Scientific revolution is a concept used by historians to describe the
emergence of modern science during the early modern period, when
developments in mathematics, physics, astronomy, biology (including
human anatomy) and chemistry transformed the views of society about
nature. The scientific revolution took place in
Europe towards the end of the
Renaissance period and continued through
the late 18th century, influencing the intellectual social movement
known as the Enlightenment. While its dates are debated, the
publication in 1543 of Nicolaus Copernicus's De revolutionibus orbium
coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres) is often cited
as marking the beginning of the scientific revolution.
The concept of a scientific revolution taking place over an extended
period emerged in the eighteenth century in the work of Jean Sylvain
Bailly, who saw a two-stage process of sweeping away the old and
establishing the new. The beginning of the scientific revolution,
the Scientific Renaissance, was focused on the recovery of the
knowledge of the ancients; this is generally considered to have ended
in 1632 with publication of Galileo's
Dialogue Concerning the Two
Chief World Systems. The completion of the scientific revolution is
attributed to the "grand synthesis" of Isaac Newton's 1687 Principia,
that formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation, and
completed the synthesis of a new cosmology. By the end of the 18th
century, the scientific revolution had given way to the "Age of
2 Ancient and medieval background
3 Scientific method
3.2 Baconian science
3.3 Scientific experimentation
3.5 The mechanical philosophy
4 New ideas
4.2 Biology and Medicine
5 New mechanical devices
5.1 Calculating devices
5.2 Industrial machines
5.4 Other devices
5.5 Materials, construction, and aesthetics
6 Scientific developments
8 See also
10 Further reading
Great advances in science have been termed "revolutions" since the
18th century. In 1747, Clairaut wrote that "Newton was said in his own
lifetime to have created a revolution". The word was also used in
the preface to Lavoisier's 1789 work announcing the discovery of
oxygen. "Few revolutions in science have immediately excited so much
general notice as the introduction of the theory of oxygen ...
Lavoisier saw his theory accepted by all the most eminent men of his
time, and established over a great part of Europe within a few years
from its first promulgation."
In the 19th century,
William Whewell described the revolution in
science itself—the scientific method—that had taken place in the
15th–16th century. "Among the most conspicuous of the revolutions
which opinions on this subject have undergone, is the transition from
an implicit trust in the internal powers of man's mind to a professed
dependence upon external observation; and from an unbounded reverence
for the wisdom of the past, to a fervid expectation of change and
improvement." This gave rise to the common view of the scientific
"A new view of nature emerged, replacing the Greek view that had
dominated science for almost 2,000 years.
Science became an autonomous
discipline, distinct from both philosophy and technology and came to
be regarded as having utilitarian goals."
Galileo Galilei by Leoni
The scientific revolution is traditionally assumed to start with the
Copernican Revolution (initiated in 1543) and to be complete in the
"grand synthesis" of Isaac Newton's 1687 Principia. Much of the change
of attitude came from
Francis Bacon whose "confident and emphatic
announcement" in the modern progress of science inspired the creation
of scientific societies such as the Royal Society, and
championed Copernicus and developed the science of motion.
In the 20th century,
Alexandre Koyré introduced the term "scientific
revolution", centering his analysis on Galileo. The term was
popularized by Butterfield in his Origins of Modern Science. Thomas
Kuhn's 1962 work
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions emphasized
that different theoretical frameworks—such as Einstein's relativity
theory and Newton's theory of gravity, which it replaced—cannot be
The period saw a fundamental transformation in scientific ideas across
mathematics, physics, astronomy, and biology in institutions
supporting scientific investigation and in the more widely held
picture of the universe. The scientific revolution led to the
establishment of several modern sciences. In 1984, Joseph Ben-David
Rapid accumulation of knowledge, which has characterized the
development of science since the 17th century, had never occurred
before that time. The new kind of scientific activity emerged only in
a few countries of Western Europe, and it was restricted to that small
area for about two hundred years. (Since the 19th century, scientific
knowledge has been assimilated by the rest of the world).
Many contemporary writers and modern historians claim that there was a
revolutionary change in world view. In 1611 the English poet, John
Philosophy calls all in doubt,
The Element of fire is quite put out;
The Sun is lost, and th'earth, and no man's wit
Can well direct him where to look for it.
Herbert Butterfield was less disconcerted,
but nevertheless saw the change as fundamental:
Since that revolution turned the authority in English not only of the
Middle Ages but of the ancient world—since it started not only in
the eclipse of scholastic philosophy but in the destruction of
Aristotelian physics—it outshines everything since the rise of
Christianity and reduces the
Renaissance and Reformation to the rank
of mere episodes, mere internal displacements within the system of
medieval Christendom.... [It] looms so large as the real origin both
of the modern world and of the modern mentality that our customary
periodization of European history has become an anachronism and an
The history professor Peter Harrison attributes Christianity to having
contributed to the rise of the scientific revolution:
historians of science have long known that religious factors played a
significantly positive role in the emergence and persistence of modern
science in the West. Not only were many of the key figures in the rise
of science individuals with sincere religious commitments, but the new
approaches to nature that they pioneered were underpinned in various
ways by religious assumptions. ... Yet, many of the leading figures in
the scientific revolution imagined themselves to be champions of a
science that was more compatible with Christianity than the medieval
ideas about the natural world that they replaced.
Ancient and medieval background
Ptolemaic model of the spheres for Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.
Georg von Peuerbach, Theoricae novae planetarum, 1474.
Aristotelian Physics and
Science in the Middle
The scientific revolution was built upon the foundation of ancient
Greek learning and science in the Middle Ages, as it had been
elaborated and further developed by Roman/
Byzantine science and
medieval Islamic science. Some scholars have noted a direct tie
between "particular aspects of traditional Christianity" and the rise
of science. The "Aristotelian tradition" was still an
important intellectual framework in the 17th century, although by that
time natural philosophers had moved away from much of it. Key
scientific ideas dating back to classical antiquity had changed
drastically over the years, and in many cases been discredited. The
ideas that remained, which were transformed fundamentally during the
scientific revolution, include:
Aristotle's cosmology that placed the
Earth at the center of a
spherical hierarchic cosmos. The terrestrial and celestial regions
were made up of different elements which had different kinds of
The terrestrial region, according to Aristotle, consisted of
concentric spheres of the four elements—earth, water, air, and fire.
All bodies naturally moved in straight lines until they reached the
sphere appropriate to their elemental composition—their natural
place. All other terrestrial motions were non-natural, or
The celestial region was made up of the fifth element, aether, which
was unchanging and moved naturally with uniform circular motion.
In the Aristotelian tradition, astronomical theories sought to explain
the observed irregular motion of celestial objects through the
combined effects of multiple uniform circular motions.
