Derived model of Villard de Honnecourt’s theoretical “perpetual machine”; with an analytical eye towards past progressions of thoughts, we may defy the laws of thermodynamics, doing endless intellectual work for centuries to come (image from meditattionandspiritualgrowth.com)
After actually reading Hans Christian Von Baeyer’s manuscript in its entirety, there exists absolutely no doubt that he has achieved an understanding of physics theory and principle that greatly exceeds that which can be expected from any college student completing a semester course on physics. Read straight from the syllabus of Brad Abbott’s general physics course, objectives of the curriculum at the University of Oklahoma include the ability to not only understand the basic principles behind the theories of physics, but to be able to analytically delve into complex scenarios, putting concepts together and ultimately reaching a solution, or a conclusion. Von Baeyer, as will be discussed has not only greatly exceeded both of these expectations, but he has moreover uncovered the very fabric for further discovery.
First off, with regards to the defining concepts of physics, as far as mechanics, electromagnetism, optics and all of the other areas of general physics are concerned Von Baeyer’s comprehension is not even a topic of debate. It would be essentially worthless to subject him to any of our machine- feeding testing, in which the creative thinking of our students is reduced to mindless memorization of theorems and equations for which will be discarded right after the class has concluded.
This core knowledge forms the basis for the second objective of the course; the ability to put these principles to use, analyzing a variety of situations. This is the area in which I feel AP credit would not be appropriate, for Von Baeyer has not demonstrated this ability; he has gone a step further, in an analysis of the very fabric and progression of scientific discovery in the realm of physics. Von Baeyer exquisitely describes the many free thinkers at the heart of physical discovery. From their stories and a chief awareness of the state of scientific knowledge at the time he is able to synthesize exactly the meaning and magnitude of their individual postulations, however timid they might have been in the information they published.
It is, for this reason that it would not be recommendable to give Von Baeyer AP credit, for this might make him pursue other fields. However adept he might be at these, it is in the University’s best interest for him to join the physics department faculty in their pursuit of knowledge. However machine-like the department may be at the present, with the addition of such a person who has such an awareness of the very basis modern physics the department will make a seamless transition into the era of nanotechnology, of frontiers previously thought impossible. Who knows what will be uncovered as the next perpetual motion machine, the next Maxwell’s demon. These things, although proved countless times as impossible are essential driving forces for thought, and in a new era we must be mindful to always remember what got us here in the first place. Von Baeyer provides us with this and more, and it is for this reason that it is urgent we hire Von Bayer.