This is a page from a manuscript of the Algebra (Maqalah fi al-jabra wa-al muqabalah) of Omar Khayyam (1048-1131). This work is known for its solution of the various cases of the cubic equation by finding the intersections of appropriately chosen conic sections. On this page, Omar is discussing the case “a cube, sides and numbers are equal to squares”, or, in modern notation, x3 + cx + d = bx2. The two conics whose intersection provides the solution are a circle and a hyperbola. In the case illustrated, these curves intersect twice, thus providing two (positive) solutions of the given cubic equation. Khayyam even provides a problem which leads to this case: Divide ten into two parts so that the sum of the squares of the parts together with the quotient of the division of the greater by the smaller be seventy-two. For more details, see pp. 90ff of Daoud Kasir, The Algebra of Omar Khayyam (New York: Teachers College Press, 1931) or pp. 144ff of R. Rashed and B. Vahabzadeh, Omar Khayyam, the Mathematician (New York: Bibliotheca Persica Press, 2000).
This particular manuscript was copied in the thirteenth century in Lahore, India. Among the other fourteen works contained in the volume are two by Sharaf al-Din al-Tusi (1135-1213) on determining vertical heights of objects and a treatise by ibn al-Haytham (965-1039) on the astrolabe.
Reviewer: robstawithlove – favoritefavoritefavorite – October 9, 2016
Subject: A New Theory of Everything and Lots of Pain
The implications of this book have been reverberating rather uncomfortably in my mind for days. The literary standard and academic tone are as jarring as its emphatically repeated message to reject the bulk of quantum theory, general relativity, the standard particle model of physics and much of accepted cosmology. Yet, the proposition that emerges is groundbreaking, if taken into proper consideration.
Ken Wheeler draws upon ancient philosophy and the work of Faraday, Maxwell, Heaviside, Steinmetz and Tesla in formulating the premise that the prime cause for all of the known forces emanate from perturbations of the Ether, which is non-physical and existent in counter-space, that was widely accepted and necessary in the work of the listed innovators and that has roundly been rejected by the advent of quantum mechanics. What follows is an experiential/experimental analysis of the relationship between dielectricity and magnetism as expressed in geometry and interacting forces, leading to somewhat of a definition of both, and their relationship to electromagnetism.
Once established and defined, this relationship is then extended to redefine the nature and observed effects of ferromagnetic, diamagnetic and radioactive elements, conductors (dielectric reflectors), insulators (dielectric capacitors) and superconductors before addressing the toroidal structure of galaxies, molecular bonds, the hydrogen atom, gravity and light itself.
It would therefore be fair to say that the content is an inversion of physics as we know it, but yet accords well with other non-standard contemporary postulates that seek to unite physics with consciousness, science with ancient philosophy, the fractal-holographic view of the universe or even an information-based theory of physics (although I suspect that the author may be as disparaging of some of these proponents as much as Einstein or Feynman). If correct, the work may provide more substance to some of the mathematically abstract and empirically unproven forces or entities that make up our current cosmological view, such as dark energy and dark matter (hypothesised to explain observable effects) and may serve to flesh out the work of physicists and cosmologists in investigating black holes and their effects, amongst others.
A serious drawback in the writing, is the unfortunate tendency of the author to make frequent statements of opposition – many of which lead to contradiction. These are damaging to the core content of the work, which is more than sufficient in quality in both its investigations and findings to be plausible and worthy of serious consideration. Mr. Wheeler’s style and approach makes it manifestly clear that he is not an academic, an apologist or a politically motivated physicist with his eyes on a prize. It is also clear that the book has not been edited or spruced up by a publisher. While this may alienate certain readers before the substance of the book emerges, I find these qualities to be indicators of sincerity, both with regards to the investigation and to the frustration felt with the state of established physics. Simultaneously, I am concerned that the author’s supposition of opposition can only engender further exclusion from consideration, which is a travesty when considering the amount of work and time that have been committed to this transmission of knowledge.
My conclusion is that this book is of great value to those who are able to cast literary prejudice aside, those who are not too attached to a dogmatic view of physics or its luminaries, those who are comfortable with unlearning (even temporarily) what has become “established fact” and in particular those who seek to act upon knowledge rather than discuss it at length in “appropriate forums”. To paraphrase C.G. Jung: “There is no coming to consciousness without pain”. This would be just the book for that.
(Uncle Fester warning btw ‘^)
Jan Ott (MSc) studied statistics, biomechanics, anatomy and consciousness in Amsterdam but later became interested in Germanic mythology, history and languages. Since 2009 he has studied the Oera Linda Book and hopes to publish a new English translation this year. Dr. Siobhán Higgins-Welter is a historian and literary scholar who has researched and published on early modern European history, society and literature. She has lectured in Ireland and Britain on topics concerning ancient European history, Anglo-Saxon literature, and the culture of the European Middle Ages.
Henrik has Jan on the show once again to discuss his ongoing translation and study of the Oera Linda Book (OLB), an ancient Frisian manuscript. We are also joined by Jan’s colleague Siobhán who has leant her expertise to the project. The OLB tells a story that begins in the 6th century BC and contains information predating 1500 BC. Shortly after Jan’s first program with Red Ice, Siobhán contacted Jan and said that she was interested in assisting with the project. Henrik asks Siobhán to talk about why she became interested in working with Jan on the OLB. Siobhán states that she started to read the older translation and it resonated with her because it was reminiscent of other Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, ancient German, Roman, and other sources that convinced her that it was indeed authentic. The discussion then turns to the cross-correlation of spiritual themes across European cultures such as the Cult of the Mothers. The first hour also delves into the state of Irish historiography, the potentially disruptive nature of historical discoveries, history’s inexorable link to the politics of identity, the challenges faced by translators when grappling with the language and chronology of ancient manuscripts, and more.
The second hour starts off with a discussion about the veneration of the cyclical in the OLB. Jan and Henrik speak about the interconnectedness of Yule, Yuletide, the symbol of the wheel, time, Jul feasting, and the Old Frisian alphabet. The conversation then moves to the nature of the language in the OLB. The alphabet was said to have been created by the mythological folk mother, Frya, and was based on the six-spoke wheel, the JOL or Yule. Henrik remarks upon the similarities with the gothic language and Gothic script. Jan describes the variety of writing styles and spellings within the manuscript. For instance, word meanings and spellings often diverge in different sections of the text. Jan and Henrik discuss the manuscript’s first emergence in 1867, when Cornelis Over de Linden enlisted a Frisian history and language research society to assist in deciphering and translating it. Jan also talks about the group of people that originally compiled the various texts from various burgs in the sixth century BC. Jan reveals that the history of how Cornelis came to possess the tome is a long and convoluted history in itself. The second hour also delves into the OLBs esoteric conceptualization of race, 16th and 17th century Frisian historiography, and Jan’s vision for the published version of the work.