Scientific Revolution Timeline

  • Period: Feb 19, 1473 to May 24, 1543

    Nicolaus Copernicus

    Copernicus was a Polish philosopher and astronomer who presented the heliocentric theory. This was the theory that the Earth revolved around the sun. This theory challenged the teachings of the Church, but laid the foundations for scientists continuing his work in studying the universe.
  • Jan 8, 1501

    University of Padua

    University of Padua
    This univeristy was founded in 1222. Nicolaus Copernicus spent time studying and teaching there, and it was there that he aquired much of his astronomical and philosophic knowledge. He studied medicine there.
  • Mar 11, 1543

    Andreas Vesalius

    Andreas Vesalius
    In 1543, Vesalius wrote De humani corporis fabrica libri septem, which is a textbook of human anatomy. Based on dissections and precise drawings, Vesalius was able to point out some of Galen's errors regarding the human body. This work would not be possible without the advances that had been made during the Renaissance.
  • Apr 13, 1543

    On the Revolution of the Heavenly Bodies

    On the Revolution of the Heavenly Bodies
    This book outlines the heliocentric theory and is dedicated to Pope Paul III. It presented people with a new view of the universe.
  • Period: Dec 14, 1546 to

    Tycho Brahe

    Tycho Brahe constructed new scientific instruments with which he was able to make more detailed naked-eye observations of the planets than ever before. Brahe also produced a vast body of astronomical data which future scientists referenced for information.
  • Period: Jan 22, 1561 to

    Francis Bacon

    Bacon supported a scientific approach that was based on inductive reasoning. This resulted in a basis for the modern scientific method. He called for the investigation and observation of nature, as well as experimentation. Bacon stated that science should make people's lives more secure and more comfortable.
  • Period: Feb 15, 1564 to

    Galileo Galilei

    Galileo was the first to use the newly-invented telescope to discover new elements of the universe such as sunspots and the moons orbiting Jupiter. These findings contradicted the "perfect universe" that the church preached. This found him in front of the Inquisition. After refusing to renounce his findings, Galileo was put under house arrest for the last years of his life.
  • Period: Dec 27, 1571 to

    Johannes Kepler

    Johannes Kepler was Brahe's assistant. Kepler strongly believed in the heliocentric theory. He used Brahe's data in order to formulate his Three Laws of Planetary Motion. He published his first findings in his book called The New Astronomy in 1609. In his findings, Kepler found that the path of the planets were elliptical rather than circular.
  • Nov 11, 1572

    Crab Nebula

    Crab Nebula
    This occured when Brahe looked into the night sky and saw a star that was not usually visible in the night sky. At this event, Brahe discovered a supernova, which was visible for 16 months in the sky, sometimes during the day.
  • Nov 13, 1577

    Great Comet of 1577

    Great Comet of 1577
    This comet passed close to Earth in 1577. Tycho Brahe observed this comet. From his observations, Brahe concluded that comets travel above the Earth's atmosphere. Brahe was also successful in proving that the comet was beyond the orbit of the moon and the Earth.
  • Period: to

    Rene Descartes

    Descartes developed another portion of the scientific method with his belief in deductive reasoning. This form of reasoning is similar to a geometric proof. He also argued for dualism, which was the idea that nature is made of two substances: mind and matter. Descartes also fully supported engineering and architecture.
  • Giordano Bruno burnt at the stake

    Giordano Bruno burnt at the stake
    Bruno was an Italian philosopher and scientist who was burned for heresy by the Inquisition. Bruno was in full support of the Copernican system of astronomy: the heliocentric theory.
  • Period: to

    Three Laws of Planetary Motion

    The Three Laws of Planetary Motion were created by Johannes Kepler in the early 1600s. These laws describe orbital motion, which give a description of the movement of planets around the sun.
    1. The orbit of every planet is an ellipse with the Sun at one of the two foci.
    2. A line joining a planet and the Sun sweeps out equal areas during equal intervals of time.
    3. The square of the orbital period of a planet is directly proportional to the cube of the semi-major axis of its orbit.
  • Letter to Grand Duchess of Tuscany

    Letter to Grand Duchess of Tuscany
    In this letter to the Grand Duchess of Tuscany, Galileo wrote about the relation between the revelations of the Bible and the new discoveries that were being made in science. Galileo wrote that the Copernican theory was not just a mathematical calculating tool, but a physical reality.
  • The Period of Revolution Around the Sun is Proportional to the Distance from the Sun

