An introduction to the scientific revolution in the 16th century

Revolutions, which are the result of the crisis in its most extreme form, involve the overthrow not merely of the government but of the political order itself. Typically, a revolution is preceded by a series of strains within the system:

An introduction to the scientific revolution in the 16th century

An introduction to the scientific revolution in the 16th century

Physical science, like all the natural sciences, is concerned with describing and relating to one another those experiences of the surrounding world that are shared by different observers and whose description can be agreed upon.

One of its principal fields, physics, deals with the most… Heritage of antiquity and the Middle Ages The physical sciences ultimately derive from the rationalistic materialism that emerged in classical Greeceitself an outgrowth of magical and mythical views of the world. The Greek philosophers of the 6th and 5th centuries bce abandoned the animism of the poets and explained the world in terms of ordinarily observable natural processes.

These early philosophers posed the broad questions that still underlie science: How did the world order emerge from chaos? What is the origin of multitude and variety in the world?

Scientific Revolution - Wikipedia

How can motion and change be accounted for? What is the underlying relation between form and matter? Greek philosophy answered these questions in terms that provided the framework for science for approximately 2, years. Egyptian astronomy, which was neither a very well-developed nor an influential study, was largely concerned with time reckoning.

Its main lasting contribution was the civil calendar of days, consisting of 12 months of 30 days each and five additional festival days at the end of each year.

This calendar played an important role in the history of astronomyallowing astronomers to calculate the number of days between any two sets of observations.

Babylonian astronomy, dating back to about bce, constitutes one of the earliest systematic, scientific treatments of the physical world. In contrast to the Egyptians, the Babylonians were interested in the accurate prediction of astronomical phenomena, especially the first appearance of the new Moon.

Using the zodiac as a reference, by the 4th century bce, they developed a complex system of arithmetic progressions and methods of approximation by which they were able to predict first appearances.

The mass of observations they collected and their mathematical methods were important contributions to the later flowering of astronomy among the Greeks. The Pythagoreans 5th century bce were responsible for one of the first Greek astronomical theories.

Believing that the order of the cosmos is fundamentally mathematical, they held that it is possible to discover the harmonies of the universe by contemplating the regular motions of the heavens.

Postulating a central fire about which all the heavenly bodies including Earth and the Sun revolve, they constructed the first physical model of the solar system.

That is to say, he urged them to develop predictively accurate theories using only combinations of uniform circular motion. As a result, Greek astronomers never regarded their geometric models as true or as being physical descriptions of the machinery of the heavens.

They regarded them simply as tools for predicting planetary positions. He developed a theory of homocentric spheresa model that represented the universe by sets of nesting concentric spheres the motions of which combined to produce the planetary and other celestial motions.

His theory required four homocentric spheres for each planet and three each for the Sun and Moon. The system was modified by Callippusa student of Eudoxus, who added spheres to improve the theory, especially for Mercury and Venus.

The Aristotelian cosmos was like an onion consisting of a series of some 55 spheres nested about Earth, which was fixed at the centre.

Discussion of four attempts to explain the structure of the solar system, from Aristotle to Johannes Kepler. The theory of homocentric spheres failed to account for two sets of observations: Heracleides of Pontus 4th century bce attempted to solve these problems by having Venus and Mercury revolve about the Sun, rather than Earth, and having the Sun and other planets revolve in turn about Earth, which he placed at the centre.

In addition, to account for the daily motions of the heavens, he held that Earth rotates on its axis. Hipparchus flourished bce made extensive contributions to both theoretical and observational astronomy. Basing his theories on an impressive mass of observations, he was able to work out theories of the Sun and Moon that were more successful than those of any of his predecessors.

His primary conceptual tool was the eccentric circle, a circle in which Earth is at some point eccentric to the geometric centre.

He used this device to account for various irregularities and inequalities observed in the motions of the Sun and Moon. He also proved that the eccentric circle is mathematically equivalent to a geometric figure called an epicycle-deferent system, a proof probably first made by Apollonius of Perga a century earlier.

Thus, the north celestial pole, the point on the celestial sphere defined as the apparent centre of rotation of the stars, moves relative to the stars in its vicinity. Effects of precession on Earth's axis of rotation.

Ptolemy flourished ce applied the theory of epicycles to compile a systematic account of Greek astronomy. He elaborated theories for each of the planetsas well as for the Sun and Moon.

His theory generally fitted the data available to him with a good degree of accuracy, and his book, the Almagestbecame the vehicle by which Greek astronomy was transmitted to astronomers of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

It essentially molded astronomy for the next millennium and a half. Ptolemy's equant modelIn Ptolemy's geocentric model of the universe, the Sun, the Moon, and each planet orbit a stationary Earth.

Heritage of antiquity and the Middle Ages

For the Greeks, heavenly bodies must move in the most perfect possible fashion—hence, in perfect circles.

In order to retain such motion and still explain the erratic apparent paths of the bodies, Ptolemy shifted the centre of each body's orbit deferent from Earth—accounting for the body's apogee and perigee—and added a second orbital motion epicycle to explain retrograde motion.The Scientific Revolution And The Industrial Revolution - During the Industrial Era, many intellectuals found dissatisfaction in the logic and reason-dominated writings of the 18th century—culturing the new movement of Romanticism in the early part of the 19th century.

The timeline below shows the date of publication of possible major scientific theories and discoveries, along with the discoverer.

In many cases, the discoveries spanned several years. The 17th-century English writer John Milton was an early believer in revolution’s inherent ability to help a society realize its potential. He also saw revolution as the right of society to defend itself against abusive tyrants, creating a new order that reflected the needs of the people.

The scientific revolution took place from the sixteenth century through the seventeenth century and saw the formation of conceptual, methodological, and institutional approaches to the natural world that are recognizably like those of modern science.

At WPI learning has always been about combining theory and practice. WPI graduates emerge ready to take on critical challenges in science and technology, knowing how their work can impact society and improve the quality of life. Scientific Change. How do scientific theories, concepts and methods change over time?

Answers to this question have historical parts and philosophical parts.

Scientific Change | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy