Scientific Revolution

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A very brief presentation of the basic philosophical underpinnings and Astronomical findings of the Scientific Revolution.

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Scientific Revolution

  1. 1. Scientific Revolution Science and Astronomy
  2. 2. A Slow Revolution • From Copernicus to Newton is almost 150 years • A few thousand European scholars • Diverse opinions and intense debate • Results not widely known until 18th century
  3. 3. Philosophical Revolution: Epistemology • Francis Bacon (1561-1626) – Induction: reasoning from facts to general ideas, – Limited to what is observable and measurable – Concerned that scientific claims not infringe on religious truth • Rene Descartes (1596-1650) – Deduction: reasoning from principles to specifics • "cogito, ergo sum" – Also: Cartesian Dualism and Analytical Geometry • Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) – Mechanistic Naturalism, Monism – "best of all possible worlds" – Stoic Ethics of Virtue and Equality, Secular State
  4. 4. Scientific Revolution consists of three crucial elements: • Abandonment of traditional ideas; Creation of new categories based on evidence • Development of Scientific Method and standards of evidence • Presentation and Publication of Results for confirmation
  5. 5. Ptolemaic or geocentric universe circular transparent crystal "spheres" (one per planet, sun, moon, stars) beyond which lay Heaven
  6. 6. Making it work: Epicycles
  7. 7. Copernicus: Heliocentric System • Retained Circular Orbits and Epicycles, but simplified • Emphasis on Fitting Data to Mathematical Models • Publication
  8. 8. Brahe and Kepler • Tycho "silver nose" Brahe rejected Copernicus, argued for modified geocentric system. Collected best naked-eye astronomical data to date, including comet observations. • Johannes Kepler used Brahe's data to modify Copernicus: elliptical orbits eliminated epicycles. • Kepler's Law: "the square of the period of each planets revolution is proportional to the cube of its mean distance from the sun."
  9. 9. Galileo! • Telescopic observations: features of planets, movement of the moons of Jupiter • Physical experimentation: created concept of inertia to explain astronomical movement • Studied gravity and pendulum motion as well • Published in Italian, not Latin • Convicted of Heresy
  10. 10. Sir Isaac Newton • Physics – inertia, acceleration, action/reaction – gravity: inverse square law – Prismatic study of light • Mathematics – Calculus (simultaneously with Leibniz) • Scientific Method – Integration of Inductive and Deductive methods • Religious
  11. 11. Ptolemaic system --> Copernicus --> Brahe --> Kepler --> Galileo --> Newton starting theory --> math --> observation --> math --> observation --> math
  12. 12. • Background Picture: "Miyajima - Senjokaku Zodiac Spinner" by Jonathan Dresner, http://www.flickr.com/photos/jondresner/ • Aristotelean and Galilean gif images from http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/index.html

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