The Ptolemaic model of planetary motion: based on the geometrical
model of Eudoxus of Cnidus, Ptolemy's Almagest, demonstrated that
calculations could compute the exact positions of the Sun, Moon,
stars, and planets in the future and in the past, and showed how these
computational models were derived from astronomical observations. As
such they formed the model for later astronomical developments. The
physical basis for Ptolemaic models invoked layers of spherical
shells, though the most complex models were inconsistent with this
It is important to note that ancient precedent existed for alternative
theories and developments which prefigured later discoveries in the
area of physics and mechanics; but in light of the limited number of
works to survive translation in a period when many books were lost to
warfare, such developments remained obscure for centuries and are
traditionally held to have had little effect on the re-discovery of
such phenomena; whereas the invention of the printing press made the
wide dissemination of such incremental advances of knowledge
commonplace. Meanwhile, however, significant progress in geometry,
mathematics, and astronomy was made in medieval times.
It is also true that many of the important figures of the scientific
revolution shared in the general
Renaissance respect for ancient
learning and cited ancient pedigrees for their innovations. Nicolaus
(1564–1642), Kepler (1571–1630) and Newton
(1642–1727), all traced different ancient and medieval
ancestries for the heliocentric system. In the Axioms Scholium of his
Principia, Newton said its axiomatic three laws of motion were already
accepted by mathematicians such as Huygens (1629–1695), Wallace,
Wren and others. While preparing a revised edition of his Principia,
Newton attributed his law of gravity and his first law of motion to a
range of historical figures.
Despite these qualifications, the standard theory of the history of
the scientific revolution claims that the 17th century was a period of
revolutionary scientific changes. Not only were there revolutionary
theoretical and experimental developments, but that even more
importantly, the way in which scientists worked was radically changed.
For instance, although intimations of the concept of inertia are
suggested sporadically in ancient discussion of motion, the
salient point is that Newton's theory differed from ancient
understandings in key ways, such as an external force being a
requirement for violent motion in Aristotle's theory.
Under the scientific method as conceived in the 17th century, natural
and artificial circumstances were set aside as a research tradition of
systematic experimentation was slowly accepted by the scientific
community. The philosophy of using an inductive approach to obtain
knowledge — to abandon assumption and to attempt to observe with an
open mind — was in contrast with the earlier, Aristotelian approach
of deduction, by which analysis of known facts produced further
understanding. In practice, many scientists and philosophers believed
that a healthy mix of both was needed — the willingness to question
assumptions, yet also to interpret observations assumed to have some
degree of validity.
By the end of the scientific revolution the qualitative world of
book-reading philosophers had been changed into a mechanical,
mathematical world to be known through experimental research. Though
it is certainly not true that
Newtonian science was like modern
science in all respects, it conceptually resembled ours in many ways.
Many of the hallmarks of modern science, especially with regard to its
institutionalization and professionalization, did not become standard
until the mid-19th century.
The Aristotelian scientific tradition's primary mode of interacting
with the world was through observation and searching for "natural"
circumstances through reasoning. Coupled with this approach was the
belief that rare events which seemed to contradict theoretical models
were aberrations, telling nothing about nature as it "naturally" was.
During the scientific revolution, changing perceptions about the role
of the scientist in respect to nature, the value of evidence,
experimental or observed, led towards a scientific methodology in
which empiricism played a large, but not absolute, role.
By the start of the scientific revolution, empiricism had already
become an important component of science and natural philosophy. Prior
thinkers, including the early 14th century nominalist philosopher
William of Ockham, had begun the intellectual movement toward
The term British empiricism came into use to describe philosophical
differences perceived between two of its founders Francis Bacon,
described as empiricist, and René Descartes, who was described as a
rationalist. Thomas Hobbes, George Berkeley, and
David Hume were the
philosophy's primary exponents, who developed a sophisticated
empirical tradition as the basis of human knowledge.
An influential formulation of empiricism was John Locke's An Essay
Concerning Human Understanding (1689), in which he maintained that the
only true knowledge that could be accessible to the human mind was
that which was based on experience. He wrote that the human mind was
created as a tabula rasa, a "blank tablet," upon which sensory
impressions were recorded and built up knowledge through a process of
Francis Bacon was a pivotal figure in establishing the scientific
method of investigation. Portrait by
Frans Pourbus the Younger
Frans Pourbus the Younger (1617).
The philosophical underpinnings of the scientific revolution were laid
out by Francis Bacon, who has been called the father of
empiricism. His works established and popularised inductive
methodologies for scientific inquiry, often called the Baconian
method, or simply the scientific method. His demand for a planned
procedure of investigating all things natural marked a new turn in the
rhetorical and theoretical framework for science, much of which still
surrounds conceptions of proper methodology today.
Bacon proposed a great reformation of all process of knowledge for the
advancement of learning divine and human, which he called Instauratio
Magna (The Great Instauration). For Bacon, this reformation would lead
to a great advancement in science and a progeny of new inventions that
would relieve mankind's miseries and needs. His
Novum Organum was
published in 1620. He argued that man is "the minister and interpreter
of nature", that "knowledge and human power are synonymous", that
"effects are produced by the means of instruments and helps", and that
"man while operating can only apply or withdraw natural bodies; nature
internally performs the rest", and later that "nature can only be
commanded by obeying her". Here is an abstract of the philosophy
of this work, that by the knowledge of nature and the using of
instruments, man can govern or direct the natural work of nature to
produce definite results. Therefore, that man, by seeking knowledge of
nature, can reach power over it – and thus reestablish the "Empire
of Man over creation", which had been lost by the Fall together with
man's original purity. In this way, he believed, would mankind be
raised above conditions of helplessness, poverty and misery, while
coming into a condition of peace, prosperity and security.
For this purpose of obtaining knowledge of and power over nature,
Bacon outlined in this work a new system of logic he believed to be
superior to the old ways of syllogism, developing his scientific
method, consisting of procedures for isolating the formal cause of a
phenomenon (heat, for example) through eliminative induction. For him,
the philosopher should proceed through inductive reasoning from fact
to axiom to physical law. Before beginning this induction, though, the
enquirer must free his or her mind from certain false notions or
tendencies which distort the truth. In particular, he found that
philosophy was too preoccupied with words, particularly discourse and
debate, rather than actually observing the material world: "For while
men believe their reason governs words, in fact, words turn back and
reflect their power upon the understanding, and so render philosophy
and science sophistical and inactive."
Bacon considered that it is of greatest importance to science not to
keep doing intellectual discussions or seeking merely contemplative
aims, but that it should work for the bettering of mankind's life by
bringing forth new inventions, having even stated that "inventions are
also, as it were, new creations and imitations of divine
works".[page needed] He explored the far-reaching and
world-changing character of inventions, such as the printing press,
gunpowder and the compass.
Bacon first described the experimental method.
There remains simple experience; which, if taken as it comes, is
called accident, if sought for, experiment. The true method of
experience first lights the candle [hypothesis], and then by means of
the candle shows the way [arranges and delimits the experiment];
commencing as it does with experience duly ordered and digested, not
bungling or erratic, and from it deducing axioms [theories], and from
established axioms again new experiments.
— Francis Bacon. Novum Organum. 1620.
William Gilbert was an early advocate of this method. He passionately
rejected both the prevailing
Aristotelian philosophy and the
Scholastic method of university teaching. His book
De Magnete was
written in 1600, and he is regarded by some as the father of
electricity and magnetism. In this work, he describes many of his
experiments with his model
Earth called the terrella. From these
experiments, he concluded that the
Earth was itself magnetic and that
this was the reason compasses point north.
