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Scientific Revolution


The Scientific Revolution Drawings done by Vesalius William Harvey An English scholar who described the circulation of blood for the first time. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Scientific Revolution

The Scientific Revolution
  • In the 1500s and 1600s the Scientific Revolution
    changed the way Europeans looked at the world.
  • People began to make conclusions based on
    experimentation and observation, instead of
    merely accepting traditional ideas.

Before the Scientific Revolution
  • Until the mid 1500s, European scholars accepted
    and believed the teachings of Ptolemy, an ancient
    Greek astronomer.

Ptolemy (87-140 A.D.)
  • Ptolemy taught that the Earth was the center of
    the universe.
  • People felt this was common sense, and the
    geocentric theory was supported by the Church.
  • It was not until some startling discoveries
    caused Europeans to change the way they viewed
    the physical world.

Before the Scientific Revolution
Ptolemy (87-100 A.D.)
  • Ptolemys geocentric model of the solar system
  • Earth
  • Moon
  • Mercury
  • Venus
  • Sun
  • Mars
  • Jupiter
  • Saturn
  • Notice, the Earth is first, and not the sun, as
    it should be.

Nicolaus Copernicus
  • Copernicus was a Polish astronomer who studied
    in Italy.
  • In 1543 Copernicus published On the Revolutions
    of the Heavenly Spheres.
  • In his book, Copernicus made two conclusions
  1. The universe is heliocentric, or sun-centered.
  2. The Earth is merely one of several planets
    revolving around the sun.

Nicolaus Copernicus
  • Copernicus model of the solar system
  • Sun
  • Moon
  • Mercury
  • Venus
  • Earth
  • Mars
  • Jupiter
  • Saturn
  • Notice, the sun is first, not the Earth, as
    Ptolemy believed.

Nicolaus Copernicus
  • Copernicus came to these conclusions using
    mathematical formulas.
  • The Copernican conception of the universe marked
    the start of modern science and astronomy.

The Copernican Heliocentric Model
Copernicuss Scientific Theories
  • Considered the founder of modern science
  • Believed that the earth was round and the earth
    revolved around the sun (contrary to popular
  • The heliocentric theory was not new, but
    Copernicus established the mathematical basis
  • To avoid the risk of persecution,
    excommunication, or imprisonment because his were
    revolutionary and contrary to church beliefs,
    Copernicus worked in privacy for more than 30
    years just before his death, friends helped to
    published his work
  • Copernicuss theory was first taught in several
    universities in the 1500s and permeated the
    scientific world by 1600

Reaction to Copernicus
  • Most scholars rejected his theory because it
    went against Ptolemy, the Church, and because it
    called for the Earth to rotate on its axis.
  • Many scientists of the time also felt that if
    Ptolemys reasoning about the planets was wrong,
    then the whole system of human knowledge could be

Giordano Bruno 1548 1600 AD
  • Italian monk
  • Believed Copernicus was right and that the earth
    revolved around the sun
  • Believed the earth was alive because it moves
    through space
  • Believed the universe is huge and everything is
    made up of atoms
  • He did not do original research just used reason
    and speculation.
  • Bruno wandered around Europe teaching and writing
    for a living.
  • He returned to Italy and found trouble

Bruno vs the Inquisition
  • Bruno had been offered a teaching job in Venice
    and thought his employer would protect him.
  • Instead, Bruno was arrested by the Inquisition
    for not supporting the Geo-Centric Theory
  • After seven years in prison, Bruno was tried as a
  • He was burned at the stake for his scientific

Tycho Brahe
  • Then, in the late 1500s, the Danish astronomer
    Tycho Brahe provided evidence that supported
    Copernicus heliocentric theory.
  • Brahe set up an astronomical observatory.
  • Every night for years he carefully observed the
    sky, accumulating data about the movement of the
    stars and planets.

Tycho Brahe(1546-1601)
  • Danish astronomer
  • Established an observatory to study heavenly
  • Accumulated a lot of data on planetary movements
  • His tables of astronomical observation was used
    by Kepler to prove Copernicuss
  • helio-centric hypothesis

  • Believed that the development of astronomy relied
    on accurate observation
  • Made lots of astronomical observation with the
    naked eye
  • Built and calibrated numerous new instruments
  • Created a domicile and observatory which he
    called Uraniborg

Johannes Kepler
  • After Brahes death, his assistant, the German
    astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler,
    used Brahes data and calculated the orbits of
    the planets revolving around the sun.
  • Keplers calculations supported Copernicus
    heliocentric theory.
  • His calculations also showed that the planets
    moved in oval shaped orbits, and not perfect
    circles, as Ptolemy and Copernicus believed.
  • Keplers finding helps explain the paths
    followed by man-made satellites today.

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)
  • Student of mathematics and astronomy
  • studied with Tycho Brahe
  • tested hypothesis after hypothesis until he
    determined that planets move in ellipses
  • Three Laws of Planetary Motion
  • planets move in ellipses with sun as one focus
  • velocity of a planet is not uniform
  • equal area of the plane is covered in equal time
    by the planets.

Johannes Kepler(1571-1630)
  • Built on the detailed observations of Tycho
  • Confirmed Copernicuss heliocentric theory
  • Worked out the laws that governed planetary
  • Discovered that orbits were elliptical, not
  • Killed off the Ptolemaic theory of crystalline
    spheres and a perfect heaven.
  • Opens the door to the question of what the
    planets and stars are made of and what governs
    their motion.

