Factors that Changed the World View of Europeans

Factors that Changed the
World View of Europeans
SSWH13 The student will examine the
intellectual, political, social, and
economic factors that changed the world
view of Europeans.
a. Explain the scientific contributions of
Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and Newton and
how these ideas changed the European
world view.
Background to the Scientific Revolution
• Medieval scientists did not make
observations of the natural world.
• These scientists relied on a few
ancient authorities such as Aristotle
for their scientific knowledge.
• Rediscovery of ancient
mathematicians challenged the ideas
of previous generations.
• New inventions such as the
telescope and microscope made
fresh scientific discoveries possible.
• The Printing press above all allowed
ideas to spread quickly & easily.
A Revolution in Astronomy
• Ptolemaic system is called
geocentric and places the Earth at
the center of the universe.
• May 1543, Nicholas Copernicus
published On the Revolutions of
the Heavenly Spheres arguing that
the Sun, not Earth, was at the
center of the universe.
• Also declared the Earth rotated on
its axis & the Earth around the Sun
each year.
Nicholas Copernicus
Johannes Kepler
• German Mathematician
• Used detailed astronomical data
to arrive at his laws of planetary
• Confirmed that the Sun was at the
center of the universe & showed
that the orbits of the planets were
not circular, but elliptical.
• Completely contradicted the
Ptolemaic System.
Johannes Kepler
Galileo Galilei
• The scientists now wanted to know, what
are the planets made of.
• An Italian scientist & math teacher
answered this question.
• First European to make observations of the
heavens using a telescope and discovered
mountains on the Moon, 4 moons revolving
around Jupiter among other things…
• Published The Starry Messenger in 1610
stating that the planets were made of
material substance, just as Earth, not as
pure orbs of light as they were viewed in the
Ptolemaic conception.
Opposition to Galileo
• Galileo’s discoveries made more
Europeans aware of the new view of the
• The Church ordered Galileo to abandon
the Copernican idea.
• Threatened the church’s concept of the
universe & seemed to contradict the Bible
• Most astronomers accepted the
heliocentric conception despite the
church’s position, but the ideas of
Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo were yet
to be tied together…
Isaac Newton
• Born in 1642; considered the greatest
genius of the Scientific Revolution
• Defined three laws of motion in his major
work Mathematical Principles of Natural
Philosophy, also known as Principia.
• Universal law of gravitation- every object is
attracted to every other object by gravity
• Created a new picture of the universe as a
world-machine that worked according to
natural laws
• Dominated the world view until the 20th
Isaac Newton
How did the ideas of
Copernicus, Kepler,
Galileo, and Newton
change European’s view
of the world?
What impact would these
men have on future
scientific discoveries?

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