Diagram from William Gilbert's De Magnete, a pioneering work of
De Magnete was influential not only because of the inherent interest
of its subject matter, but also for the rigorous way in which Gilbert
described his experiments and his rejection of ancient theories of
magnetism. According to Thomas Thomson, "Gilbert['s]... book on
magnetism published in 1600, is one of the finest examples of
inductive philosophy that has ever been presented to the world. It is
the more remarkable, because it preceded the
Novum Organum of Bacon,
in which the inductive method of philosophizing was first
Galileo Galilei has been called the "father of modern observational
astronomy", the "father of modern physics", the "father of
science", and "the Father of Modern Science". His original
contributions to the science of motion were made through an innovative
combination of experiment and mathematics.
On this page
Galileo Galilei first noted the moons of Jupiter. Galileo
revolutionized the study of the natural world with his rigorous
Galileo was one of the first modern thinkers to clearly state that the
laws of nature are mathematical. In
The Assayer he wrote "Philosophy
is written in this grand book, the universe ... It is written in
the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles,
circles, and other geometric figures;...." His mathematical
analyses are a further development of a tradition employed by late
scholastic natural philosophers, which
Galileo learned when he studied
philosophy. He ignored Aristotelianism. In broader terms, his work
marked another step towards the eventual separation of science from
both philosophy and religion; a major development in human thought. He
was often willing to change his views in accordance with observation.
In order to perform his experiments,
Galileo had to set up standards
of length and time, so that measurements made on different days and in
different laboratories could be compared in a reproducible fashion.
This provided a reliable foundation on which to confirm mathematical
laws using inductive reasoning.
Galileo showed an appreciation for the relationship between
mathematics, theoretical physics, and experimental physics. He
understood the parabola, both in terms of conic sections and in terms
of the ordinate (y) varying as the square of the abscissa (x). Galilei
further asserted that the parabola was the theoretically ideal
trajectory of a uniformly accelerated projectile in the absence of
friction and other disturbances. He conceded that there are limits to
the validity of this theory, noting on theoretical grounds that a
projectile trajectory of a size comparable to that of the
not possibly be a parabola, but he nevertheless maintained that
for distances up to the range of the artillery of his day, the
deviation of a projectile's trajectory from a parabola would be only
Scientific knowledge, according to the Aristotelians, was concerned
with establishing true and necessary causes of things. To the
extent that medieval natural philosophers used mathematical problems,
they limited social studies to theoretical analyses of local speed and
other aspects of life. The actual measurement of a physical
quantity, and the comparison of that measurement to a value computed
on the basis of theory, was largely limited to the mathematical
disciplines of astronomy and optics in Europe.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, European scientists began increasingly
applying quantitative measurements to the measurement of physical
phenomena on the Earth.
Galileo maintained strongly that mathematics
provided a kind of necessary certainty that could be compared to
God's: "...with regard to those few [mathematical propositions] which
the human intellect does understand, I believe its knowledge equals
the Divine in objective certainty..."
Galileo anticipates the concept of a systematic mathematical
interpretation of the world in his book Il Saggiatore:
Philosophy [i.e., physics] is written in this grand book—I mean the
universe—which stands continually open to our gaze, but it cannot be
understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and
interpret the characters in which it is written. It is written in the
language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles,
and other geometrical figures, without which it is humanly impossible
to understand a single word of it; without these, one is wandering
around in a dark labyrinth.
The mechanical philosophy
Isaac Newton in a 1702 portrait by Godfrey Kneller
Main article: Mechanical philosophy
Aristotle recognized four kinds of causes, and where applicable, the
most important of them is the "final cause". The final cause was the
aim, goal, or purpose of some natural process or man-made thing. Until
the scientific revolution, it was very natural to see such aims, such
as a child's growth, for example, leading to a mature adult.
Intelligence was assumed only in the purpose of man-made artifacts; it
was not attributed to other animals or to nature.
In "mechanical philosophy" no field or action at a distance is
permitted, particles or corpuscles of matter are fundamentally inert.
Motion is caused by direct physical collision. Where natural
substances had previously been understood organically, the mechanical
philosophers viewed them as machines. As a result, Isaac Newton's
theory seemed like some kind of throwback to "spooky action at a
distance". According to Thomas Kuhn, Newton and Descartes held the
teleological principle that God conserved the amount of motion in the
Gravity, interpreted as an innate attraction between every pair of
particles of matter, was an occult quality in the same sense as the
scholastics' "tendency to fall" had been.... By the mid eighteenth
century that interpretation had been almost universally accepted, and
the result was a genuine reversion (which is not the same as a
retrogression) to a scholastic standard. Innate attractions and
repulsions joined size, shape, position and motion as physically
irreducible primary properties of matter.
Newton had also specifically attributed the inherent power of inertia
to matter, against the mechanist thesis that matter has no inherent
powers. But whereas Newton vehemently denied gravity was an inherent
power of matter, his collaborator
Roger Cotes made gravity also an
inherent power of matter, as set out in his famous preface to the
Principia's 1713 second edition which he edited, and contradicted
Newton himself. And it was Cotes's interpretation of gravity rather
than Newton's that came to be accepted.
Royal Society had its origins in Gresham College, and was the
first scientific society in the world.
The first moves towards the institutionalization of scientific
investigation and dissemination took the form of the establishment of
societies, where new discoveries were aired, discussed and published.
The first scientific society to be established was the Royal Society
of London. This grew out of an earlier group, centred around Gresham
College in the 1640s and 1650s. According to a history of the College:
The scientific network which centred on
Gresham College played a
crucial part in the meetings which led to the formation of the Royal
These physicians and natural philosophers were influenced by the "new
science", as promoted by
Francis Bacon in his New Atlantis, from
approximately 1645 onwards. A group known as The Philosophical Society
of Oxford was run under a set of rules still retained by the Bodleian
On 28 November 1660, the 1660 committee of 12 announced the formation
of a "College for the Promoting of Physico-Mathematical Experimental
Learning", which would meet weekly to discuss science and run
experiments. At the second meeting,
Robert Moray announced that the
King approved of the gatherings, and a
Royal charter was signed on 15
July 1662 creating the "
Royal Society of London", with Lord Brouncker
serving as the first President. A second Royal Charter was signed on
23 April 1663, with the King noted as the Founder and with the name of
Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural
Robert Hooke was appointed as Curator of Experiments in
November. This initial royal favour has continued, and since then
every monarch has been the patron of the Society.
Academy of Sciences
Academy of Sciences was established in 1666.
The Society's first Secretary was Henry Oldenburg. Its early meetings
included experiments performed first by
Robert Hooke and then by Denis
Papin, who was appointed in 1684. These experiments varied in their
subject area, and were both important in some cases and trivial in
others. The society began publication of Philosophical
Transactions from 1665, the oldest and longest-running scientific
journal in the world, which established the important principles of
scientific priority and peer review.
