Now you must know what sets my mind to think in such abstract spaces. "Probability of seeing a stage in a concert."

A diagram of the Königsberg bridges

Topological ideas are present in almost all areas of today's mathematics. The subject of topology itself consists of several different branches, such as point set topology, algebraic topology and differential topology, which have relatively little in common. We shall trace the rise of topological concepts in a number of different situations.

Living With A Star

The Living With a Star (LWS) program emphasizes the science necessary to understand those aspects of the Sun and the Earth's space environment that affect life and society. The ultimate goal is to provide a predictive understanding of the system, and specifically of the space weather conditions at Earth and in the interplanetary medium.

LWS missions have been formulated to answer specific science questions needed to understand the linkages among the interconnected systems that impact us. LWS products impact technology associated with space systems, communications and navigation, and ground systems such as power grids.The coordinated LWS program includes strategic missions, targeted research and technology development, a space environment test bed flight opportunity, and partnerships with other agencies and nations.
Living With A Star

Who would have ever thought to consider our own Sun as a member of the Cosmos,  as a Star?

Solar Probe Fact Sheet(click on Image)

Solar Probe+ will be an extraordinary and historic mission, exploring what is arguably the last region of the solar system to be visited by a spacecraft, the Sun’s outer atmosphere or corona as it extends out into space. Approaching as close as 9.5 solar radii* (8.5 solar radii above the Sun’s surface), Solar Probe+ will repeatedly sample the near-Sun environment, revolutionizing our knowledge and understanding of coronal heating and of the origin and evolution of the solar wind and answering critical questions in heliophysics that have been ranked as top priorities for decades. Moreover, by making direct, in-situ measurements of the region where some of the most hazardous solar energetic particles are energized, Solar Probe+ will make a fundamental contribution to our ability to characterize and forecast the radiation environment in which future space explorers will work and live. See:Solar Probe Plus

As with anything if we want peer deeper in the construction of the world around us it is necessary sometimes to put on different glasses for different perspectives. So it is about how we can look at the universe around us.

HelioPhysics Research

Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) observes particles of solar, interplanetary, interstellar, and galactic origins, spanning the energy range from solar wind ions to galactic cosmic ray nuclei. This mission is part of SMD's Explorers Program. This mission is part of SMD's ...
19970827 08-27-1997Operating

Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) is a mission to determine the causes of the highest altitude clouds in the Earth's atmosphere. The number of clouds in the middle atmosphere (mesosphere) over the Earth's poles has been increasing over ...
20070425 04-25-2007Operating

The Balloon Array for Radiation-belt Relativistic Electron Losses mission is a balloon-based Mission of Opportunity to augment the measurements of NASA's RBSP spacecraft. This mission is part of SMD's LWS program.

The Coupled Ion-Neutral Dynamics Investigations (CINDI) is a mission to understand the dynamics of the Earth's ionosphere. CINDI will provide two instruments for the Communication/Navigation Outage Forecast System (C/NOFS) satellite, a project of the United States Air Force. This mission ...
20080416 04-16-2008Operating

Cluster is a European Space Agency program with major NASA involvement. The 4 Cluster spacecraft are providing a detailed three-dimensional map of the magnetosphere, with surprising results. This mission is part of SMD's Heliophysics Research program.
20000716 07-16-2000Operating

Equator-S was a German Space Agency project, with contributions from ESA and NASA, related to the International Solar-Terrestrial Physics program. The mission provided high-resolution plasma, magnetic, and electric field measurements in several regions not adequately covered by any of the ...
19971202 12-02-1997Past

Fast Auroral Snapshot Explorer (FAST) studies the detailed plasma physics of the Earth's auroral regions. Ground support campaigns coordinate satellite measurements with ground observations of the Aurora Borealis, commonly referred to as the Northern Lights. The science instruments on board ...
19960821 08-21-1996Past

The GEOTAIL mission is a collaborative project undertaken by the Japanese Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) and NASA. Its primary objective is to study the tail of the Earth's magnetosphere. The information gathered is allowing scientists to model ...
19920724 07-24-1992Operating

Hinode (Solar-B)
Hinode (formerly known as Solar-B) is a Japanese ISAS mission proposed as a follow-on to the highly successful Japan/US/UK Yohkoh (Solar-A) collaboration. The mission consists of a coordinated set of optical, EUV and X-ray instruments that are studying the interaction ...
20060923 09-23-2006Operating

IBEX will be the first mission designed to detect the edge of the Solar System. As the solar wind from the sun flows out beyond Pluto, it collides with the material between the stars, forming a shock front. This mission ...
20081019 10-19-2008Operating

