Scientific Revolution

Done by:Madhu.K

Francis Bacon

Birth-22 January 1561 >>> Death-9 April 1626

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Importance/Significance

In 1620, around the time that people first began to look through microscopes, an English politician named Sir Francis Bacon developed a method for philosophers to use in weighing the truthfulness of knowledge. While Bacon agreed with medieval thinkers that humans too often erred in interpreting what their five senses perceived, he also realized that people's sensory experiences provided the best possible means of making sense of the world. Because humans could incorrectly interpret anything they saw, heard, smelled, tasted, or felt, Bacon insisted that they must doubt everything before assuming its truth.
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Invention-Hypothesis

In order to test potential truths, or hypotheses, Bacon devised a method whereby scientists set up experiments to manipulate nature, and attempt to prove their hypotheses wrong. For example, in order to test the idea that sickness came from external causes, Bacon argued that scientists should expose healthy people to outside influences such as coldness, wetness, or other sick people to discover if any of these external variables resulted in more people getting sick. Knowing that many different causes for sickness might be missed by humans who are unable or unwilling to perceive them, Bacon insisted that experiments must be consistently repeated before truth can be known: a scientist must show that patients exposed to a specific variable more frequently got sick again, and again, and again.Although modern scientists have revised many of the truths subsequently adopted by Bacon and his contemporaries, we still utilize the method of proving knowledge to be true via doubt and experimentation that Bacon laid out in 1620. Bacon's philosophical work marks a very significant breakthrough for the study of the world around us, but it is important to stress that this method of investigation was not completed in a vacuum. Rather, Bacon's work should be seen as a part of a widespread cultural revolution accelerated by the rise of the printing press in the fifteenth century.

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Isaac Newton

25 December 1642 >>> 20 March 1726

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Importance/Significance

Isaac Newton made many scientific discoveries and inventions throughout his career. Here is a list of some of the most important and famous ones.
  • Gravity - Newton is probably most famous for discovering gravity. Outlined in the Principia, his theory about gravity helped to explain the movements of the planets and the Sun. This theory is known today as Newton's law of universal gravitation.
  • Laws of Motion - Newton's laws of motion were three fundamental laws of physics that laid the foundation for classical mechanics.
  • Calculus - Newton invented a whole new type of mathematics which he called "fluxions." Today we call this math calculus and it is an important type of math used in advanced engineering and science.
  • Reflecting Telescope - In 1668 Newton invented the reflecting telescope. This type of telescope uses mirrors to reflect light and form an image. Nearly all of the major telescopes used in astronomy today are reflecting telescopes.
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Invention-Gravity

Many people have the image that he was sitting under an apple tree when an apple fell and hit him on the head, thus giving him the idea for gravity. In reality what he discovered was that there existed a force that is required to change the speed or direction of a moving object. After much further experimentation he wrote his theories of gravity. They have been the basic mathematical solutions for the way that things attract and repel for hundreds of years now.Gravity is affected by a few different things. Among those factors are mass, distance, and placement. The amount of gravity here on Earth varies from point to point. Gravity seems to vary the most in the Northern Hemisphere of our planet. The mass of an object also helps to determine the overall gravity of the object. In general, the more massive an object the gravity it displays. Finally, gravity is affected by the distance between two objects. The closer they are the stronger the gravitational pull will be. Gravity is all around us. It pulls the snow and rain down to the Earth’s surface. It holds everything to the surface. It also keeps our planet in its orbit around the Sun.
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Nicolaus Copernicus

19 February 1473 >>> 24 May 1543

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Importance/Significance

Nicolaus Copernicus’ contribution to the astronomical history was large and it was a huge impact as well. He changed the way of thinking, not only astronomically but also religiously. This was because the Catholic teachings were based on the theory


Earth Centered Universe that the Universe was Earth centered. It also went against the theory that a Greek astronomer Ptolemy argued about, the theory that the Earth was a stationary sphere that was in the center of the Universe and that the other planets (including the Sun) was orbiting around the Earth. This theory had been thought up of in 150 A.D. and had been used since then, so it was taken in widely, making Copernicus’ theory a very large impact. Even though Copernicus’ theory most went up against those two obstacles, many still had problems with this theory because if the Earth was orbiting and spinning, many thought that if one jumped up, then one would be left behind in that very spot, so the person would travel, which of course they knew did not happen. Even so, in the end, Copernicus’ theory was correct.

