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PEOPLE OF THE
SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION
Copernicus
 Came up with the heliocentric theory = sun-centered
conception of the universe
 The planets revolve around the sun and the moon revolves around Earth
 Daily rotation of Earth on its axis
 First to create a complete model of the solar system
using physics, astronomy, and mathematics
 Previous belief: Aristotle and Ptolemy – geocentric
(Earth-centered) conception of the universe, Earth is
fixed, as is Heaven – belief since 150 AD
Kepler
 Came up with a mathematical formula that
supported/proved the Copernican theory
 Stated that the orbits of planets are elliptical, with
the sun at the end, not the center = Kepler’s Law
 Planets orbit the sun in an oval pattern or ellipse
Galileo
 Built the first telescope and made regular
observations
 First to observe Saturn, the craters on the moon,
sunspots, and the moons of Jupiter
 Stated that the heavenly bodies were made of
material substance – goes against the beliefs of the
Church
 Previous belief = Ptolemy – heavenly bodies were
orbs of light
Sir Isaac Newton
 Three laws of motion that govern the heavenly
bodies and objects on Earth
 Universal law of gravitation
 Gravity affects objects in the universe as well as
on Earth
 Keeps the planets in their orbits
 Universe seen as a regulated machine that worked
according to natural laws
 Developed calculus to predict the effects of gravity
Vesalius
 Dissected human bodies and presented an accurate
examination of individual organs and general
structure of the human body
 Hired artists to produce accurate drawings
 Previous belief: Galen, a Greek physician from
ancient times, used animals for dissection
Boyle
 Called the father of modern chemistry
 First chemist to define an element
 Described matter as a cluster of tiny particles
 Boyle’s Law = volume of gas varies with the amount
of pressure exerted on it
Francis Bacon
 Invented the scientific method
 Identify a problem and form a hypothesis to be
tested
 Perform experiments and record the results
 Analyze the results to form a conclusion that
either proves or disproves the hypothesis
 Believed the only true way to gain scientific
knowledge was through experimentation =
observing, measuring, explaining, and verifying
Descartes
 Wrote about doubt and uncertainty of the 17th
century
 Father of modern rationalism = reason is the chief
source of knowledge
 Emphasis on reason
 Believed everything should be doubted until it could
be proven by reason
 Doubt about existence – “I think, therefore I am”
 Principle of the separation of mind and matter