The French established the
Academy of Sciences
Academy of Sciences in 1666. In contrast to
the private origins of its British counterpart, the Academy was
founded as a government body by Jean-Baptiste Colbert. Its rules were
set down in 1699 by King Louis XIV, when it received the name of
'Royal Academy of Sciences' and was installed in the
Louvre in Paris.
As the scientific revolution was not marked by any single change, the
following new ideas contributed to what is called the scientific
revolution. Many of them were revolutions in their own fields.
For almost five millennia, the geocentric model of the
Earth as the
center of the universe had been accepted by all but a few astronomers.
In Aristotle's cosmology, Earth's central location was perhaps less
significant than its identification as a realm of imperfection,
inconstancy, irregularity and change, as opposed to the "heavens"
(Moon, Sun, planets, stars), which were regarded as perfect,
permanent, unchangeable, and in religious thought, the realm of
heavenly beings. The
Earth was even composed of different material,
the four elements "earth", "water", "fire", and "air", while
sufficiently far above its surface (roughly the Moon's orbit), the
heavens were composed of different substance called "aether". The
heliocentric model that replaced it involved not only the radical
displacement of the earth to an orbit around the sun, but its sharing
a placement with the other planets implied a universe of heavenly
components made from the same changeable substances as the Earth.
Heavenly motions no longer needed to be governed by a theoretical
perfection, confined to circular orbits.
Portrait of Johannes Kepler
Copernicus' 1543 work on the heliocentric model of the solar system
tried to demonstrate that the sun was the center of the universe. Few
were bothered by this suggestion, and the pope and several archbishops
were interested enough by it to want more detail. His model was
later used to create the calendar of Pope Gregory XIII. However,
the idea that the earth moved around the sun was doubted by most of
Copernicus' contemporaries. It contradicted not only empirical
observation, due to the absence of an observable stellar parallax,
but more significantly at the time, the authority of Aristotle.
The discoveries of
Johannes Kepler and
Galileo gave the theory
credibility. Kepler was an astronomer who, using the accurate
observations of Tycho Brahe, proposed that the planets move around the
sun not in circular orbits, but in elliptical ones. Together with his
other laws of planetary motion, this allowed him to create a model of
the solar system that was an improvement over Copernicus' original
system. Galileo's main contributions to the acceptance of the
heliocentric system were his mechanics, the observations he made with
his telescope, as well as his detailed presentation of the case for
the system. Using an early theory of inertia,
Galileo could explain
why rocks dropped from a tower fall straight down even if the earth
rotates. His observations of the moons of Jupiter, the phases of
Venus, the spots on the sun, and mountains on the moon all helped to
Aristotelian philosophy and the Ptolemaic theory of the
solar system. Through their combined discoveries, the heliocentric
system gained support, and at the end of the 17th century it was
generally accepted by astronomers.
This work culminated in the work of Isaac Newton. Newton's Principia
formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation, which
dominated scientists' view of the physical universe for the next three
centuries. By deriving
Kepler's laws of planetary motion
Kepler's laws of planetary motion from his
mathematical description of gravity, and then using the same
principles to account for the trajectories of comets, the tides, the
precession of the equinoxes, and other phenomena, Newton removed the
last doubts about the validity of the heliocentric model of the
cosmos. This work also demonstrated that the motion of objects on
Earth and of celestial bodies could be described by the same
principles. His prediction that the
Earth should be shaped as an
oblate spheroid was later vindicated by other scientists. His laws of
motion were to be the solid foundation of mechanics; his law of
universal gravitation combined terrestrial and celestial mechanics
into one great system that seemed to be able to describe the whole
world in mathematical formulae.
Isaac Newton's Principia, developed the first set of unified
As well as proving the heliocentric model, Newton also developed the
theory of gravitation. In 1679, Newton began to consider gravitation
and its effect on the orbits of planets with reference to Kepler's
laws of planetary motion. This followed stimulation by a brief
exchange of letters in 1679–80 with Robert Hooke, who had been
appointed to manage the Royal Society's correspondence, and who opened
a correspondence intended to elicit contributions from Newton to Royal
Society transactions. Newton's reawakening interest in
astronomical matters received further stimulus by the appearance of a
comet in the winter of 1680–1681, on which he corresponded with John
Flamsteed. After the exchanges with Hooke, Newton worked out proof
that the elliptical form of planetary orbits would result from a
centripetal force inversely proportional to the square of the radius
Newton's law of universal gravitation
Newton's law of universal gravitation – History and De
motu corporum in gyrum). Newton communicated his results to Edmond
Halley and to the
Royal Society in De motu corporum in gyrum, in
1684. This tract contained the nucleus that Newton developed and
expanded to form the Principia.
The Principia was published on 5 July 1687 with encouragement and
financial help from Edmond Halley. In this work, Newton stated the
three universal laws of motion that contributed to many advances
Industrial Revolution which soon followed and were not to
be improved upon for more than 200 years. Many of these advancements
continue to be the underpinnings of non-relativistic technologies in
the modern world. He used the Latin word gravitas (weight) for the
effect that would become known as gravity, and defined the law of
Newton's postulate of an invisible force able to act over vast
distances led to him being criticised for introducing "occult
agencies" into science. Later, in the second edition of the
Principia (1713), Newton firmly rejected such criticisms in a
concluding General Scholium, writing that it was enough that the
phenomena implied a gravitational attraction, as they did; but they
did not so far indicate its cause, and it was both unnecessary and
improper to frame hypotheses of things that were not implied by the
phenomena. (Here Newton used what became his famous expression
"hypotheses non fingo").
Biology and Medicine
Vesalius's intricately detailed drawings of human dissections in
Fabrica helped to overturn the medical theories of Galen.
The writings of Greek physician
Galen had dominated European medical
thinking for over a millennium. The Flemish scholar Vesalius
demonstrated mistakes in the Galen's ideas. Vesalius dissected human
Galen dissected animal corpses. Published in 1543,
Vesalius' De humani corporis fabrica was a groundbreaking work of
human anatomy. It emphasized the priority of dissection and what has
come to be called the "anatomical" view of the body, seeing human
internal functioning as an essentially corporeal structure filled with
organs arranged in three-dimensional space. This was in stark contrast
to many of the anatomical models used previously, which had strong
Galenic/Aristotelean elements, as well as elements of astrology.
Besides the first good description of the sphenoid bone, he showed
that the sternum consists of three portions and the sacrum of five or
six; and described accurately the vestibule in the interior of the
temporal bone. He not only verified the observation of Etienne on the
valves of the hepatic veins, but he described the vena azygos, and
discovered the canal which passes in the fetus between the umbilical
vein and the vena cava, since named ductus venosus. He described the
omentum, and its connections with the stomach, the spleen and the
colon; gave the first correct views of the structure of the pylorus;
observed the small size of the caecal appendix in man; gave the first
good account of the mediastinum and pleura and the fullest description
of the anatomy of the brain yet advanced. He did not understand the
inferior recesses; and his account of the nerves is confused by
regarding the optic as the first pair, the third as the fifth and the
fifth as the seventh.