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Invention-The Copernican System

Copernicus was the first scientist of any regard to propose that the Sun did not revolve around the Earth. His theory, which ran counter to all scientific claims at the time, was that the Earth was actually the center of the solar system and everything orbited around it. In the Copernican System, he proposed that all of the known heavenly bodies actually orbited around the Sun, which did not move at all. His initial vision of the universe that was known at the time was surprisingly accurate.

What is truly unique about all of his observations is that he made them without the use of a telescope as it hadn’t been invented as of yet. Unlike some of his later contemporaries that followed up his work, Copernicus wasn’t jailed because of his theories that ran against the charter of the Church at the time. This system serves today as the beginning of modern astronomy.

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Galileo Galilei

Birth-15 February 1564 >>> Death-8 January 1642

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Importance/Significance

Considered the father of modern science, Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) made major contributions to the fields of physics, astronomy, cosmology, mathematics and philosophy. He invented an improved telescope that let him observe and describe the moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, the phases of Venus, sunspots and the rugged lunar surface. His flair for self-promotion earned him powerful friends among Italy’s ruling elite and enemies among the Catholic Church’s leaders. His advocacy of a heliocentric universe brought him before religious authorities in 1616 and again in 1633, when he was forced to recant and placed under house arrest for the rest of his life.
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Invention-(Planets)

On 7 January 1610, Galileo observed with his telescope what he described at the time as "three fixed stars, totally invisible by their smallness", all close to Jupiter, and lying on a straight line through it. Observations on subsequent nights showed that the positions of these "stars" relative to Jupiter were changing in a way that would have been inexplicable if they had really been fixed stars.From September 1610, Galileo observed that Venus exhibited a full set of phases similar to that of the Moon. The heliocentric model of the solar system developed by Nicolaus Copernicus predicted that all phases would be visible since the orbit of Venus around the sun would cause its illuminated hemisphere to face the Earth when it was on the opposite side of the Sun and to face away from the Earth when it was on the Earth-side of the Sun. Galileo was one of the first Europeans to observe sunspots, although Kepler had unwittingly observed one in 1607, but mistook it for a transit of Mercury. He also reinterpreted a sunspot observation from the time of Charlemagne, which formerly had been attributed (impossibly) to a transit of Mercury.
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Johannes Kepler

Birth-December 27, 1571 >>> Death-November 15, 1630

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Importance/Significance

Throughout his life, Kepler was a profoundly religious man. All his writings contain numerous references to God, and he saw his work as a fulfilment of his Christian duty to understand the works of God. Man being, as Kepler believed, made in the image of God, was clearly capable of understanding the Universe that He had created. Moreover, Kepler was convinced that God had made the Universe according to a mathematical plan (a belief found in the works of Plato and associated with Pythagoras). Since it was generally accepted at the time that mathematics provided a secure method of arriving at truths about the world (Euclid's common notions and postulates being regarded as actually true), we have here a strategy for understanding the Universe. Since some authors have given Kepler a name for irrationality, it is worth noting that this rather hopeful epistemology is very far indeed from the mystic's conviction that things can only be understood in an imprecise way that relies upon insights that are not subject to reason. Kepler does indeed repeatedly thank God for granting him insights, but the insights are presented as rational.

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Invention-(The Third Law)

Kepler had fixated on trying to find a pattern or structure for the spacing of the planets. By this point, he had realized that his perfect solids universe was mathematically unfeasible. But Kepler had a new vision, one that encompassed math, astronomy, music, and God. Kepler argued that the same harmonies we find in music were embedded in the geometrical proportions of the universe.Kepler searched for any consistency that he might interpret as a harmonic pattern. He finally found a relationship that worked: the speed of the planets around their orbits versus their distance from the sun. Kepler's third law states that the distance a planet is from the sun, cubed, is directly proportional to the time it takes to complete the orbit, squared. More simply, Kepler found that the distance a planet was located from the sun directly determined the time it took that planet to revolve around the sun. This was the first time anyone had discovered the exact relationship between these two quantities – in fact, this was the first time anyone had even thought to wonder about the relationship.