IMAGE studied the global response of the magnetosphere to changes in the solar wind. Major changes occur to the configuration of the magnetosphere as a result of changes in and on the Sun, which in turn change the solar wind.
20000325 03-25-2000Past

IMP 8 has deepened understanding of the space environment near Earth in many ways. Observations from IMP 8 provided insight into plasma physics, the Earth's magnetic field, the structure of the solar wind and the nature of cosmic rays.
19731026 10-26-1973Past

The primary goal of the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) explorer is to understand how the solar atmosphere is energized. The IRIS investigation combines advanced numerical modeling with a high resolution UV imaging spectrograph.
20121201 12-01-2012Development

The ISEE (International Sun-Earth Explorer) program was an international cooperative program between NASA and ESA to study the interaction of the solar wind with the Earth's magnetosphere.
19971022 10-22-1997Past

The Magnetospheric Multiscale mission will determine the small-scale basic plasma processes which transport, accelerate and energize plasmas in thin boundary and current layers – and which control the structure and dynamics of the Earth's magnetosphere. MMS will for the first ...
20140814 08-14-2014Development

Polar is the second of two NASA spacecraft in the Global Geospace Science (GGS) initiative and part of the ISTP Project. GGS is designed to improve greatly the understanding of the flow of energy, mass and momentum in the solar-terrestrial ...
19960224 02-24-1996Past

The RBSP mission will provide scientific understanding, ideally to the point of predictability, of how populations of relativistic electrons and ions in space form and change in response to variable inputs of energy from the Sun.
20120518 05-18-2012Development

Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscope Imager (RHESSI) studies solar flares in X-rays and gamma-rays. It explores the basic physics of particle acceleration and explosive energy release in these energetic events in the Sun's atmosphere. This is accomplished by imaging ...
20020205 02-05-2002Operating

The Solar Anomalous and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer is investigating the composition of local interstellar matter and solar material and the transport of magnetospheric charged particles into the Earth's atmosphere.
19920703 07-03-1992Past

SNOE ("snowy") was a small satellite investigating the effects of energy from the Sun and from the magnetosphere on the density of nitric oxide in the Earth's upper atmosphere.
19980226 02-26-1998Past

Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) is a solar observatory studying the structure, chemical composition, and dynamics of the solar interior. SOHO a joint venture of the European Space Agency and NASA. This mission is part of SMD's Heliophysics Research program.
19951202 12-02-1995Operating

Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)
The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is the first mission and crown jewel in a fleet of NASA missions to study our sun. The mission is the cornerstone of a NASA science program called Living With a Star (LWS). The goal ...
20100211 02-11-2010Operating

Solar Orbiter
Solar Orbiter is a European Space Agency (ESA) mission to study the Sun from a distance closer than any spacecraft previously has, and will provide images and measurements in unprecedented resolution and detail. This mission is part of SMD's LWS ...
Under Study

Solar Probe Plus
Solar Probe Plus will be a historic mission, flying into one of the last unexplored regions of the solar system, the Sun’s atmosphere or corona, for the first time. This mission is part of SMD's LWS Program.
Under Study

Space Environment Testbeds
The Space Environment Testbeds (SET) Project performs flight and ground investigations to understand how the Sun/Earth interactions affect humanity.
20121001 10-01-2012Development

Spartan 201
Spartan is a small, Shuttle-launched and retrieved satellite. Spartan 201, whose mission is to study the Sun, has a science payload consisting of two telescopes: the Ultraviolet Coronal Spectrometer (UVCS) and the White Light Coronagraph (WLC). Spartan 201 was launched ...
19940913 09-13-1994Past

Space Technology 5 (ST5) flight tested its miniaturized satellites and innovative technologies in the harsh environment of Earth's magnetosphere.
20060322 03-22-2006Past

The goal of STEREO is to understand the origin the Sun's coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and their consequences for Earth. The mission consists of two spacecraft, one leading and the other lagging Earth in its orbit. The spacecraft carries instrumentation ...
20061025 10-25-2006Operating

Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) is a study of the onset of magnetic storms within the tail of the Earth's magnetosphere. THEMIS will fly five microsatellite probes through different regions of the magnetosphere and observe ...
20070217 02-17-2007Operating

Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) explores the energy transfer into and out of the Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere/Ionosphere (MLTI) region of the Earth's atmosphere. This mission is part of SMD's Solar Terrestrial Probes Program.
20011207 12-07-2001Operating

Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) observes the effects of the emergence of magnetic flux from deep inside the Sun to the outer corona with high spatial and temporal resolution. This mission is part of SMD's Heliophysics Explorers program. This ...
19980401 04-01-1998Past