Further groundbreaking work was carried out by William Harvey, who
published De Motu Cordis in 1628. Harvey made a detailed analysis of
the overall structure of the heart, going on to an analysis of the
arteries, showing how their pulsation depends upon the contraction of
the left ventricle, while the contraction of the right ventricle
propels its charge of blood into the pulmonary artery. He noticed that
the two ventricles move together almost simultaneously and not
independently like had been thought previously by his
Image of veins from William Harvey's Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu
Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus. Harvey demonstrated that blood
circulated around the body, rather than being created in the liver.
In the eighth chapter, Harvey estimated the capacity of the heart, how
much blood is expelled through each pump of the heart, and the number
of times the heart beats in a half an hour. From these estimations, he
demonstrated that according to Gaelen's theory that blood was
continually produced in the liver, the absurdly large figure of 540
pounds of blood would have to be produced every day. Having this
simple mathematical proportion at hand – which would imply a
seemingly impossible role for the liver – Harvey went on to
demonstrate how the blood circulated in a circle by means of countless
experiments initially done on serpents and fish: tying their veins and
arteries in separate periods of time, Harvey noticed the modifications
which occurred; indeed, as he tied the veins, the heart would become
empty, while as he did the same to the arteries, the organ would swell
This process was later performed on the human body (in the image on
the left): the physician tied a tight ligature onto the upper arm of a
person. This would cut off blood flow from the arteries and the veins.
When this was done, the arm below the ligature was cool and pale,
while above the ligature it was warm and swollen. The ligature was
loosened slightly, which allowed blood from the arteries to come into
the arm, since arteries are deeper in the flesh than the veins. When
this was done, the opposite effect was seen in the lower arm. It was
now warm and swollen. The veins were also more visible, since now they
were full of blood.
Various other advances in medical understanding and practice were
made. French physician
Pierre Fauchard started dentistry science as we
know it today, and he has been named "the father of modern dentistry".
Ambroise Paré (c.1510–1590) was a leader in surgical
techniques and battlefield medicine, especially the treatment of
Herman Boerhaave (1668–1738) is sometimes referred
to as a "father of physiology" due to his exemplary teaching in Leiden
and his textbook Institutiones medicae (1708).
Title page from The Sceptical Chymist, a foundational text of
chemistry, written by
Robert Boyle in 1661
Chemistry, and its antecedent alchemy, became an increasingly
important aspect of scientific thought in the course of the 16th and
17th centuries. The importance of chemistry is indicated by the range
of important scholars who actively engaged in chemical research. Among
them were the astronomer Tycho Brahe, the chemical physician
Paracelsus, Robert Boyle,
Thomas Browne and Isaac Newton. Unlike the
mechanical philosophy, the chemical philosophy stressed the active
powers of matter, which alchemists frequently expressed in terms of
vital or active principles—of spirits operating in nature.
Practical attempts to improve the refining of ores and their
extraction to smelt metals was an important source of information for
early chemists in the 16th century, among them Georg Agricola
(1494–1555), who published his great work
De re metallica
De re metallica in
1556. His work describes the highly developed and complex
processes of mining metal ores, metal extraction and metallurgy of the
time. His approach removed the mysticism associated with the subject,
creating the practical base upon which others could build.
Robert Boyle (1627–1691) is considered to have
refined the modern scientific method for alchemy and to have separated
chemistry further from alchemy. Although his research clearly has
its roots in the alchemical tradition, Boyle is largely regarded today
as the first modern chemist, and therefore one of the founders of
modern chemistry, and one of the pioneers of modern experimental
scientific method. Although Boyle was not the original discover, he is
best known for Boyle's law, which he presented in 1662: the law
describes the inversely proportional relationship between the absolute
pressure and volume of a gas, if the temperature is kept constant
within a closed system.
Boyle is also credited for his landmark publication The Sceptical
Chymist in 1661, which is seen as a cornerstone book in the field of
chemistry. In the work, Boyle presents his hypothesis that every
phenomenon was the result of collisions of particles in motion. Boyle
appealed to chemists to experiment and asserted that experiments
denied the limiting of chemical elements to only the classic four:
earth, fire, air, and water. He also pleaded that chemistry should
cease to be subservient to medicine or to alchemy, and rise to the
status of a science. Importantly, he advocated a rigorous approach to
scientific experiment: he believed all theories must be tested
experimentally before being regarded as true. The work contains some
of the earliest modern ideas of atoms, molecules, and chemical
reaction, and marks the beginning of the history of modern chemistry.
Opticks or a treatise of the reflections, refractions,
inflections and colours of light
Important work was done in the field of optics. Johannes Kepler
published Astronomiae Pars Optica (The Optical Part of Astronomy) in
1604. In it, he described the inverse-square law governing the
intensity of light, reflection by flat and curved mirrors, and
principles of pinhole cameras, as well as the astronomical
implications of optics such as parallax and the apparent sizes of
heavenly bodies. Astronomiae Pars Optica is generally recognized as
the foundation of modern optics (though the law of refraction is
Willebrord Snellius (1580–1626) found the mathematical law of
refraction, now known as Snell's law, in 1621. Subsequently René
Descartes (1596–1650) showed, by using geometric construction and
the law of refraction (also known as Descartes' law), that the angular
radius of a rainbow is 42° (i.e. the angle subtended at the eye by
the edge of the rainbow and the rainbow's centre is 42°). He also
independently discovered the law of reflection, and his essay on
optics was the first published mention of this law.
Christiaan Huygens (1629–1695) wrote several works in the area of
optics. These included the Opera reliqua (also known as Christiani
Hugenii Zuilichemii, dum viveret Zelhemii toparchae, opuscula
posthuma) and the Traité de la lumière.
Isaac Newton investigated the refraction of light, demonstrating that
a prism could decompose white light into a spectrum of colours, and
that a lens and a second prism could recompose the multicoloured
spectrum into white light. He also showed that the coloured light does
not change its properties by separating out a coloured beam and
shining it on various objects. Newton noted that regardless of whether
it was reflected or scattered or transmitted, it stayed the same
colour. Thus, he observed that colour is the result of objects
interacting with already-coloured light rather than objects generating
the colour themselves. This is known as Newton's theory of colour.
From this work he concluded that any refracting telescope would suffer
from the dispersion of light into colours. The interest of the Royal
Society encouraged him to publish his notes On Colour (later expanded
into Opticks). Newton argued that light is composed of particles or
corpuscles and were refracted by accelerating toward the denser
medium, but he had to associate them with waves to explain the
diffraction of light.
In his Hypothesis of Light of 1675, Newton posited the existence of
the ether to transmit forces between particles. In 1704, Newton
published Opticks, in which he expounded his corpuscular theory of
light. He considered light to be made up of extremely subtle
corpuscles, that ordinary matter was made of grosser corpuscles and
speculated that through a kind of alchemical transmutation "Are not
gross Bodies and Light convertible into one another, ...and may not
Bodies receive much of their Activity from the Particles of Light
which enter their Composition?"