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William Harvey

Birth-1 April 1578 >>> Death-3 June 1657

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Importance/Significance

William Harvey was both a physician and a remarkable natural historian. His great achievement was the demonstration of the circulation of the blood, a discovery which replaced centuries of theory and speculation with knowledge firmly based on accurate observation and experiment. His work was of vital importance in illustrating the sequence of hypothesis, experiment, and conclusion which has governed all medical discovery since his time. He was the founder of modern physiology.
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Invention-Circulation of blood

Harvey was able to make his discoveries because he ignored medical text books, preferring his own observations and the deductions he made during dissections of animals.Remarkably, western medical beliefs – and theories about blood and circulation – had advanced little since Galen wrote his medical textbooks in Rome 1400 years earlier.Harvey’s knowledge came from observations he made of blood flowing through the veins and arteries of living animals that he cut open. Through modern eyes, his living dissections look cruel, and there were no anesthetics in Harvey’s time. Nevertheless, it is how we arrived at an understanding of blood and its circulation in the body.Harvey finally put to rest some of the errors Galen had made so many years earlier. Yet Galen did not get everything wrong. Some of his teachings were useful. At one point Galen had to flee from Rome because his methods threatened the careers of Rome’s quack physicians.

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Andreas Vesalius

Birth-31 December 1514 >>> Death-15 October 1564

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Importance/Significance

During that time, scholars thought that the work of the ancient Greek physician Galen was an authority when it came to human anatomy. As Greek and Roman laws had disallowed the dissection of human beings, Galen had evidently reasoned out analogies related to human anatomy after studying pigs and apes. Vesalius knew that it was absolutely essential to analyze real corpses to study the human body.

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Invention-(Medical findings)

  • Vesalius believed the skeletal system to be the framework of the human body. It was in this opening chapter, or book, of De fabrica that Vesalius made several of his strongest claims against Galen's theories and writings which he had put in his anatomy books. In his extensive study of the skull, Vesalius claimed that the mandible consisted of one bone, whereas Galen had thought it was two separate bones. He accurately described the vestibule in the interior of the temporal bone of the skull.
  • Vesalius' most impressive contribution to the study of the muscular system may be the illustrations that accompany the text in De fabrica, which would become known as the "muscle men". He describes the source and position of each muscle of the body as well as providing information on their respective operations.
  • He also observed the small size of the caecal appendix in man and gave the first good account of the mediastinum and pleura.
  • Upon studying the optic nerve, Vesalius came to the conclusion that nerves were not hollow.
  • Against Galen's theory and many beliefs he also discovered that there was no hole in the septum or heart.
  • Vesalius disproved Galen's assertion that men have more teeth than women.
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Robert Boyle

Birth-25 January 1627 >>> Death-31 December 1691

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Importance/Significance

He continued to carry out many experiments that helped him understand the relationship between the volume and pressure of gas. This resulted in Boyle’s Law that states, when temperature is held constant, the volume of gas is inversely proportional to pressure. Robert Boyle also carried out several tests on gold, silver and copper. He also tested for the presence of salt in water using silver nitrate and it is here where he devised a test for mineral-water analysis. During that time, many people believed that salt and water elements could not be broken down any further. He was largely opposed to these ideas and other basic element theories.
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Invention-(Properties of the Air and Vacuum)

He did this by ringing a bell housed inside a 28 liter glass jar. The bell was rung with the help of a magnet outside the jar. As he pumped air out of the jar, the sound of the bell grew fainter and fainter.Obviously, in performing this experiment, Boyle also showed that magnetic forces can travel through a vacuum – otherwise he could not have rung the bell. Although not fully appreciated at the time, this was actually a highly significant moment in science. Boyle had shown that physical forces could be transmitted across a vacuum.

Furthermore, he showed light can travel through a vacuum, because when air was pumped out of the jar, everything in the jar remained perfectly visible.