TWINS will provide stereo imaging of the Earth's magnetosphere, the region surrounding the planet controlled by its magnetic field and containing the Van Allen radiation belts and other energetic charged particles. This mission is part of SMD's Explorers Program. This ...
20080313 03-13-2008Operating

The Ulysses Mission is the first spacecraft to explore interplanetary space at high solar latitudes, orbiting the Sun nearly perpendicular to the plane in which the planets orbit. This mission is part of SMD's Heliophysics Research program.
19901006 10-06-1990Past

The twin Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft continue exploring where nothing from Earth has flown before. In the 25th year after their 1977 launches, they each are much farther away from Earth and the Sun than Pluto is and approaching ...
19770905 09-05-1977Operating

Wind studies the solar wind and its impact on the near-Earth environment. This mission is part of SMD's Heliophysics Research program.
19941101 11-01-1994Operating

Yohkoh, an observatory for studying X-rays and gamma-rays from the Sun, is a project of the Institute for Space and Astronautical Sciences, Japan.
19910830 08-30-1991Past

Sunday, March 20, 2011


A supermoon image of March 19, 2011

In astrology, a supermoon is a full or new moon that coincides with a close approach by the Moon to the Earth. The Moon's distance varies each month between approximately 354,000 km (220,000 mi) and 410,000 km (254,000 mi) due to its elliptical orbit around Earth.[1]



The name SuperMoon was coined by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979, defined as:
...a new or full moon which occurs with the Moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit (perigee). In short, Earth, Moon and Sun are all in a line, with Moon in its nearest approach to Earth.[3]
(The phrasing "within 90% of its closest approach" is unclear, but an example on Nolle's website shows that he means that the Earth-Moon distance is in the lowest tenth of its range.)
The term supermoon is not widely accepted or used within the astronomy or scientific community, who prefer the term perigee-syzygy.[4] Perigee is the point at which the moon is closest in its orbit to the Earth, and syzygy is full or new moon, when the Earth, the moon and the sun are aligned. Hence, supermoon can be regarded as a combination of the two, although they do not perfectly coincide each time. [3]

Effect on tides

The combined effect of the Sun and Moon on the Earth's oceans, the tide,[5] is greatest when the Moon is new or full (see Tide#Range variation: springs and neaps). At lunar perigee the tidal force is even stronger,[6] resulting in more extreme high and low tides, but even at its most powerful this force is still weak.[1]

Link to natural disasters

Some studies have reported a weak correlation between lunar activity and shallow, very low intensity earthquakes. However, no evidence has been found of any correlation with major earthquakes.[7][8][9]
It has been speculated that the Indian Ocean tsunami and earthquake on December 26, 2004, was influenced by a supermoon which occurred 2 weeks later on January 10, 2005.[10] Similar speculation was made with the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami which occured 8 days prior to the the closest supermoon since 1992.[11] In both cases the Moon was closest to the apogee (greatest distance). [1][12] However, the three closest supermoons in the twentieth century did not coincide with any earthquakes above 6.0 MW. [13]

Dates of supermoons between 1950 and 2050

There are approximately four to six supermoons annually.[3] The following is a list of past and predicted extreme supermoons.[14][15]
  • November 10, 1954
  • November 20, 1972
  • January 8, 1974
  • February 26, 1975
  • December 2, 1990
  • January 19, 1992
  • March 8, 1993
  • January 10, 2005
  • December 12, 2008
  • January 30, 2010
  • March 19, 2011[16]
  • November 14, 2016
  • January 2, 2018
  • January 21, 2023
  • November 25, 2034
  • January 13, 2036


