# The Copernican Revolution - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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## The Copernican Revolution

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### The Copernican Revolution A New Earth? Unit 3 - Day 3 A Paradigm Shift? In his book, The Copernican Revolution, noted historian of science Thomas Kuhn argues that ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Copernican Revolution

1
The Copernican Revolution A New Earth?
• Unit 3 - Day 3

2
In his book, The Copernican Revolution, noted
historian of science Thomas Kuhn argues that
Copernicuss work on astronomy brought about a
paradigm shift in the way people saw the
world. Question What is a paradigm?
Paradigm a way of viewing or understanding
reality
Question How can ones paradigm shift?
shift occurs when a person or community is
presented with evidence that cannot be explained
by the currently accepted way of viewing or
understanding reality.
3
4
Note Neither of these images are paradigm
shifts. They simulate the experience by showing
how we can interpret the same information in two
different ways, and move back and forth between
the two interpretations.
5
Nicholas Copernicus
• Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543)
• Born in Polish city of Torun
• Father dies when he is young, raised by uncle an
influential bishop
• Studies at the University of Krakow
• Goes to Italy to earn doctorate in Law and study
medicine
• Upon return, becomes a canon (cleric) and serves
• Dabbles in mathematics and astronomy as a hobby.
• Makes astronomical tables based on his
observations.
• 1510-1514 becomes involved in Church calendar
reform formulates heliocentric theory

6
Heliocentric Theory
7
Calendar Reform
• Problems with existing mathematical models for
calculating calendar
• Models are mostly accurate but require periodic
reboots every few hundred years.
• Mars does funky things. Aristotelian model needs
complicated solutions.

Retrograde motion of Mars time-lapse photo
8
The Mars Problem
motion with epicycles.
For Copernicus the solution to retrograde motion
is simple the Earth (which moves) simply passes
Mars
9
Copernicus Discussion Questions
• What does Copernicus think is wrong with the way
that mathematicians have gone about solving the
problems with the existing calendar?
• Why does he decide to approach the problem
differently?
• Why does he believe his model provides a better
solution to the problem?
• What concerns does he have about the way his
• What does he feel is the proper relationship
between reason and authority?

10
On the Revolutions (1543)
• 1514 Copernicus distributes a pamphlet called the
Commentaries which sketches out his conclusions
to his friends and other mathematicians
• 1543 finally publishes On the Revolutions on
the Heavenly Spheres containing hundreds of
pages of dense calculations which only