Johannes Kepler — German astronomer, essayist, and nonfiction writer. Kepler is regarded as a towering figure of the scientific renaissance and a seminal catalyst in bridging the medieval cosmology and the modern world-view. Building on the heliocentric theory of the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, Kepler established the three laws of planetary motion and corrected the central fault of Copemican astronomy, which had wrongly determined the orbital paths of the planets to be circular. Kepler described a universe in which planets spinning on their axis rotate around the sun in elliptical orbits and provided the mathematical equations to verify his premise.

The weak and sickly child was abandoned by his father Heinrich in early childhood. Because his family moved around so much, it took Kepler twice as long as usual to get through elementary school.

He eventually graduated, moving on to a theological seminary and then to the University of Tuebingen. At the university, Kepler decided to pursue a graduate degree in theology, but he was soon distracted from that goal. A Protestant school in the Austrian town of Gratz offered him a job as a professor of math and astronomy.

Although Kepler believed he had no special skills in those subjects, he took the job. Once there, he turned his attention toward deciphering the mysteries of the universe. Kepler was convinced that God had created a universe with some discernable pattern or structure, and he devoted himself to figuring out what it might be.

In Kepler decided that the planets were spaced as they were because the planetary orbits were arranged around geometric figures: Perfect solids are three-dimensional figures whose sides are all identical, and Kepler was convinced that God had used these forms to build the universe.

He elaborated on this view in his first book, the Mysterium Cosmographicum, or the Cosmic Mystery. Kepler's theory was incorrect, but the book was the first major work in support of the Copernican system since Copernicus's death fifty years before.

The book was also significant because Kepler was the first major astronomer in centuries to address physical reality, rather than being content with a mere mathematical description of the universe. Kepler could not quite get his data to fit his theory; he needed a source of more accurate data.

He found this in Tycho de Brahe, a wealthy Danish astronomer. Tycho was the best observational astronomer of his age, and Kepler decided that only Tycho's observations would do. So Kepler traveled to Prague to work in Tycho's lab. Tycho, an arrogant, demanding, and unpleasant employer, died after only a year.

But Kepler worked for seven more years on the problem he had started on while there: Kepler's work on Mars led him to discover his first two planetary laws: He published his results in in the Astronomia Nova, or the New Astronomy, revolutionizing astronomy and greatly simplifying the Copernican system.

Kepler was considered one of the top astronomers in Europe—although not because of his published work. Few of his peers recognized the importance of his planetary laws, and few even accepted that they were true.

It was difficult for his colleagues to recognize him as a scientist of the modern age, when his work remained mired in the mysticism of the past.

The years just before and after the Astronomia Nova were a professional triumph for Kepler — he was well known and well respected. He spent these years researching lenses, as well as astronomy, adding several major contributions to the field of optics.

At the same time, his personal life was taking a turn for the worse.

In quick succession, Kepler's wife and favorite son died, and his patron went insane and abdicated the throne. His new home, Prague, was torn apart by civil war, and his mother was accused of being a witch. Through it all, Kepler continued to work toward his greatest goal: He had been forced to abandon most of his theory of the perfect solids, and needed something new to replace it.

After years of thought, he came up with a new idea: Kepler decided that the planets were spaced around the harmonic ration of another set of geometrical figures.

Once again, he believed he had looked directly into the mind of God. Once again, his theory was completely wrong. Butthe pursuit of an incorrect theory led him to a stroke of scientific genius.

InKepler published the Harmonice Mundi, or the Harmony of the World, in which he explained his new harmonic theory. Kepler's third law offered a specific mathematical relationship between the distance of a planet's orbit from the sun and the time it took a planet to circle the sun.

Kepler thought little of this law, as did his peers, because it made little sense to him at the time.Directly named for Kepler's contribution to science are Kepler's laws of planetary motion, Kepler's Supernova (Supernova , which he observed and described) and the Kepler Solids, a set of geometrical constructions, two of which were described by .

Johannes Kepler was a German astronomer and mathematician who lived from December the 27th to November the 15th Kepler played a key role in the scientific revolution that occurred in the 17th century, contributing a number of scientific breakthroughs including his famous laws of planetary motion.

A Time-line for the History of Mathematics (Many of the early dates are approximates) This work is under constant revision, so come back later.

Please report any errors to me at [email protected] Johannes Kepler was born in the midst of an exciting and confusing time for Europe.

The continent was entering the Renaissance, a reawakening of thought across the continent. By the time of Kepler’s birth, the Renaissance had reinvigorated European culture, politics, philosophy, religion, literature, and science. Johannes Kepler Essay - Johannes Kepler was a German astronomer and mathematician who lived between Kepler was a Copernican and initially believed that planets should follow perfectly circular orbits (“Johan Kepler” 1).

Johannes Kepler By Ethan Bui Johannes Kepler was born on December 27, in Germany. He was a mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer. He was a mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer.

He was most famous for his eponymous laws of planetary motion.

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