  1. ^ a b c Plait, Phil. "No, the “supermoon” didn’t cause the Japanese earthquake". Discover Magazine. Retrieved 14 March 2011; published March 11, 2011. 
  2. ^ Hawley, John. "Appearance of the Moon Size". Ask a Scientist. Newton. Retrieved 14 March 2011; no publication date. 
  3. ^ a b c Nolle, Richard. "Supermoon". Astropro. Retrieved 14 March 2011; no publication date; modified March 10, 2011. 
  4. ^ Ledermann, Tug. "'Perigee-syzygy' caused full moon to look bigger, brighter in October". University Wire. Retrieved 14 March 2011; published November 13, 2007. 
  5. ^ Plait, Phil. "Tides, the Earth, the Moon, and why our days are getting longer". Bad Astronomy. Retrieved 14 March 2011; published 2008; modified March 5, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Apogee and Perigee of the Moon". Moon Connection. Retrieved 14 March 2011; no publication date. 
  7. ^ "Can the position of the moon affect seismicity?". The Berkeley Seismological Laboratory. Retrieved 14 March 2011; published 1999. 
  8. ^ Fuis, Gary. "Can the position of the moon or the planets affect seismicity?". U.S. Geological Survey: Earthquake Hazards Program. Retrieved 14 March 2011; no publication date. 
  9. ^ Wolchover, Natalie. "Will the March 19 'Supermoon' Trigger Natural Disasters?". Life's Little Mysteries. Retrieved 15 March 2011; published March 9, 2011. 
  10. ^ Paquette, Mark. "Extreme Super (Full) Moon to Cause Chaos?". Astronomy Weather Blog. AccuWeather. Retrieved 14 March 2011; published March 1, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Is the Japanese earthquake the latest natural disaster to have been caused by a 'supermoon'?". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 14 March 2011; published March 11, 2011. 
  12. ^ Byrd, Deborah. "Debunking the "Supermoon" Theory of Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami". Fast Company. Retrieved 14 March 2011; published March 11, 2011. 
  13. ^ Yesterday's supermoon did not cause any disasters, Asia One, 2011-03-20
  14. ^ Nolle, Richard. "20th Century SuperMoon Alignments". Astropro. Retrieved 14 March 2011; no publication date. 
  15. ^ Nolle, Richard. "21st Century SuperMoon Alignments". Astropro. Retrieved 14 March 2011; no publication date. 
  16. ^ Fazekas, Andrew. ""Supermoon": Biggest Full Moon in 18 Years Saturday". National Geographic. Retrieved 20 March 2011; published March 17, 2011.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Developing Scenario

We can learn about the first fraction of a second, among other things, by studying the polarization pattern of the CMB...Yuki D. Takahashi

I was glad to see link  by Bee of Backreaction that expanded on what I had learn previously from Wayne Hu.

[Dr. Kip Thorne, Caltech 01]
My comments in relation to Kip Thorne was in relation to the development of LIGO testing model . To combine all assets of our abilities experimentally in the pursuance of science is to see that the expression of the universe would include "all these things" as demonstrated in Kip Thorne's plate. So while we may look at the energy spectrum of Gamma, we are also looking at part of the expression of science from very minute and particulate understandings as if we would turn to the cosmos and say yes this is part of the view as well.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Turn Fermi Toward Japan Skies

Tokyo Electric Power Co./AP  View of damaged No.  4 unit of the Fukushima nuclear plant in northeastern Japan.

Workers abandoned Japan's quake-stricken nuclear plant on the verge of meltdown Tuesday when increasing radiation levels made it too dangerous to remain.See: Japan nuclear crisis: Workers halt desperate struggle to stop meltdown at Fukushima plant

Sometimes the tools in which we use to measure events in space as satellites out, can be used to help detection flow patterns of radiation emissions from the Nuclear Reactors affected by Earthquakes in Japan?

2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami

A massive 8.9/9.0 magnitude earthquake hit the Pacific Ocean nearby Northeastern Japan at around 2:46pm on March 11 (JST) causing damage with blackouts, fire and tsunami. On this page we are providing the information regarding the disaster and damage with realtime updates.

The large earthquake triggered a tsunami warning for countries all around the Pacific ocean.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

NASA's Fermi Catches Thunderstorms Hurling Antimatter into Space

How thunderstorms launch particle beams into space

Scientists using NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have detected beams of antimatter produced above thunderstorms on Earth, a phenomenon never seen before.

Scientists think the antimatter particles were formed in a terrestrial gamma-ray flash (TGF), a brief burst produced inside thunderstorms and shown to be associated with lightning. It is estimated that about 500 TGFs occur daily worldwide, but most go undetected.

"These signals are the first direct evidence that thunderstorms make antimatter particle beams," said Michael Briggs, a member of Fermi's Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM) team at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). He presented the findings Monday, during a news briefing at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle.
See:NASA's Fermi Catches Thunderstorms Hurling Antimatter into Space

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


 For me, the idea of a backdrop measure, as if Thomas Young experimentally fires his photon gun, the collision points at the LHC provide dimensional references(flight paths) to events that are measured  by comparison of LHC too,  muon detection facilitations as if,  Cosmic Rays collisions in faster then light medium of ice, resulting in ICECUBE data. Cerenkov. Muon detection scenarios are useful tools to speeds through earth and matters for  consideration anyway. Think of Volcano here or looking through pyramids.

That's the plan anyway right?
“IceCube: An instrument for neutrino astronomy,” by Francis Halzen and Spencer R. Klein
IceCube completed, University of Wisconsin press release
Ice Cube completed, Berkeley Lab press release
IceCube website

Are There Extra Dimensions of Space?

Are there Extra Dimensions of Space?

A QGP is formed at the collision point of two relativistically accelerated gold ions in the center of the STAR detector at the relativistic heavy ion collider at the Brookhaven national laboratory.

