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Lecture

Scientific Revolution HIST 121 Notes

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Department
History
Course
HIST 121
Professor
Richard Bailey
Semester
Fall

Description
Scientific Revolution 19/11/2012 16:35:00 Ptolemy: Provided the mathematics that provided the ability to predict the movement of the planetary bodies Nicholas Copernicus 1473-1543 • Was a Polish astronomer, educated in Italy • “On The Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres” 1543 • Had no idea planets moved in elliptical orbits • Copernicus put the sun at the centre of the universe, because that way the mathematical astronomy made more sense • Copernicus’ math was much simpler, but most of his other ways of thinking remained Ptolemaic (planets moved in perfect circular orbits) • He began to blur the lines between ancient physics and astronomy , got people thinking about how the universe might be reconfigured ← Tycho Brahe 1546-1601 • Stated sun moved around the earth, and all other planets move around the sun • 1577 – he saw a comet, located it in the vicinity of Venus (where comets were not supposed to be). He expected there to be no change above the moon. Brahe thought it was an act of God predicating a dire event on earth • 5 years before comet -> Brahe witnessed a Nova which created a real splash because they did not believe in a change in the heavens • Scientific revolution challenges dominant world views • Brahe mixes “good” science with astrological predictions ← Science Today • Our view of the universe is correct the best form of our knowledge today • Future generations may one day look at our view of the world and think of it as primitive and inaccurate ← Johannes Kepler • Discovered elliptical forces, but not “why” ← Galileo Galelei 1564-1642 • Up until Galileo, everything we knew was based on naked eye observations • What Galileo saw through his telescope led him to a remarkable insight: Nature is uniform throughout; there was no separation of lower and higher realm • In 1616 the Church placed Galileo’s book on the index of Forbidden Books and ordered to cease his work • Galileo upheld Copernican theory • Was placed under house arrest • He was the first to separate physics from philosophy and religion ← Revolutionary Thinking • Ptolemy and Copernicus saw the universe conformed to mathematical regularity • Galileo saw this regularity throughout all physical nature: from the smallest atom to the largest celestial body • Nature was cold, rational, mathematical, and mechanistic • What is real is mathematically measurable •
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