    The Period of Revolution Around the Sun is Proportional to the Distance from the Sun
    This law is Kepler's third law and it used to be known as harmonic law because Kepler expressed it as an attempt to determine what he viewed as the "music of the spheres." This law can be used to estimate the distance fom an exoplanet to its central star.'s_laws_of_planetary_motion
  • Novum Organum (New Tools)

    Novum Organum (New Tools)
    This was a philosophical work by Francis Bacon. This is a reference to Aristotle's work Organon, which was his treatise on knowledge and syllogism. In this book, Bacon details a new system of logic that he believes to be superior to the old ways of syllogism. This is now known as the Baconian Method.
  • Theory of Induction

    Theory of Induction
    This theory was opposed to the Scholastic tradition of working first with definitions and propositions. The Theory of Induction called for systematic investigation and observation of nature, as well as experimentation. This was the basis for the modern scientific method.
  • On the Movement of the Heart and the Blood

    On the Movement of the Heart and the Blood
    This book was published by English physician William Harvey. This book developed the modern theory of blood flow, with arteries and veins circulating oxygen through human tissue. The interpretation of blood flow was incorrect before Harvey.
  • Dialogue on Two World Systems

    Dialogue on Two World Systems
    This was an Italian language book by Galileo which compared the Copernican system with the traditional Ptolemaic system. This book was soon placed in the Index of Forbidden Books.
  • Galileo banned by the Church

    Galileo banned by the Church
    Galileo was tried by the Inquisition as a result of his belief in the heliocentric theory. After Galileo refused to renounce his ideas, he was condemned, required to renounce his views, and was placed under house arrest for the last nine years of his life.
  • Discourse on Method

    Discourse on Method
    Written by Rene Descartes, this book rejected scholastic philosophy and education and supported thought founded on a mathematical model. This book was his introduction to the Theory of Deduction.
  • Discourse on Two New Sciences

    Discourse on Two New Sciences
    This was Galileo's final book and scientific testament to all of his work regarding physics. This included many topics such as the law of falling bodies and the concept of infinity. As a result of this, many call Galileo the "Father of Modern Physics."
  • Period: to

    Isaac Newton

    Newton's most famous work is Principia Mathematica, in which he wrote the universal laws of motion. Newton stated that every object follows these laws. Newton also discovered gravity, which was the final piece in the planetary motion puzzle. He said that every object affects every other object through gravity. Newton also discovered calculus.
  • Theory of Deduction

    Theory of Deduction
    Rene Descartes argued for the deductive approach to problems. This method is similar to a geometric proof, which involves moving from general principles to more particular cases by steps of reason. This is another portion to the modern scientific method.
  • Malpighi and Capillaries

    Malpighi and Capillaries
    Marcello Malpighi was the first to see blood circulation throughout the body. Even though William Harvey had correctly interpreted blood flow, he had never actually seen it. Malpighi saw the circulation of blood through a network of small tubes on the surface of the lung and on the bladder of the frog.
  • Jean Picard and Mars

    Jean Picard and Mars
    Jean Picard was Jean-Dominique Cassini's assistant, and they estimated the distance between Earth and Mars using parallax. Picard took very accurate and precise data, and this was key to determining the distance between the Earth and Mars. It is amazing how Picard was able to take this data, as it is within 7% of the modern calculation.
  • Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy)

    Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy)
    This book was written by Isaac Newton. This book contains Newton's laws of motion, Newton's universal law of gravitation, and a derivation of Kepler's laws of planetary motion. This book provided the last mathematical piece for the heliocentric theory. This book is called one of the most important works in the history of science.æ_Naturalis_Principia_Mathematica
  • Newton's Three Laws of Motion

    Newton's Three Laws of Motion
    1. A body moves in a straight line unless impeded. (Inertia).
    2. Every action has equal and opposite reaction.
    3. Every body attracts every other body with a force proportional to the distance between. This laws were stated in his Principia Mathematica. These were the mathematical proof to the heliocentric theory. These laws govern all objects in the universe.'s_laws_of_motion
  • Opticks

    This was a book written by Isaac Newton. It contained information about optics and the refraction of light. This is largely a record of experiments and deductions made from them, which covered a wide range of topics that is known as physical optics.