Some of these issues in relation to the LHC are what I tried to explain to Searosa.

Brookhaven National Laboratory

HOT A computer rendition of 4-trillion-degree Celsius quark-gluon plasma created in a demonstration of what scientists suspect shaped cosmic history.

Here's what has to be considered. There is a calculated energy value to the collision process. You add that up as all the constituents of that process, and what's left is,  so much energy left to be discerned as particulate expressions as beyond that collision point. This may not be truly an accurate portrayal yet it is one that allows perspective to consider the spaces at such microscopic levels for consideration.

The perspective of valuations with regard to the LHC is whether or not there is sufficient energy within the confines of LHC experiments in which to satisfy the questions about extra those dimensions. It seems the parameters of those decisions seem to be sufficient?

Alex Buche-University of Western Ontario / Perimeter Institute

Robert Myers-Perimeter Institute
Aninda Sinha-Perimeter Institute


It is believed that in the first few microseconds after the Big Bang, our universe was dominated by a strongly interacting phase of nuclear matter at extreme temperatures. An impressive experimental program at the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island has been studying the properties of this nuclear plasma with some rather surprising results. We outline how there may be a deep connection between extra-dimensional gravity of String Theory and the fundamental theories of subatomic particles can solve the mystery of the near-ideal fluid properties of the strongly coupled nuclear plasma.

The QGP has directed attention to a method of expression with regard to that collision point.

First direct observation of jet quenching.


At the recent seminar, the LHC’s dedicated heavy-ion experiment, ALICE, confirmed that QGP behaves like an ideal liquid, a phenomenon earlier observed at the US Brookhaven Laboratory’s RHIC facility. This question was indeed one of the main points of this first phase of data analysis, which also included the analysis of secondary particles produced in the lead-lead collisions. ALICE's results already rule out many of the existing theoretical models describing the physics of heavy-ions.

See: 2010 ion run: completed!

The equations of string theory specify the arrangement of the manifold configuration, along with their associated branes (green) and lines of force known as flux lines (orange). The physics that is observed in the three large dimensions depends on the size and the structure of the manifold: how many doughnut-like "handles" it has, the length and circumference of each handle, the number and locations of its branes, and the number of flux lines wrapped around each doughnut.

Early on looking at spaces, it was a struggle for me to understand how extra dimensions would be explained. It was easy using a coordinated frame of reference as x,y,z, yet,  how much did you have to go toward seeing that rotation around each of those arrows of direction would add greater depth of perception about such spaces?

It's easier if you just draw the picture.

A section of the quintic Calabi–Yau three-fold (3D projection)

In superstring theory the extra dimensions of spacetime are sometimes conjectured to take the form of a 6-dimensional Calabi–Yau manifold, which led to the idea of mirror symmetry.


The benefit of phenomenological approaches in experimental processes to attempt to answer these theoretical points of views.


The first results on supersymmetry from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have been analysed by physicists and some are suggesting that the theory may be in trouble. Data from proton collisions in both the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) and ATLAS experiments have shown no evidence for supersymmetric particles – or sparticles – that are predicted by this extension to the Standard Model of particle physics. Will the LHC find supersymmetry Kate McAlpine ?

Thank you Tommaso Dorigo


Also see:


Beautiful theory collides with smashing particle data."

Implications of Initial LHC Searches for Supersymmetry"

More SUSY limits"

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Novum Organum

The frontispiece of Novum Organum by Francis Bacon

The Novum Organum is a philosophical work by Francis Bacon published in 1620. The title translates as "new instrument". This is a reference to Aristotle's work Organon, which was his treatise on logic and syllogism. In Novum Organum, Bacon details a new system of logic he believes to be superior to the old ways of syllogism. This is now known as the Baconian method.

For Bacon, finding the essence of a thing was a simple process of reduction, and the use of inductive reasoning. In finding the cause of a phenomenal nature such as heat, one must list all of the situations where heat is found. Then another list should be drawn up, listing situations that are similar to those of the first list except for the lack of heat. A third table lists situations where heat can vary. The form nature, or cause, of heat must be that which is common to all instances in the first table, is lacking from all instances of the second table and varies by degree in instances of the third table.

The title page of Novum Organum depicts a galleon passing between the mythical Pillars of Hercules that stand either side of the Strait of Gibraltar, marking the exit from the well-charted waters of the Mediterranean into the Atlantic Ocean. The Pillars, as the boundary of the Mediterranean, have been smashed through opening a new world to exploration. Bacon hopes that empirical investigation will, similarly, smash the old scientific ideas and lead to greater understanding of the world and heavens.

The Latin tag across the bottom is taken from the Book of Daniel 12:4. It means: "Many will travel and knowledge will be increased".


