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Johannes Kepler

Johannes Kepler

German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer

Johannes Kepler, (born December 27, 1571, Weil der Stadt, Württemberg [Germany]—died November 15, 1630, Regensburg), German astronomer who discovered three major laws of planetary motion, conventionally designated as follows: (1) the planets move in elliptical orbits with the Sun at one focus; (2) the time necessary to traverse any arc of a planetary orbit is proportional to the area of the sector between the central body and that arc (the “area law”); and (3) there is an exact relationship between the squares of the planets’ periodic times and the cubes of the radii of their orbits (the “harmonic law”). Kepler himself did not call these discoveries “laws,” as would become customary after Isaac Newton derived them from a new and quite different set of general physical principles. He regarded them as celestial harmonies that reflected God’s design for the universe. Kepler’s discoveries turned Nicolaus Copernicus’s Sun-centred system into a dynamic universe, with the Sun actively pushing the planets around in noncircular orbits. And it was Kepler’s notion of a physical astronomy that fixed a new problematic for other important 17th-century world-system builders, the most famous of whom was Newton.

Timeline

December 27, 1571
Johannes Kepler was born in Weil der Stadt.

Patents

Further Resources

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

Johannes Kepler Biography

Web

June 1, 2012

Johannes Kepler: God's Mathematician

Web

November 22, 2019

Kepler's Three Laws Explained

Web

January 22, 2017

News

Title
Author
Date
Publisher
Description
August 7, 2021
The Wire Science
Even as materialist interpretations of the cosmos took the place of mythological ones through history, the idea that there might be other beings in the sky has stayed with us.
Sidney Perkowitz
November 25, 2020
Nautilus
The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics went to three researchers who confirmed that Einstein's general relativity predicts black holes,...By Sidney Perkowitz
Rebecca Boyle
December 22, 2019
Wired
A physicist's obsession with unusual snow crystals has led him to pursue a grand unified theory of how they form.
Rhett Allain
September 13, 2019
Wired
In science, progress is all about building a better model--explaining more with less.
Rhett Allain
September 13, 2019
Wired
In science, progress is all about building a better model--explaining more with less.
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