Otto von Guericke's experiments on electrostatics, published 1672
Dr. William Gilbert, in De Magnete, invented the
New Latin word
electricus from ἤλεκτρον (elektron), the Greek word for
"amber". Gilbert undertook a number of careful electrical experiments,
in the course of which he discovered that many substances other than
amber, such as sulphur, wax, glass, etc., were capable of
manifesting electrical properties. Gilbert also discovered that a
heated body lost its electricity and that moisture prevented the
electrification of all bodies, due to the now well-known fact that
moisture impaired the insulation of such bodies. He also noticed that
electrified substances attracted all other substances
indiscriminately, whereas a magnet only attracted iron. The many
discoveries of this nature earned for Gilbert the title of founder of
the electrical science. By investigating the forces on a light
metallic needle, balanced on a point, he extended the list of electric
bodies, and found also that many substances, including metals and
natural magnets, showed no attractive forces when rubbed. He noticed
that dry weather with north or east wind was the most favourable
atmospheric condition for exhibiting electric phenomena—an
observation liable to misconception until the difference between
conductor and insulator was understood.
Robert Boyle also worked frequently at the new science of electricity,
and added several substances to Gilbert's list of electrics. He left a
detailed account of his researches under the title of Experiments on
the Origin of Electricity. Boyle, in 1675, stated that electric
attraction and repulsion can act across a vacuum. One of his important
discoveries was that electrified bodies in a vacuum would attract
light substances, this indicating that the electrical effect did not
depend upon the air as a medium. He also added resin to the then known
list of electrics.
This was followed in 1660 by Otto von Guericke, who invented an early
electrostatic generator. By the end of the 17th Century, researchers
had developed practical means of generating electricity by friction
with an electrostatic generator, but the development of electrostatic
machines did not begin in earnest until the 18th century, when they
became fundamental instruments in the studies about the new science of
electricity. The first usage of the word electricity is ascribed to
Thomas Browne in his 1646 work, Pseudodoxia Epidemica. In 1729
Stephen Gray (1666–1736) demonstrated that electricity could be
"transmitted" through metal filaments.
New mechanical devices
As an aid to scientific investigation, various tools, measuring aids
and calculating devices were developed in this period.
An ivory set of Napier's Bones, an early calculating device invented
by John Napier
John Napier introduced logarithms as a powerful mathematical tool.
With the help of the prominent mathematician Henry Briggs their
logarithmic tables embodied a computational advance that made
calculations by hand much quicker. His
Napier's bones used a set
of numbered rods as a multiplication tool using the system of lattice
multiplication. The way was opened to later scientific advances,
particularly in astronomy and dynamics.
At Oxford University,
Edmund Gunter built the first analog device to
aid computation. The 'Gunter's scale' was a large plane scale,
engraved with various scales, or lines. Natural lines, such as the
line of chords, the line of sines and tangents are placed on one side
of the scale and the corresponding artificial or logarithmic ones were
on the other side. This calculating aid was a predecessor of the slide
rule. It was
William Oughtred (1575–1660) who first used two such
scales sliding by one another to perform direct multiplication and
division, and thus is credited as the inventor of the slide rule in
Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) invented the mechanical calculator in
1642. The introduction of his
Pascaline in 1645 launched the
development of mechanical calculators first in Europe and then all
over the world.
Gottfried Leibniz (1646–1716), building on
Pascal's work, became one of the most prolific inventors in the field
of mechanical calculators; he was the first to describe a pinwheel
calculator, in 1685, and invented the Leibniz wheel, used in the
arithmometer, the first mass-produced mechanical calculator. He also
refined the binary number system, foundation of virtually all modern
John Hadley (1682–1744) was the inventor of the octant, the
precursor to the sextant (invented by John Bird), which greatly
improved the science of navigation.
The 1698 Savery Engine was the first successful steam engine
Denis Papin (1647–1712) was best known for his pioneering invention
of the steam digester, the forerunner of the steam engine. The
first working steam engine was patented in 1698 by the inventor Thomas
Savery, as a "...new invention for raising of water and occasioning
motion to all sorts of mill work by the impellent force of fire, which
will be of great use and advantage for drayning mines, serveing townes
with water, and for the working of all sorts of mills where they have
not the benefitt of water nor constant windes." [sic] The
invention was demonstrated to the
Royal Society on 14 June 1699 and
the machine was described by Savery in his book The Miner's Friend;
or, An Engine to Raise Water by Fire (1702), in which he claimed
that it could pump water out of mines.
Thomas Newcomen (1664–1729)
perfected the practical steam engine for pumping water, the Newcomen
steam engine. Consequently,
Thomas Newcomen can be regarded as a
forefather of the Industrial Revolution.
Abraham Darby I
Abraham Darby I (1678–1717) was the first, and most famous, of three
generations of the Darby family who played an important role in the
Industrial Revolution. He developed a method of producing high-grade
iron in a blast furnace fueled by coke rather than charcoal. This was
a major step forward in the production of iron as a raw material for
the Industrial Revolution.
Refracting telescopes first appeared in the
Netherlands in 1608,
apparently the product of spectacle makers experimenting with lenses.
The inventor is unknown but
Hans Lippershey applied for the first
patent, followed by
Jacob Metius of Alkmaar.
Galileo was one of
the first scientists to use this new tool for his astronomical
observations in 1609.
The reflecting telescope was described by James Gregory in his book
Optica Promota (1663). He argued that a mirror shaped like the part of
a conic section, would correct the spherical aberration that flawed
the accuracy of refracting telescopes. His design, the "Gregorian
telescope", however, remained un-built.
Isaac Newton argued that the faults of the refracting
telescope were fundamental because the lens refracted light of
different colors differently. He concluded that light could not be
refracted through a lens without causing chromatic aberrations.
From these experiments Newton concluded that no improvement could be
made in the refracting telescope. However, he was able to
demonstrate that the angle of reflection remained the same for all
colors, so he decided to build a reflecting telescope. It was
completed in 1668 and is the earliest known functional reflecting
50 years later,
John Hadley developed ways to make precision aspheric
and parabolic objective mirrors for reflecting telescopes, building
the first parabolic
Newtonian telescope and a
Gregorian telescope with
accurately shaped mirrors. These were successfully
demonstrated to the Royal Society.
Air pump built by Robert Boyle. Many new instruments were devised in
this period, which greatly aided in the expansion of scientific
The invention of the vacuum pump paved the way for the experiments of
Robert Boyle and
Robert Hooke into the nature of vacuum and
atmospheric pressure. The first such device was made by Otto von
Guericke in 1654. It consisted of a piston and an air gun cylinder
with flaps that could suck the air from any vessel that it was
connected to. In 1657, he pumped the air out of two conjoined
hemispheres and demonstrated that a team of sixteen horses were
incapable of pulling it apart. The air pump construction was
greatly improved by
Robert Hooke in 1658.
Evangelista Torricelli (1607–1647) was best known for his invention
of the mercury barometer. The motivation for the invention was to
improve on the suction pumps that were used to raise water out of the
mines. Torricelli constructed a sealed tube filled with mercury, set
vertically into a basin of the same substance. The column of mercury
fell downwards, leaving a Torricellian vacuum above.