Bacon and the Scientific Method

Many argue that Bacon's work was instrumental in the historical development of the scientific method. Association of Bacon's name and the modern conception of the scientific method is, however, to be treated with caution. No where in Novum Organum does Bacon even use the word "method" to describe his prescription for the exercise of natural philosophy.[1] That being said, it is undeniable that his technique bears a resemblance to the modern formulation of the scientific method in the sense that it is centered on experimental research. Bacon's emphasis on the use of artificial experiments to provide additional observances of a phenomena can often support the conclusion that Bacon's process and the scientific method are one, but Bacon himself should not be considered "the Father of the Experimental Philosophy (such expressions are egregiously outmoded)..." [1]


Bacon begins the work with a rejection of pure a priori deduction for the uses of discovering truth in natural philosophy. Of his philosophy, he states:

"Now my plan is as easy to describe as it is difficult to effect. For it is to establish degrees of certainty, take care of the sense by a kind of reduction, but to reject for the most part the work of the mind that follows upon sense; in fact I mean to open up and lay down a new and certain pathway from the perceptions of the senses themselves to the mind."

The emphasis on beginning with observation pervades the entire work. In fact, it is in the concept that the natural philosophy must begin from the senses that we find a revolutionary quality of Bacon’s philosophy, and its consequent philosophical method, eliminative induction, is one of Bacon's most lasting contributions to science and philosophy.

Instauratio Magna

Novum organum was actually published as part of a much larger work, Instauratio magna. Originally intending Instauratio magna to contain six parts (of which Novum organum constituted the second), Bacon did not come close to completing his metawork, as parts V and VI were never written at all. Novum organum, written in Latin and consisting of two books of aphorisms, was included in the volume that Bacon published in 1620; however, it was also unfinished, as Bacon promised several additions to its content which ultimately remained unprinted.

Book I

(Bacon titled this first book Aphorisms Concerning the Interpretation of Nature, and the Kingdom of Man)

In the first book of aphorisms, Bacon criticizes the current state of natural philosophy. The object of his assault consists largely in the syllogism, a method that he believes to be completely inadequate in comparison to what Bacon calls “true Induction:”

“The syllogism is made up of propositions, propositions of words, and words are markers of notions. Thus if the notions themselves (and this is the heart of the matter) are confused, and recklessly abstracted from things, nothing built on them is sound. The only hope therefore lies in true Induction.” (aph. 14)
In many of his aphorisms, Bacon reiterates the importance of inductive reasoning. Induction, methodologically opposed to deduction, entails beginning with particular cases observed by the senses and then attempting to discover the general axioms from those observations. In other words, induction presupposes nothing. Deduction, on the other hand, begins with general axioms, or first principles, by which the truth of particular cases is extrapolated. Bacon emphasizes the strength of the gradual process that is inherent in induction:
“There are and can only be two ways of investigating and discovering truth. The one rushes up from the sense and particulars to axioms of the highest generality and, from these principles and their indubitable truth, goes on to infer and discover middle axioms; and this is the way in current use. The other way draws axioms from the sense and particulars by climbing steadily and by degrees so that it reaches the ones of highest generality last of all; and this is the true but still untrodden way.” (aph. 19)

After many similar aphoristic reiterations of these important concepts, Bacon presents his famous Idols.

The Idols

Novum organum, as suggested by its name, is focused just as much on a rejection of received doctrine as it is on a forward-looking progression. In Bacon's Idols are found his most critical examination of man-made impediments which mislead the mind's objective reasoning. They appear in previous works but were never fully fleshed out until their formulation in Novum organum:
Idols of the Tribe

“Idols of the Tribe are rooted in human nature itself and in the very tribe or race of men. For people falsely claim that human sense is the measure of things, whereas in fact all perceptions of sense and mind are built to the scale of man and not the universe.” (aph. 41)

Bacon includes in this the idol the predilection of the human imagination to presuppose otherwise unsubstantiated regularities in nature. An example might be the common historical astronomical assumption that planets move in perfect circles.

Idols of the Cave

“Idols of the Cave belong to the particular individual. For everyone has (besides vagaries of human nature in general) his own special cave or den which scatters and discolours the light of nature. Now this comes either of his own unique and singular nature; or his education and association with others, or the books he reads and the several authorities of those whom he cultivates and admires, or the difference impressions as they meet in the soul, be the soul possessed and prejudiced, or steady and setteled, or the like; so that the human spirit (as it is allotted to particular individuals) is evidently a variable thing, all muddled, and so to speak a creature of chance...” (aph. 42)

This idol stems from the particular life experiences of the individual. Variable educations can lead the individual to a preference for specific concepts or methods, which then corrupt their subsequent philosophies. Bacon himself gives the example of Aristotle, “who made his natural philosophy a mere slave to his logic.” (Aph. 54)

Idols of the Market

“There are also Idols, derived as if from the mutual agreement and association of the human race, which I call Idols of the Market on account of men's commerce and partnerships. For men associate through conversation, but words are applied according to the capacity of ordinary people. Therefore shoddy and inept application of words lays siege to the intellect in wondrous ways.” (aph. 43)

Bacon considered these “the greatest nuisances of the lot” (aph. 59). Because humans reason through the use of words, they are particularly dangerous because the received definitions of words, which are often falsely derived, can cause confusion. He outlines two subsets of this kind of idol and provides examples (aph 60).

First, there are those words which spring from fallacious theories, such as the element of fire or the concept of a first mover. These are easy to dismantle because their inadequacy can be traced back to the fault of their derivation in a faulty theory. Second, there are those words that are the result of imprecise abstraction. Earth, for example, is a vague term that may include many different substances the commonality of which is questionable. These are terms are often used elliptically, or from a lack of information or definition of the term.

Idols of the Theatre

“Lastly, there are the Idols which have misguided into men's souls from the dogmas of the philosophers and misguided laws of demonstration as well; I call these Idols of the Theatre, for in my eyes the philsophies received and discovered are so many stories made up and acted out stories which have created sham worlds worth of the stage.” (aph. 44)

These idols manifest in the unwise acceptance of certain philosophical dogmas, namely Aristotle's sophistical natural philosophy (aph. 63) which was corrupt by his passion for logic, and Plato's superstitious philosophy, which relied too heavily on theological principles.

Book II

After enumerating the shortcomings of the current and past natural philosophies, Bacon can now present his own philosophy and methods. Bacon retains the Aristotelian causes, but redefines them in interesting ways. While traditionally the final cause was held as most important among the four ( material, formal, efficient, and final), Bacon claims that it is the least helpful and in some cases actually detrimental to the sciences(aph. 2). For Bacon, it is the formal cause which is both the most illusive and most valuable, although each of the causes provides certain practical devices. By forms and formal causes, Bacon means the universal laws of nature. To these Bacon attaches an almost occult like power:

“But he who knows forms grasps the unity of nature beneath the surface of materials which are very unlike. Thus is he able to identify and bring about things that have never been done before, things of the kind which neither the vicissitudes of nature, nor hard experimenting, nor pure accident could ever have actualised, or human thought dreamed of. And thus from the discovery of the forms flows true speculation and unrestricted operation” (aph. 3).

In this second book, Bacon offers an example of the process that of what he calls true induction. In this example, Bacon attempts to grasp the form of heat.

The first step he takes is the surveying of all known instances where the nature of heat appears to exist. To this compilation of observational data Bacon gives the name Table of Essence and Presence. The next table, the Table of Absence in Proximity, is essentially the opposite—a compilation of all the instances in which the nature of heat is not present. Because these are so numerous, Bacon enumerates only the most relevant cases. Lastly, Bacon attempts to categorize the instances of the nature of heat into various degrees of intensity in his Table of Degrees. The aim of this final table is to eliminate certain instances of heat which might be said to be the form of heat, and thus get closer to an approximation of the true form of heat. Such elimination occurs through comparison. For example, the observation that both a fire and boiling water are instances of heat allows us to exclude light as the true form of heat, because light is present in the case of the fire but not in the case of the boiling water. Through this comparative analysis, Bacon intends to eventually extrapolate the true from of heat, although it is clear that such a goal is only gradually approachable by degrees. Indeed, the hypothesis that is derived from this eliminative induction, which Bacon names The First Vintage, is only the starting point from which additional empirical evidence and experimental analysis can refine our conception of a formal cause.

The "Baconian method" does not end at the First Vintage. Bacon described numerous classes of Instances with Special Powers, cases in which the phenomena one is attempting to explain is particularly relevant. These instances, of which Bacon describes 27 in Novum Organum, aid and accelerate the process of induction. They are “labour-saving devices or shortcuts intended to accelerate or make more rigorous the search for forms by providing logical reinforcement to induction.” [1]

Aside from the First Vintage and the Instances with Special Powers, Bacon enumerates additional "aids to the intellect" which presumably are the next steps in his "method." In Aphorism 21 of Book II, Bacon lays out the subsequent series of steps in proper induction: including Supports to Induction, Rectification of Induction, Varying the Inquiry according to the Nature of the Subject, Natures with Special Powers, Ends of Inquiry, Bringing Things down to Practice, Preparatives to Inquiry, and Ascending and Descending Scale of Axioms. These additional aids, however, were never explained beyond their initial limited appearance in Novum Organum. It is likely that Bacon intended them to be included in later parts of Instauratio magna and simply never got to writing about them.

