Tag Archives: 2000 VERITAS

The Power of One

This VERITAS was written on Monday, March 27, 2000


Today’s VERITAS is a tribute to the patience and perseverance of one man whose hard work paved the way for Physics . If he had not done what he did we would have been atleast a 100 years behind( what we are now ) in Physics and Astronomy . And the wow thing is that he himself
never did it for that end in mind . He was just doing his daily work .

       Tycho Brahe( 1546-1601) was a Dutch Astronomer. We wont go much into the details of his personal life. Tycho was a very influential man and was very close to the Danish king Fredrich . The king gave him an island .

       Tycho became the owner of an island called Hven ( near Copenhagen ). He built 2 observatories there . His observatories contained costly
equipment that Tycho Brahe built himself . From these observatories Tycho studied stars for more than 20 years . He observed the positions
and motions of stars , moon and planets every night without fail . He would note down all the data with extreme accuracy . His instuments
were very precise too . No one before him had ever studied the heavens with so much accuracy . And he did all that with his naked eye . The
telescope had not been invented yet !! He singlehandedly established the observational basis of astronomy .

       Tycho almost made a observational factory on that island . He employed a huge number of people to help him . The instruments were made
there . He also had a printing press to print books about his observations .

       His obrevations were studied by Kepler and he found a pattern and he formulated his 3 laws of Planatary motion . Keplers 3 laws were used by Newton to make this Theory of Gravitation . Tycho’s observations were also used by Halley to discover his comet . He made an observation of Supernova in 1572 . His observation’s were used by modern astronomers to form a theory about how stars die .

       The greatest thing about him was that if you look at his works you would find observations of every star for every night for those 22 years . And these positions will be extramely accurate . And it makes you admire his dedication to his work . Did this guy ever go to late night parties !!! he probably never slept at night for those 22 years . And this dude didnt even have a telescope !!

His observations are still used today by modern astronomers .

       The works of Tycho have been compiled in  15 volumes under the title “Tychonis Brahe Opera Omnia”

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Veritas by Kanwarpreet Grewal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Bode’s Law

Before we begin today’s VERITAS a little quote that both inspires and amuses :

        If this world were good for nothing else ,
        it is atleast a fine subject for speculation

Today we are going to see an example of scientific guessing and how scientists sometimes guess at an answer,see if it works and then try to find a theory that explains it .

Scientists since Kepler wondered about a formula that could predict the spacing between planets in the Solar System . Then in  1778 J.E Bode guessed at a theory . To find the ratio  of distance between planets do this :

Take the sequence of numbers :

0 3 6 12 24 ….

Add 4 to each number and divide by 10 to get :

.4  .7  1  1.6  2.8  5.2  10.0  19.6  38.8

Now these are the approx distance of planets from the sun in terms of Astronomical Units . ie if you take the distance of earth from the
sun as 1 AU( Astronomical Unit ) then Mercury’s distance is .4 AU . Venus .7 AU . Earth : 1AU . Mars 1.6 AU etc.


This comes REALLY close to the actual distances . And not only that , this theory predicted something too  . Jupiter is at 5.2 AU .
Mars is at 1.6 AU . So what is between them ? at 2.8 AU . The Astronomers searched and found the Asteroid belt at 2.8 AU !!!!!!!!!
WOW !!! Also this theory predicted a planet at 19.6 AU . And much later Uranus was discovered !!! cool aint it

But this theory does not work for Neptune and Pluto ! Which led some Astronomers to reject the Bode law . Other Astronomers suggest that
Neptune and Pluto were one planet earlier and that planet followed the Bode law 🙂

Nobody knows if this theory has any scientific explanation . Or is it just a mathematical coincidence.


A similar case of “scientific numerology” happened when in 1885 a Swiss Mathematician proposed a numerical theory that worked for the spectral series of Hydrogen . Later Neils Bohr used the quantum theory to predict exactly the same spectrum series . This series is name after the same Swiss Mathematician J.Balmer and is called the Balmer Series . What was a guess earlier is now a law .

It is funny how nature plays games with us and then gives  subtle hints to help us understand why she did what she did 🙂


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Veritas by Kanwarpreet Grewal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Painting Styles

I tried to understand the distinction between different painting styles.

I am not sure if I achieved my objective . There are some styles that I understood quite well . Some others are quite blurred .

The following are the major styles alongwith examples and an artist who was a master of that style . Comments/corrections are most welcome .

But make sure that u look at the paintings . There is no point without that . Some styles I dont understand at all so I have kept that section blank .



CLASSICISM : A style of painting inspired by ancient Roman/Greek paintings and literature . Emphasis is on form , proportion and restrained emotion .



ROMANTICISM : This is the exact opposite of Classicism . This stresses

on strong emotions,imagination and freedom from classical norms .

The stress is on the individual , the personal , the spontaneous …


Delacroix was the greatest French Romantic painter .

See his painting “Combat of Giaour and Hassan ” :






EXPRESSIONNISM : The stress here is on the expression of inner experience

and not a portrayal of reality . So the emotions of the people come out

using colors , brush strokes . The emotions that are aroused in the artist

when he sees a scene are depicted .


Vincent Van Gogh was a expressionnist painter . Remember that even in his

self portraits or in his painting of the sunflowers his own turbulent

emotions come out is the form of wild brush strokes .


See his ” still life with four sunflowers ” :



see Van Gogh’s seff portrait :




Notice how wild the colors are .



IMPRESSIONNISM : Opposite of expressionnism . The aim is to concentrate on

the general scene and the impression it creates on the artist . Primary

colors were used .



Claude Monet was an impressionnist painter .


see his painting : The waterlilies( The clouds) and notice the difference

from Van Gogh’s sunflowers .






REALISM : To give an accurate objective description of nature or life .

This style rejects imaginative idealization .


Caravaggio was a realist . See his painting ” The fortune teller ” :






Renaissance : I could  not understand this one . Or its differences

from the rest 😦



CUBISM : The subjects are portrayed using geometric forms without realistic

detail . Often there are intersecting cones , cubes etc .


eg Picasso , and Joan Gris . See his ” Man in a Cafe ” 







SURREALISM : An attempt to express the subconscious by fantistic imagery .

Dreamy wierd stuff .


eg Salvador Dali , Yyes Tanguy . See Tanguy’s “Indefinite Divisibility ” :





Fauvism : Dont understand

Futurism : Something about mechanics and modern life etc .

Baroque  : Dont understand .