Materials, construction, and aesthetics
Surviving instruments from this period, tend to be
made of durable metals such as brass, gold, or steel, although
examples such as telescopes made of wood, pasteboard, or with
leather components exist. Those instruments that exist in
collections today tend to be robust examples, made by skilled
craftspeople for and at the expense of wealthy patrons. These may
have been commissioned as displays of wealth. In addition, the
instruments preserved in collections may not have received heavy use
in scientific work; instruments that had visibly received heavy use
were typically destroyed, deemed unfit for display, or excluded from
collections altogether. It is also postulated that the scientific
instruments preserved in many collections were chosen because they
were more appealing to collectors, by virtue of being more ornate,
more portable, or made with higher-grade materials.
Intact air pumps are particularly rare. The pump at right
included a glass sphere to permit demonstrations inside the vacuum
chamber, a common use. The base was wooden, and the cylindrical pump
was brass. Other vacuum chambers that survived were made of brass
Instrument makers of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century
were commissioned by organizations seeking help with navigation,
surveying, warfare, and astronomical observation. The increase in
uses for such instruments, and their widespread use in global
exporation and conflict, created a need for new methods of manufacture
and repair, which would be met by the Industrial Revolution.
People and key ideas that emerged from the 16th and 17th centuries:
First printed edition of
Euclid's Elements in 1482.
Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543) published On the Revolutions of the
Heavenly Spheres in 1543, which advanced the heliocentric theory of
Andreas Vesalius (1514–1564) published De Humani Corporis Fabrica
(On the Structure of the Human Body) (1543), which discredited Galen's
views. He found that the circulation of blood resolved from pumping of
the heart. He also assembled the first human skeleton from cutting
Franciscus Vieta (1540–1603) published In Artem Analycitem Isagoge
(1591), which gave the first symbolic notation of parameters in
William Gilbert (1544–1603) published On the Magnet and Magnetic
Bodies, and on the Great Magnet the
Earth in 1600, which laid the
foundations of a theory of magnetism and electricity.
Tycho Brahe (1546–1601) made extensive and more accurate naked eye
observations of the planets in the late 16th century. These became the
basic data for Kepler's studies.
Francis Bacon (1561–1626) published
Novum Organum in 1620, which
outlined a new system of logic based on the process of reduction,
which he offered as an improvement over Aristotle's philosophical
process of syllogism. This contributed to the development of what
became known as the scientific method.
Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) improved the telescope, with which he
made several important astronomical observations, including the four
largest moons of
Jupiter (1610), the phases of
Venus (1610 - proving
Copernicus correct), the rings of
Saturn (1610), and made detailed
observations of sunspots. He developed the laws for falling bodies
based on pioneering quantitative experiments which he analyzed
Johannes Kepler (1571–1630) published the first two of his three
laws of planetary motion in 1609.
William Harvey (1578–1657) demonstrated that blood circulates, using
dissections and other experimental techniques.
René Descartes (1596–1650) published his
Discourse on the Method
Discourse on the Method in
1637, which helped to establish the scientific method.
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (1632–1723) constructed powerful single lens
microscopes and made extensive observations that he published around
1660, opening up the micro-world of biology.
Christiaan Huygens (1629–1695) published major studies of mechanics
(he was the first one to correctly formulate laws concerning
centrifugal force and discovered the theory of the pendulum) and
optics (being one of the most influential proponents of the wave
theory of light).
Isaac Newton (1643–1727) built upon the work of Kepler,
Huygens. He showed that an inverse square law for gravity explained
the elliptical orbits of the planets, and advanced the law of
universal gravitation. His development of infinitesimal calculus
(along with Leibniz) opened up new applications of the methods of
mathematics to science. Newton taught that scientific theory should be
coupled with rigorous experimentation, which became the keystone of
See also: Continuity thesis
Matteo Ricci (left) and
Xu Guangqi (right) in Athanasius Kircher, La
Chine ... Illustrée, Amsterdam, 1670.
The idea that modern science took place as a kind a revolution has
been debated among historians. A weakness of the idea of scientific
revolution is the lack of a systematic approach to the question of
knowledge in the period comprehended between the 14th and 17th
centuries, leading to misunderstandings on the value and role of
modern authors. From this standpoint, the continuity thesis is the
hypothesis that there was no radical discontinuity between the
intellectual development of the
Middle Ages and the developments in
Renaissance and early modern period and has been deeply and widely
documented by the works of scholars like Pierre Duhem, John Hermann
Randall, Alistair Crombie and William A. Wallace, who proved the
preexistence of a wide range of ideas used by the followers of the
scientific revolution thesis to substantiate their claims. Thus, the
idea of a scientific revolution following the Renaissance
is—according to the continuity thesis—a myth. Some continuity
theorists point to earlier intellectual revolutions occurring in the
Middle Ages, usually referring to either a European
Renaissance of the
12th century or a medieval Muslim scientific
revolution, as a sign of continuity.
Another contrary view has been recently proposed by Arun Bala in his
dialogical history of the birth of modern science. Bala proposes that
the changes involved in the Scientific Revolution—the mathematical
realist turn, the mechanical philosophy, the atomism, the central role
assigned to the Sun in Copernican heliocentrism—have to be seen as
rooted in multicultural influences on Europe. He sees specific
influences in Alhazen's physical optical theory, Chinese mechanical
technologies leading to the perception of the world as a machine, the
Hindu-Arabic numeral system, which carried implicitly a new mode of
mathematical atomic thinking, and the heliocentrism rooted in ancient
Egyptian religious ideas associated with Hermeticism.
Bala argues that by ignoring such multicultural impacts we have been
led to a Eurocentric conception of the scientific revolution.
However, he clearly states: "The makers of the revolution –
Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Descartes, Newton, and many others –
had to selectively appropriate relevant ideas, transform them, and
create new auxiliary concepts in order to complete their task... In
the ultimate analysis, even if the revolution was rooted upon a
multicultural base it is the accomplishment of Europeans in
Europe." Critics note that lacking documentary evidence of
transmission of specific scientific ideas, Bala's model will remain "a
working hypothesis, not a conclusion".
A third approach takes the term "Renaissance" literally as a
"rebirth". A closer study of Greek
Philosophy and Greek Mathematics
demonstrates that nearly all of the so-called revolutionary results of
the so-called scientific revolution were in actuality restatements of
ideas that were in many cases older than those of
Aristotle and in
nearly all cases at least as old as Archimedes.
explicitly argues against some of the ideas that were espoused during
the scientific revolution, such as heliocentrism. The basic ideas of
the scientific method were well known to
Archimedes and his
contemporaries, as demonstrated in the well-known discovery of
Atomism was first thought of by
Leucippus and Democritus.
Lucio Russo claims that science as a unique approach to objective
knowledge was born in the Hellenistic period (c. 300 B.C), but was
extinguished with the advent of the Roman Empire. This approach
to the scientific revolution reduces it to a period of relearning
classical ideas that is very much an extension of the Renaissance.
