Dr. Antonios Antoniou
PhD in Astrophysics
Nathional and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Faculty of Physics
Department of Astrophysics, Astronomy and Mechanics
Home of Knowledge and Science in Chalkida
The Laws of the Universe, as “Musical Notes”
“The eternal mystery of the Universe is its comprehensibility”
The above quote of the great scientist, Albert Einstein (1879-1955), certainly provokes some thoughts. Nature is characterized by regularities called “laws”. Observing these regularities, we will see that their importance is not always obvious. The sunrise and sunset fascinate us with their purple and orange shades. However, we had to wait until the 18th century, when the French physicist, Leon Foucault (1819-1868), dangled the pendulum from the roof of the “Pantheon” in Paris, and noticed that the oscillation’s plane depended on the Sun’s places during the day. After that, we realized that the Sun rises and sets, because the Earth makes a complete rotation around itself every 24 hours. It was necessary for the genius of both Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) and of Isaac Newton (1642-1727), to unravel the “mystery” of the planets’ motion, which was also a mystery also for our ancient ancestors, in order to understand that the planets are moving in elliptical orbits and the Sun located in one of the foci of the ellipse. Finally, it was necessary the genius of Albert Einstein to make clear that our Universe is a very tiny, three dimensional space of a four dimensional non-Euclidean Super-Universe, which exists but not is observable. This “space-time continuum” is described by the mathematical laws.
However, have we ever wondered why science works in such a successful, we could say, in such a miraculous way? The answer is not obvious. Nature sends us “notes of music”, but it doesn’t give us the “melody”. It sends us the “encrypted message”. The amazing is that our brain is able to decipher it, at least in part. We could live in a Universe, which could not be understood. We could live in a Universe, where the natural laws were so covert, the motives so well hidden, the melody so arcane, that the expression of this cosmic code would require incomparably more abilities than those which the human brain possesses. Alternatively, we could live in a Universe, where the natural laws were so obvious and transparent that we would have them before our eyes and would not require any mental effort to decipher their meaning. We also live in an intermediate Universe. The work is not easy, but it is not impossible. It is difficult to provide us with a serious challenge, but not so difficult as to discourage us and to force us admit defeat. It is in our hand to decipher this world code and thus, looking up, without arrogance, we can move towards for a fuller understanding of the world. In any case, we reap great rewards.
The aim of this site
This website is a first attempt in the above mentioned direction. Certainly, there are also others websites, which the visitor will have the opportunity to discover and also access through this site. So, the aim of this site could be classified as follows:
- To make the research and scientific work of the Astrophysical Spectroscopy Team of the Astrophysics, Astronomy and Mechanics’ Department of the University of Athens, available to the scientific community.
- To provide free access to the ongoing scientific work of the above mentioned research group.
- To make know the scientific and teaching activities which are carried out at Home of Knowledge and Science in Chalkida.
- To highlight the fact that knowledge of the natural laws is not a privilege of a closed scientific ‘élite’, but it can belong to anyone who really wants this knowledge and seeks it.