Contributions Of Kepler To The Scientific Revolution Essay

The Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution constituted what was, perhaps, the most significant period of discovery and growth of the sciences in the whole of history. This period preceded the Enlightenment. The Renaissance and Scientific Revolution were responsible for the introduction of ideas such as a heliocentric solar system and laws of planetary motion. Many cite this era as the period during which modern science truly came to fruition, noting Galileo Galilei as the “father of modern science.” This post will cover the contributions of three highly important scientists from the era of the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution: Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, and Johannes Kepler.

Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) was a Renaissance polymath responsible for what some have called the “Copernican Revolution.” One of the most important contributions of Copernicus was to the field of astronomy. Copernicus placed the sun at the center of the universe, rather than the earth. The previous system, the Ptolemaic system, was geocentric (with the Earth at the center of the universe). In 1543, in his On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres he published his theory (which he had formulated much earlier). While he still had the planets moving in patterns of circles rather than ellipses, he postulated that these circles had no one center. He said that the center of the Earth is not the center of the universe, but is the center of gravity and the lunar sphere. He stated that Earth is one of seven planets in the solar system around the Sun, which is stationary. He said that the Earth’s motions include rotation, revolution, and annual tilting of the axis. He concurred with the scientists before him that the distance from the Earth to the Sun is negligible compared to the distance from the Earth to the stars. Tycho Brahe was one of Copernicus’s successors; however, he developed the Tychonic System, an essentially geocentric model which included some mathematical foundations of heliocentric models.

The heliocentric model of Copernicus.

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) built on the foundations of Copernicus’s work. Also a firm believer in the heliocentric model, Galileo was placed under house arrest for much of his life for his beliefs after standing trial in Rome. He was called a heretic for believing that the Sun, not the Earth, was the motionless center of the universe. In recent years the Church has acknowledged that its handling of the Galileo affair was regrettable. In 1610, Galileo published The Starry Messenger, which reported his discoveries of four of Jupiter’s moons, the roughness of the Moon’s surface, stars invisible to the naked eye, and differences between the appearances of planets and fixed stars. He also published observations on the full set of phases of Venus, and wrote regarding the tides. Galileo’s theory was that tides were caused by the sloshing back and forth of water in the seas at a point on Earth’s surface which speeded up at certain times of day due to the Earth’s rotation. However, this is incorrect (as the tides are caused by the moon). Galileo also importantly put forth the basic principle of relativity (the laws of physics are the same in any system that is moving at a constant speed in a straight line). Galileo was one of the first to observe a sunspot and not mistakenly attribute it to a transit of Mercury. Galileo also demonstrated that falling bodies of similar material but different masses have similar times of descent. In essence, descent time is independent of mass. Galileo also showed that there are as many perfect squares as whole numbers, even though most numbers are not perfect squares; since there are squares and non-squares, and not all numbers are squares, there must be fewer squares than non-square numbers. However, for every number there is a square. Therefore, there is actually a 1:1 ratio of non-squares to squares.

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) is responsible for creating Kepler’s laws of planetary motion. These laws include that the orbit of every planet is an ellipse with the Sun at one of the two foci, that a line joining a planet and the Sun sweeps out equal areas during equal intervals of time, and that the square of the orbital period of a planet is directly proportional to the cube of a semi-major axis of its orbit. Kepler was one of the first to incorporate the field of physics and the field of astronomy. This caused some controversy, however his ideas became more widely read and accepted after his death. Once Newton derived Kepler’s laws from a theory of universal gravitation, they became part of the theoretical canon of the Scientific Revolution.

In the next and final post, the contributions of Isaac Newton will be considered. Newton, arguably one of the greatest physicists of all time, lived during the late Renaissance and Scientific Revolution. Newton was one of the precursors to the Enlightenment who sparked the ensuing period of incredible intellectual growth.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized by tbcaldwe. Bookmark the permalink.

Johannes Kepler: Contributions To Science Essay

Early life
Kepler was born on December 27, 1571 (Bellis, March 5, 2014). He was a very sickly child and his parents were very poor. At a young age Johannes suffered from smallpox, crippled hands, and eyesight permanently weakened ( There was no information found on the severity of his eyesight. His illnesses and eyesight deficiency does propose a question of what if he was living today with our new and advanced technology with eyeglasses, medication, and surgery. What more, he also suffered from the lost his father at the age of four and his mother being accused of witchcraft. He was able to attend school even with these circumstances. He was from the Protestant state of Vertenburg , southern Germany, which provided three years of free education (Johannes Kepler's law of Planetary Motion). It was then found out by his professors that he was a bright student. He was sent to Tuebingen on scholarships where he studied philosophy under Vitus Muller and theology with Jacob Heerbrand (Famous Scientist).
German astronomer Johannes Kepler used mathematics to calculate the path of the planets, finding that they traveled not in circles, as long expected, but in ellipses. In 1596, Kepler wrote his first public statement on his reasons that the Copernican system is correct. This was a dangerous stance, given that in 1539, Martin Luther, founder of the Lutheran church, derided the theory when he first heard it (Famous Scientist).
Kepler would have not been as successful without Brahe’s data. There is a rumor that Kepler poisoned Brahe in order to get his data, however, this theory is not proven. While Copernicus and Galileo often receive the credit in the popular imagination, it was Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) who discovered and demonstrated that the Earth orbits the Sun (Keplers Discovery). In his 1609 work, Astronomia Nova ("The New Astronomy"), Kepler demolished the Aristotelian cosmography of perfect forms and unknowable causes, which has forever changed man’s sense of his place in the Universe, helped launch the scientific revolution and also identified problems which would motivate the development of calculus (Kepler Discovery). Johannes Kepler is a German astronomer who explained the planetary orbits, discovered light’s inverse square law, and wrote the first book on optics (Hudon D, 2009). All of his contributions were helpful; however, I am going to explain in depth about his third law of planetary motion and how it helped future astronomers and us today.