This view does not deny that a change occurred but argues that it was
a reassertion of previous knowledge (a renaissance) and not the
creation of new knowledge. It cites statements from Newton, Copernicus
and others in favour of the Pythagorean worldview as
In more recent analysis of the scientific revolution during this
period, there has been criticism of not only the Eurocentric
ideologies spread, but also of the dominance of male scientists of the
Science as we know it today, and the original theories that
we base modern science on, was built by males, regardless of the input
women might have made. The incorporation of women's work in the
sciences during this time tends to be obscured. Scholars have tried to
look into the participation of women in the 17th century in science,
and even with sciences as simple as domestic knowledge women were
making advances. With the limited history provided from texts of
the period we are not completely aware if women were helping these
scientists develop the ideas they did. Another idea to consider is the
way this period influenced even the women scientists of the periods
following it. Annie Jump Cannon was an astronomer who benefitted from
the laws and theories developed from this period; she made several
advances in the century following the scientific revolution. It was an
important period for the future of science, including the
incorporation of women into fields using the developments made.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Book)
^ a b Galilei,
Galileo (1974) Two New Sciences, trans. Stillman Drake,
(Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Pr. pp. 217, 225, 296–7.
^ a b Moody, Ernest A. (1951). "
Galileo and Avempace: The Dynamics of
the Leaning Tower Experiment (I)". Journal of the History of Ideas. 12
(2): 163–193. doi:10.2307/2707514. JSTOR 2707514.
^ a b Clagett, Marshall (1961) The
Science of Mechanics in the Middle
Ages. Madison, Univ. of Wisconsin Pr. pp. 218–19, 252–5, 346,
409–16, 547, 576–8, 673–82
^ Maier, Anneliese (1982) "
Galileo and the Scholastic Theory of
Impetus," pp. 103–123 in On the Threshold of Exact Science: Selected
Writings of Anneliese Maier on Late Medieval Natural Philosophy.
Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Pr. ISBN 0812278313
^ a b c Hannam, p. 342
^ a b Grant, pp. 29–30, 42–7.
^ Cohen, I. Bernard (1976). "The Eighteenth-Century Origins of the
Concept of Scientific Revolution". Journal of the History of Ideas. 37
(2): 257–288. doi:10.2307/2708824. JSTOR 2708824.
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^ Newton's Laws of Motion
^ Clairaut, Alexis-Claude (1747). "Du système du monde, dans les
principes de la gravitation universelle".
^ Whewell, William (1837). History of the inductive sciences. 2.
pp. 275, 280.
^ Whewell, William (1840).
Philosophy of the Inductive sciences. 2.
^ "Physical Sciences". Encyclopædia Britannica. 25 (15th ed.). 1993.
^ Hunt, Shelby D. (2003). Controversy in marketing theory: for reason,
realism, truth, and objectivity. M.E. Sharpe. p. 18.
^ Donne, John An Anatomy of the World, quoted in Kuhn, Thomas S.
(1957) The Copernican Revolution: Planetary
Astronomy in the
Development of Western Thought. Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Pr. p. 194.
^ Herbert Butterfield, The Origins of Modern Science, 1300–1800,
(New York: Macmillan Co., 1959).p. viii.
^ Harrison, Peter. "Christianity and the rise of western science".
Retrieved 28 August 2014.
^ Noll, Mark, Science, Religion, and A. D. White: Seeking Peace in the
Science and Theology" (PDF), The Biologos Foundation,
p. 4, retrieved 14 January 2015
^ Lindberg, David C.; Numbers, Ronald L. (1986), "Introduction", God
& Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounter Between Christianity
and Science, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press,
pp. 5, 12, ISBN 0520055381, It would be indefensible to
maintain, with Hooykaas and Jaki, that Christianity was fundamentally
responsible for the successes of seventeenth-century science. It would
be a mistake of equal magnitude, however, to overlook the intricate
interlocking of scientific and religious concerns throughout the
^ Grant, pp. 55–63, 87–104
^ Pedersen, pp. 106–110.
^ Grant, pp. 63–8, 104–16.
^ Pedersen, p. 25
^ Pedersen, pp. 86–89.
^ Kuhn, Thomas (1957) The Copernican Revolution. Cambridge: Harvard
Univ. Pr. p. 142.
^ Espinoza, Fernando (2005). "An analysis of the historical
development of ideas about motion and its implications for teaching".
Physics Education. 40 (2): 141. Bibcode:2005PhyEd..40..139E.
^ Eastwood, Bruce S. (1982). "Kepler as Historian of Science:
Precursors of Copernican
Heliocentrism according to De revolutionibus,
I, 10". Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. 126:
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of Pan'" (PDF). Notes and Records of the Royal Society
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^ Newton, Isaac (1962). Hall, A.R.; Hall, M.B., eds. Unpublished
Scientific Papers of Isaac Newton. Cambridge University Press.
pp. 310–11. All those ancients knew the first law [of motion]
who attributed to atoms in an infinite vacuum a motion which was
rectilinear, extremely swift and perpetual because of the lack of
Aristotle was of the same mind, since he expresses his
Physics 4.8.215a19-22], speaking of motion in the
void [in which bodies have no gravity and] where there is no
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Aristotle and his followers.… Impetus
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De analysi per aequationes numero terminorum infinitas (1669,
Method of Fluxions
Method of Fluxions (1671)
De motu corporum in gyrum (1684)
Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica
Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1687)
General Scholium (1713)
The Queries (1704)
Arithmetica Universalis (1707)
Notes on the Jewish Temple
Quaestiones quaedam philosophicae
The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended
The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended (1728)
An Historical Account of Two Notable Corruptions of Scripture (1754)
Kepler's laws of planetary motion
Problem of Apollonius
Newton's law of cooling
Newton's law of universal gravitation
Parameterized post-Newtonian formalism
Newton's laws of motion
Newton's method in optimization
Truncated Newton method
Newton's theorem about ovals
Corpuscular theory of light
Leibniz–Newton calculus controversy
Generalized Gauss–Newton method
Newton's theorem of revolving orbits
Kissing number problem
Absolute space and time
Table of Newtonian series
"Hypotheses non fingo"
"Standing on the shoulders of giants"
The Mysteryes of Nature and Art
Abraham de Moivre
In popular culture
Writing of Principia Mathematica
List of things named after Newton
Isaac Newton Institute
Isaac Newton Medal
Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes
Isaac Newton Telescope
Elements of the
Philosophy of Newton
Isaac Newton S/O Philipose
History of science
Theories and sociology
The Golden Age of Islam
Philosophy of science
A priori and a posteriori
Ignoramus et ignorabimus
Problem of induction
Unity of science
Positivism / Reductionism / Determinism
Rationalism / Empiricism
Received view / Semantic view of theories
Scientific realism / Anti-realism
thermal and statistical
Space and time
Criticism of science
Faith and rationality
History and philosophy of science
History of science
History of evolutionary thought
Relationship between religion and science
Rhetoric of science
Sociology of scientific knowledge
Sociology of scientific ignorance
Philosophers of science by era
William of Ockham
Hugh of Saint Victor
John Stuart Mill
Charles Sanders Peirce
Alfred North Whitehead
C. D. Broad
Carl Gustav Hempel
W. V. O. Quine
Bas van Fraassen