Johannes Kepler(1571-1630)
  • Used Brahes work to successfully prove
    Copernicuss helio-centric model mathematically
  • However, he disproved Brahes claim that planets
    move in circular motion found that they move in
  • Discovered that the speed of planets increase as
    they near the sun and decrease as they go away
    from it
  • Discovered three laws of planetary motion
  • the planets orbit the sun in elliptical orbits
    the sun is at one focus of the ellipse
  • An imaginary line drawn from the center of the
    sun to the center of a planet will sweep out
    equal areas in equal intervals of time
  • The ratio of the squares of the periods of any
    two planets is equal to he ratio of the cubes of
    their average distance from the sun
  • Worked in optics, discovered two new regular
    polyhedra, created the first proof of logarithms,
    and created a way to find the volume of solids of
    revolution (which influenced calculus)
  • Proof of logs based off of the work of Napier and

Kepler Cont.
  • Very religious (protestant) believed in
    Intelligent Design, and that God made the
    Universe according to a mathematical plan
  • Math was considered a way to find truth, so
    Kepler thought that this gave man a way to find
    and understand the truth of the Universe
  • Worked as an aide to Tycho Brahe and continued
    Brahes work and used it in his own work
  • Established the idea of observational error

Galileo Galilei
  • Galileo Galilei was an Italian astronomer who
    built upon the scientific foundations laid by
    Copernicus and Kepler.
  • Galileo assembled the first telescope which
    allowed him to see mountains on the moon and
    fiery spots on the sun.
  • He also observed four moons rotating around
    Jupiter exactly the way Copernicus said the
    Earth rotated around the sun.
  • Galileo also discovered that objects fall at the
    same speed regardless of weight.

Galileo Galilei
  • Galileos discoveries caused an uproar. Other
    scholars came against him because like
    Copernicus, Galileo was contradicting Ptolemy.
  • The Church came against Galileo because it
    claimed that the Earth was fixed and unmoving.
  • When threatened with death before the
    Inquisition in 1633, Galileo recanted his
    beliefs, even though he knew the Earth moved.
  • Galileo was put under house arrest, and was not
    allowed to publish his ideas.

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The Scientific Method
  • By the early 1600s, a new approach to science
    had emerged, known as the Scientific Method.

Scientific Method painstaking method used to
confirm findings and to prove or disprove a
  • Scientists observed nature, made hypotheses, or
    educated guesses, and then tested these
    hypotheses through experiments.
  • Unlike earlier approaches, the scientific method
    did not rely on the classical thinkers or the
    Church, but depended upon a step-by-step process
    of observation and experimentation.

The Scientific Method
  1. State the problem
  2. Collect information
  3. Form a hypothesis
  4. Test the hypothesis
  5. Record analyze data
  6. State a conclusion
  7. Repeat steps 1 6
  • Scientists soon discovered that the movements of
    bodies in nature closely followed what could be
    predicted by mathematics.
  • The scientific method set Europe on the road to
    rapid technological progress.

The Scientific Method
  • Sir Isaac Newton was an English scholar who
    built upon the work of Copernicus and Galileo.
  • Newton was the most influential scientist of the
    Scientific Revolution.
  • He used math to prove the existence of gravity -
    a force that kept planets in their orbits around
    the sun, and also caused objects to fall towards
    the earth.

The Scientific Method
  • Newton published his scientific ideas in his
    book Mathematical Principles of Natural

  • He discovered laws of light and color, and
    formulated the laws of motion
  1. A body at rest stays at rest
  2. Acceleration is caused by force
  3. For every action there is an equal opposite
  • He invented calculus a method of mathematical

The Scientific Method
According to a popular story, Newton saw an apple
fall from a tree, and wondered if the force that
pulled the apple to the Earth also controlled the
movement of the planets. Newton argued that
nature followed laws.
The Scientific Method
  • Francis Bacon was an English philosopher who
    wrote Advancement of Learning.

Francis Bacon
  • Bacon popularized the scientific method and used
    it with philosophy and knowledge.
  • Bacon argued that truth could not be known at
    the beginning of a question, but only at the end
    after a long process of investigation.

The Scientific Method
  • Descartes was a French scientist, mathematician,
    and philosopher.

René Descartes
  • Descartes emphasized human reasoning as the best
    road to understanding.
  • Like Bacon, Descartes also believed that truth
    was only found after a long process of studying
    and investigation.

I think, therefore I am
Other Scientific Advances
Robert Boyle
  • In the 1600s Robert Boyle distinguished between
    individual elements and chemical compounds.
  • Boyle also explained the effect of temperature
    and pressure on gases.

Robert Boyles first air pump
Other Scientific Advances
Andreas Vesalius
  • In 1543 Andreas Vesalius published On the
    Structure of the Human Body.
  • Vesalius book was the first accurate and
    detailed book on human anatomy.

Drawings done by Vesalius
Other Scientific Advances
William Harvey
  • An English scholar who described the circulation
    of blood for the first time.
  • He showed how the heart served as a pump to force
    blood through veins and arteries.

  • Venal valves had already been discovered, but
    here Harvey shows that venal blood flows only
    toward the heart. He ligatured an arm to make
    obvious the veins and their valves, then pressed
    blood away from the heart and showed that the
    vein would remain empty because it was blocked by
    the valve.

Other Scientific Advances
Ambroise Paré
  • French physician Ambroise Paré developed a new
    and more effective ointment for preventing
  • Paré also developed a technique for closing
    wounds with stitches.

Other Scientific Advances
Anton von Leeuwenhoek
  • A Dutch inventor who perfected the microscope
    and became the first human to see cells and

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