Kepler’s main contribution was the three laws of planetary motion. His laws not only apply to planets, but they apply to all objects that orbit in space. Keplers third law, law of harmonies, compares the orbital period and radius of orbit of a planet to those of other planets (Kepler’s Three Laws). His law provides an accurate description of the period and distance of planets orbiting about the sun. It is...

Loading: Checking Spelling


Read more

Johannes Kepler: Planetary Motion Essay

1422 words - 6 pages Johannes Kepler: Planetary Motion When one first thinks to astronomy, the first thing to come to mind might be the stars of the planets. It is always a fascinating thing to learn about the stars, but one should always start from somewhere when learning. One person’s research that is always going to be remembered is that of Johannes Kepler. He is not only the founder of contemporary astronomy but also an amazing mathematician. He was the...

The Scientific Revolution Essay

1282 words - 5 pages In the centuries preceding the Scientific Revolution people attempted to understand natural phenomena through the lenses of doctrine and philosophical speculation. Scientists were content with to rely on a synthesis of Aristotelian framework and dogma in attempt to describe the world. During the Scientific Revolution scientists began to embrace empiricism as a way to better understand the intricacies of nature. Unlike today scientists during...

Rational versus Non-Rational: A Look at Kepler

2221 words - 9 pages In philosophy, there are thinkers who attempt to construct or discover a systematic order in the universe. They tend to believe the power of reason can completely uncover and comprehend the laws of nature. Order and balance are their tools using observation and the scientific method. ?It is an ability or capacity to solve problems, anticipate consequences and understand the reasons or causes of events? (Lewis 10). By distancing oneself from...

Johannes Kepler

629 words - 3 pages Johannes KeplerJohannes Kepler was born in a small town of Weil der Stadt in Swabia, and moved to nearby Leonberg with his parents in 1576. His mother was the daughter of an innkeeper, and his father was a mercenary soldier. His father is believed to have died in the war in the Netherlands, when Kepler was only 5. Kepler's early education began in a local school and then at a nearby seminary. After that, he enrolled at the University of...

Research Paper on Scientific Revolution - Include Copernicus, Ptolemy, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton

906 words - 4 pages Throughout history there have been numerous revolutions worldwide. From industrial revolutions, to religious revolutions, to scientific revolutions, all of which have greatly advanced mankind. The scientific revolution was, perhaps, the most important revolution of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. In each revolution, there are many specific noteworthy people that are the base of the revolution who have contributed...

The Renaissance as a Distinct Period of Time

638 words - 3 pages The Middle Ages was a time in history where everyone was faithful to religion as well as others. Also, in the Middle Ages, people were encouraged to always try their best; they were encouraged to strive for the highest achievement possible and to never give up. The Renaissance, however, was more focused on becoming matured and finding a way to be successful at everything one does. During this era, people strived to become all-sided men, also...

Renaissance View of the Universe

851 words - 3 pages THE RENAISSANCE VIEW OF THE UNIVERSEThrough history people have been very interested in what lay above them. Every night as the people would go to sleep they would look up and wonder, what are those white dots up there? Some of the astrologers who would observe the night sky knowing that the white dots are planets and stars were convinced that the planets had an influence on their people, and so would spend the night trying to find...

The Scientific Revolution

1488 words - 6 pages The Scientific Revolution When comparing the views presented by both Aristotle and Copernicus, one must consider the circumstances under which these men lived to understand the differences. The most obvious of these is the time in history. Aristotle came almost 2000 years earlier in the astronomy field. While Copernicus had set out to glorify the great religion of his time, Aristotle's views came 200 years before Christ was even born! ...

The Impact of the Scientific Revolution on Society and Religion

1010 words - 4 pages Over the course of the years, society has been reformed by new ideas of science. We learn more and more about global warming, outer space, and technology. However, this pattern of gaining knowledge did not pick up significantly until the Scientific Revolution. In the sixteenth and seventeenth century, the Scientific Revolution started, which concerned the fields of astronomy, mechanics, and medicine. These new scientists used math and...

The Hub Theme

502 words - 2 pages The beliefs and works of Voltaire, Diderot, Galileo, Kepler and Copernicus support the Hub theme which is: “Embracing learning; following our dreams and giving back so others can go forth.” These five philosophers from the Enlightenment period and Scientific Revolution embraced learning by deciding to go against what the Catholic Church believed was fact. They followed their dreams by not letting the church’s ignorance stop them from discovering...

The essay depicts the Scientific Revolution.

721 words - 3 pages THE SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTIONThe Scientific Revolution, which occurred during the time of 1449 to 1704, was an intellectual movement concerning the theories about humanity's place in the universe and methods for determining them as well. It appealed primarily to the middle and upper classes in the urban areas of Renaissance cities. The Revolution...

Categories: 1

0 Replies to “Contributions Of Kepler To The Scientific Revolution Essay”

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *