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European History Chapter 1, Section 5


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Nicolaus Copernicus

Sun-centered universe
Polish scholar who proposed heliocentric (sun-centered) theory of the universe

Johannes Kepler

Planets orbit in egg-shaped ellipses
German astronomer who calculated that the shape of planetary orbits around the sun is an ellipse (oval or egg shape)

Galileo Galilei

"Ground" a "Round" lens to view Jupiter
Italian astronomer who invented the telescope; recorded the orbits of the four moons of Jupiter to support heliocentric (sun-centered) theory of universe; tried before the Inquisition

Francis Bacon

Practical Francis = Makin' Bacon
Englishman who helped develop scientific method; stressed practical technology in science

Rene Descartes

Des-"cart" pushed the scientific method along by reason
French philosopher who helped develop scientific method; stressed the importance of human reasoning


Law of gravity was a "fig" breakthrough for science
English mathematician who formulated the law of gravity; his work linked physics and astronomy; helped develop calculus

Robert Boyle

"Boil" "cooked" up a theory for gas temperature and pressure
Chemist who distinguished between elements and compounds; explained the effects of temperature and pressure on gases
A possible explanation tested by experimentation; a beginning step in the scientific method
Scientific Method
A step-by-step process based upon observation and experimentation
A single attractive force that keeps planets in their orbit around the sun
It contradicted ancient views of astronomy and challenged Christian teachings that the heavens were fixed
Why did some people oppose the heliocentric theory of the universe?
It did not rely on earlier authorities like ancient teachers or the Bible. Instead, it relied on observation and experimentation.
How did the scientific method differ from earlier approaches?
Newton used mathematics to explain the workings of the universe. He theorized that Nature follows uniform laws, and that a single force could control the motions of the planets.
How did Newton try to explain the workings of the universe?
He was referring to the fact that without the work of previous thinkers, science would not have arrived at the point where he began his work. "Giants" that preceded Newton included Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler and Galileo.
What did Newton mean when he wrote, "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants"? Who might be some of the "giants" he was referring to?
No heliocentric theory = no understanding of Earth's seasons, weather systems. No Newtonian physics = no space missions or huamns landing on the moon. No scientific method = no advancement in medicine or technology.

(Many others!)
Identify three ways in which your life might have been different if the Scientific Revolution had never occurred.

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