The apple and the Dragon

To my knowledge, Nikolay Noskov was the first to appreciate, in the 1990s, that Weber’s dynamics was so far the only one that allowed for a physical account of the shape of the ellipses, even if it did not pretend to give a «mechanical explanation» for them. In this respect, Noskov particularly insisted on associating the retarded potentials with longitudinal vibrations of the moving bodies in order to give a content to the conservation, merely formal in Weber, of energy; he also insisted that their occurrence permeated all types of natural phenomena, from the stability of atoms and their nuclei, to orbital elliptical motion, sound, light, electromagnetism, the flow of water or gusts of wind [9].

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Two kinds of reciprocity

The Taijitu, the emblem of the action of the Pole with respect to the world, and of the reciprocal action with respect to the Pole, inevitably reminds us of the most universal figure in physics; we are naturally referring to the ellipse —or rather, it should be said, to the idea of the generation of an ellipse with its two foci, since here there is no eccentricity. The ellipse appears in the orbits of the planets no less than in the atomic orbits of the electrons, and in the study of the refractive properties of light it gives rise to a whole field of analysis, ellipsometry. Kepler’s old problem has scale invariance, and plays a determining role in all our knowledge of physics from the Planck constant to the furthest galaxies.

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