As mentioned above, this second book of Novum organum was far from complete and indeed was only a small part of a massive, also unfinished work, the Instauratio magna.

Bacon and Descartes

Bacon is often studied through a comparison to his contemporary René Descartes. Both thinkers were, in a sense, some of the first to question the philosophical authority of the ancient Greeks. Bacon and Descartes both believed that a critique of preexisting natural philosophy was necessary, but their respective critiques proposed radically different approaches to natural philosophy. While “one was rational and theoretical in approach and was headed by Rene Descartes; the other was practical and empirical and was led by Francis Bacon.” [2] They were both profoundly concerned with the extent to which human’s can come to knowledge, and yet their methods of doing so projected diverging paths.

On the one hand, Descartes’ begins with a doubt of anything which cannot be known with absolute certainty and includes in this realm of doubt the impressions of sense perception, and thus, “all sciences of corporal things, such as physics and astronomy." [2] He thus attempts to provide a metaphysical principle (this becomes the Cogito) which cannot be doubted, on which further truths must be deduced. In this method of deduction, the philosopher begins by examining the most general axioms (such as the Cogito), and then proceeds to determine the truth about particulars from an understanding of those general axioms.
Conversely, Bacon endorsed the opposite method of Induction, in which the particulars are first examined, and only then is there a gradual ascent to the most general axioms. While Descartes doubts the ability of the senses to provide us with accurate information, Bacon doubts the ability of the mind to deduce truths by itself as it is subjected to so many intellectual obfuscations, Bacon's “Idols.” In his first aphorism of New organum, Bacon states:

“Man, the servant and interpreter of nature, does and understands only as much as he has observed, by fact or mental activity, concerning the order of nature; beyond that he has neither knowledge nor power.” (aph. 1)

So, in a basic sense the central difference between the philosophical methods of Descartes and those of Bacon can be reduced to an argument between deductive and inductive reasoning and whether to trust or doubt the senses. However, there is another profound difference between the two thinkers' positions on the accessibility of Truth. Descartes was obsessed with absolute Truth—indeed it seems to be the object of his aims. It is slightly ambiguous whether Bacon believed such a Truth can be achieved. In his opening remarks, he proposes “to establish progressive stages of certainty.” For Bacon, a measure of truth was its power to allow predictions of natural phenomena (although Bacon's forms come close to what we might call "Truth," because they are universal, immutable laws of nature).

Original Contributions

An interesting characteristic of Bacon's apparently scientific tract was that, although he amassed an overwhelming body of empirical data, he did not make any original discoveries. Indeed, that was never his intention, and such an evaluation of Bacon's legacy may wrongfully lead to an unjust comparison with Newton. Bacon never claimed to have brilliantly revealed new unshakable truths about nature—in fact, he believed that such an endeavor is not the work of single minds but that of whole generations by gradual degrees toward reliable knowledge.[1]

In many ways, Bacon's contribution to the advancement of human knowledge lies not in the fruit of his scientific research but in the reinterpretation of the methods of natural philosophy. His undeniable innovation is best encapsulated in The Oxford Francis Bacon:

“Before Bacon where else does one find a meticulously articulated view of natural philosophy as an enterprise of instruments and experiment, and enterprise designed to restrain discursive reason and make good the defects of the senses? Where else in the literature before Bacon does one come across a stripped-down natural-historical programme of such enormous scope and scrupulous precision, and designed to serve as the basis for a complete reconstruction of human knowledge which would generate new, vastly productive sciences through a form o eliminative induction supported by various other procedures including deduction? Where else does one find a concept of scientific research which implies an institutional framework of such proportions that it required generations of permanent state funding to sustain it? And all this accompanied by a thorough, searching, and devastating attack on ancient and not-so-ancient philosophies, and by a provisional natural philosophy anticipating the results of the new philosophy?”[1]

External links


  1. ^ a b c d e Rees, Graham and Maria Wakely The Instauratio magna Part II: Novum organum and Associated Texts. Oxford: Clarendon, 2004. Print
  2. ^ a b Cantor, Norman F., and Peter L. Klein. Seventeenth-Century Rationalsim: Bacon and Descartes. Massachusetts: Blaisdell, 1969. Print

In center, while Plato - with the philosophy of the ideas and theoretical models, he indicates the sky, Aristotle - considered the father of Science, with the philosophy of the forms and the observation of the nature indicates the Earth. Many historians of the Art in the face correspondence of Plato with Leonardo, Heraclitus with Miguel Angel, and Euclides with Twine agree.

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