ALPHABETICAL BRAIN™ VOCABULARY
#9 of 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL SCIENTISTS
#9 JOHANNES KEPLER
Life Dates: 1571-1630
MOTION OF THE PLANETS
Kepler discovered the Laws of Planetary Motion and was the founder of celesial mechanics. He is the pivotal and culminating figure in the revolution in astronomy.
Kepler did this at the beginning of the 17th century, when the heliocentric universe that was proposed by Copernicus 50 years earlier, was supported by the discoveries and rhetoric of Galileo. Kepler's Lutheran inspired mystical attachment to harmony was balanced by a commitment to scientific observation. He was able to abandon unproductive hypotheses and seek mathematical laws to explain scientific principles.
The effect of Kepler's rational thinking was to help lessen the secular authority of the church, whether Catholic or Protestant.
Einstein admired Kepler for "having liberated himself from the intellectual traditions into which he was born.This meant not merely the religious tradition, based on the authority of the Church, but general concepts on the nature and limitations of action within the universe and the human sphere, as well as ideas about the relative importance of thought and experience in science." (quote from page 54 of the book,
The Scientific 100).
The Scientific 100 by John Simmons (50-54); Britannica Encyclopedia; and Wikipedia.
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